Rain and the Start of 2012 Hurricane Season

It looks like it will be a rainy start to the work week as the Belize Weather Bureau is forecasting cloudy skies with some showers and thunderstorms mainly over the south and some coastal areas [including Belize City]. It is expected that these showers and thunderstorms will move inland today before decreasing tomorrow afternoon. It was a sunny weekend in San Pedro, but conditions have deteriorated today even before sunrise.

Hurricane Season 2012

As far as Hurricane Season 2012 goes, it started on Friday June1. Indications are that this year’s activity will be average or slightly below the climatological mean. This long term average covering the period 1950 to 2000 is typically for 9 to10 named storms to form with 6 becoming hurricanes and 2 to 3 intense hurricanes developing.

The April 2012 outlook as prepared by Klotzbach and Grey (Colorado State University) calls for 10 named storms of which 4 become hurricanes and 2 of those hurricanes becoming intense systems i.e category 3,4 or 5. Regionally, the Cuban Meteorological Service (INSMET) has projections for 10 named storms, with 5 of those forming hurricanes. Seasonal outlooks from other Institutions reflect near the same level of activity.

These outlooks are largely based on the probability of the development of an el Niño phenomenon towards the second half of the season. This anomalous warming of the southeastern Pacific Ocean has a suppressing effect on tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic basin. The sea surface temperature which is the source of energy for tropical cyclones is forecast to maintain near normal values in the tropical Atlantic during the 2012 season. This also contributes to the forecast for average activity.

In caution, it is worthwhile to note that seasonal forecasts do not tell about locations of impacts or landfall. In addition, it is also important to reiterate that disasters generated by tropical cyclones can occur whether the season is active or comparatively quiet. It only takes one system to create havoc and even so not necessarily a strong system at that. As per normal proper planning and preparation are the keys to preserving life and property.

The staff of the National Meteorological Service of Belize states that it will once again be putting forward its utmost best to provide accurate and timely information on all such systems that could impact our nation.

List of Names for the Atlantic 2012 Hurricane Season

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