Monthly weather summaries are prepared by the climate section of the National Meteorological Service (NMS) 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.
January falls within the cool transition period between the rainy season and the dry season for Belize. This transition period typically lasts for about two to three months from December to about mid February or early March when the dry season sets in. January is typically cool over the country and can be somewhat wet at times. The main rainfall producers during this month are cold fronts, prefrontal troughs and shear lines.
The first day of January 2019 started off a bit moist as a few showers affected the country with highest concentration over the south. This was supported by a slightly moist easterly airflow. Conditions improved later in the day and only isolated showers prevailed for the next few days from the 2nd to the 5th.
Moisture increased across the country on the 6th in association with a weak frontal boundary that dipped south and became quasi-stationary near Belize's northern border. Highest rainfall was concentrated over northern offshore areas with the automatic weather station in San Pedro recording 35.2 mm on the 6th. This system lingered over the area for the next few days supporting a few showers and isolated thunderstorms over most areas on the 7th. Showers increased on the 8th with most stations recording some rainfall, except for those in the extreme south. Similar conditions persisted on the 9th. However, by the 10th the frontal boundary began to drift south as a high pressure system was building southward from the north. This caused the focus of rainfall to shift offshore with showers becoming generally isolated over the mainland.
By the 11th, the weak frontal boundary had moved south of the area and a high pressure ridge dominated. This supported mild and mostly fair weather for the next three days from the 11th to the 13th.
Moisture started to increase once more over the area on the 14th with the approach of another cold front. This supported the development of a few showers over the country with highest concentrations in the north. The weak frontal boundary slowed down over our area supporting moist conditions on the 15th with some showers and rain mostly over central and northern areas of the country. Highest rainfall total was recorded at the airport with over two inches of rainfall. Rainfall decreased on the 16th as the frontal boundary drifted south of the country.
Fair and generally mild conditions prevailed on the 17th with no significant rainfall across the country. The following day continued generally fair with only isolated showers and then moisture increased slightly on the 19th and supported a few morning showers mostly over the sea and south.
A relatively strong cold front raced across the Gulf of Mexico between the 19th and 20th and crossed Belize between 6 am and midday on the 20th. This supported cloudy and cool conditions on the 20th. However, moisture was limited with this system and showers were isolated at most. The 21st was variably cloudy, cool and mostly dry with little to no rainfall recorded across the country.
Remnant moisture from the retrogressing frontal boundary drifted across the country during the following few days from the 22nd to the 25th supporting mostly light showers and periods of rain over some areas. Rainfall accumulations were generally low with less than 5 mm per day. The 26 and the 27th were generally fair with isolated showers. However, the fourth cold front for the month was rapidly approaching on Sunday the 27th. This was a relatively strong and fast moving front. When it crossed the country late on Sunday the 27th, it supported strong winds with gust up to 37 knots. However, because of its fast pace, rainfall was minimal.
A high pressure ridge dominated during the following few days from the 28th through to 30th in the wake of the cold front and supported mild and generally fair weather over the country with no significant rainfall. The final day of January 2019 saw a slight increase in moisture over southern areas of the country where a few light showers were noted. Generally fair weather continued elsewhere.
The graphs and maps below summarize the total rainfall and average maximum and minimum temperature recorded during the month of January 2019. 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 below normal for most of country except in the extreme north where it was near normal. Some areas over central and southern Belize saw rainfall as low as 80% below normal. In terms of maximum temperatures, about half of the stations sampled here show above normal maximum/daytime temperatures with Melinda showing the warmest daytime temperatures for th month. The other stations saw near normal or slightly below normal maximum/daytime temperatures in January 2019. Nighttime/minimum temperatures were slightly lower than normal for most of the stations in this sample with Punta Gorda showing coolest nighttime conditions during January 2019.
Forecaster: Gordon, Ronald
Last Updated: Thu, Feb 07, 2019 | 01:16 PM