Monthly weather summaries are prepared by the climate section of the National Meteorological Service of Belize. The NMS of Belize maintains a network of over 25 weather stations that are situated primarily in the agricultural regions of the country. Temperature and rainfall are read at 9 am each morning and the rainfall total read at this time represents the accumulated rainfall for the previous day.
October is typically the wettest month for the country of Belize. Systems that usually affect the country during this month include tropical waves and Tropical Upper Tropospheric Troughs (TUTTs). On occasions a tropical cyclone may affect the country during October. Cold fronts often affect the country during this month as well.
Moisture gradually increased across the country during the first week of October 2018. An increasingly moist northeasterly airflow at the low levels coupled with weakly divergent conditions aloft supported shower and thunderstorm development. This was associated with a broad trough of low pressure (remnants of Tropical Storm Kirk) that slowly approached the country. This system would eventually be near northeastern Honduras by the 5th of October. By the following day (October 6th) it was designated as potential tropical cyclone fourteen and it was centered just east of northern Belize. This resulted in cloudy skies with some showers and thunderstorms across the country.
The system became Tropical Storm Michael on the 7th and it was heading generally North-Northwestward away from Belize. With the system intensifying over the following few days it basically absorbed most of the moisture in the region resulting in a general drying trend across the country. Moreover, it supported a South-Southwesterly flow which was devoid of the deep-layered moisture that is typically associated with such flows. This may have been a result of adiabatic compression on the lee side of the mountains along the continental divide in Central America coupled with generally convergent/subsident conditions associated with the outflow from Michael. As a result conditions became very warm and mostly dry 8th and 9th with only isolated afternoon thunderstorms inland. Thunderstorm activity was much stronger and widespread on the afternoon of the 10th prompting the issuance of a severe thunderstorms alert.
Relatively moist conditions persisted over the area for the following few days. The country continued under a generally slack pressure pattern which supported only light winds. A few showers and isolated thunderstorms affected mainly the Maya Mountains on the 11th and decreased even further on the 12th and 13th. A light and relatively moist east to northeasterly airflow on the 14th supported a few showers mostly over the Maya Mountains and over the sea.
Moisture increased on the 15th with a low pressure area over northeast Honduras moving generally westward toward Belize. The National Hurricane Center contemplated declaring this system a potential tropical cyclone but eventually decided against it due to its trajectory that was expected to take it mostly over land or very near the coast of northern Honduras. This system crossed southern Belize the following day (16th October) and supported some showers and periods of rain across the country. Relatively moist conditions lingered behind this system producing a few showers and isolated thunderstorms across the country from the 17th through to the 19th.
A drier air mass moved over the area on the 20th of October. This relatively dry trend persisted through to the 25th of October. As a result weather conditions were generally fair across the country with isolated showers and isolated thunderstorms. There were occasional exceptions over the south where slightly higher amounts were noted.
A cold front became stationary north of the country over Yucatan on the 26th and caused a slight increase in moisture over the area through to the 27th. This increase in moisture did not produce any significant widespread increase in rainfall but instead shower activity remained generally isolated.
A relatively moist northeasterly flow developed behind the dissipating stationary front on the 28th and produced a few showers over northern and inland areas of the country. Similar activity continued on the 29th. Showers and rain then spread to central and southern overnight between the 29th and 30th. Finally, the moisture would increase further on the last day of the month supporting some showers, thunderstorms and periods of rain mostly over northern and central areas of the country.
The graph and maps below summarize the total rainfall and average maximum and minimum temperature recorded during the month of October 2018. They also give an indication of how these readings compare to the normal for the month across the stations sampled. As can be seen, rainfall was generally normal for most of the country, except for the north and southeast coast (Savannah) where it was slightly below normal and parts of the central areas (northwestern Cayo and North Stann Creek) where rainfall was above normal. In terms of maximum temperatures, most of the stations sampled here show above normal maximum/daytime temperature, except for the Belize Zoo. Nighttime/minimum temperatures were also higher than normal for most areas except for Punta Gorda which recorded lower than normal minimum temperatures.
Forecaster: Gordon, Ronald
Last Updated: Mon, Nov 12, 2018 | 12:08 PM