When hurricane season is here, keep an eye out here for updates if the local weather situation becomes more tense.
The winds of your garden variety hurricane are generally not the source of dangerous damage to modern construction. The wind danger from hurricanes is from spinoff tornadoes, which are most common in the northeast and, second, the southwest quadrants in our latitudes. Of course, a monster like Mitch, sporting tornado-force winds in the main body of the hurricane, is something to be far away from and not fool with. Down here a couple of cat jumps above sea level, rain's no problem because to make the water rise the clouds have to fill up the ocean. Add all this together and our protection by the reef, in fact anyone's protection by any seawall artificial or natural, can be partially overwhelmed. If Belize District is placed under a Storm or Hurricane Watch, the cyclone may strike within 24 - 36 hours. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a 1-5 rating based on the hurricane's present intensity. Click here for information on hurricanes in the Belize area from the mid 1700's to the mid 1850's. 1931 Sept 10th a hurricane with 125mph just north of Belize city 132mph for 10 min 1,500 killed. 1955 Major Hurricane Janet levels the area Sept 27th , Corozal Town destroyed with 160mph winds (914mb). Oct 8th 2001, Hurricane Iris hits southern Belize with 145mph winds causing major damage as nearly 95% of buildings were heavily damaged. 2010 Oct 24th Hurricane Richard comes ashore just south of Belize City as a cat 1 with 90mph winds. I never could get anybody in the Belize government to recognize that Hurricane Fifi was disastrous to us on the island. Hurricanes (by whatever name) are by far most common in the Pacific Ocean, with the western Pacific being most active. EASTERN PACIFIC: The Eastern Pacific basin's hurricane season is from May 15th to November 30th, peaking in late August or early September.
WESTERN PACIFIC: The Western Pacific basin's hurricane season is mostly from July 1 to November 30, peaking in late August or early September, though storms can occur year-round. SOUTH PACIFIC: The South Pacific basin's hurricane season is from October 15 to May 15, reaching a peak in late February or early March. INDIAN OCEAN: The Indian basin's hurricane season is from April 1 to December 31 for the northern Indian Ocean, and from October 15 to May 31 in the southern region.
The high level clouds moving clockwise out away from the hurricane at heights of over 35,000 feet. Quoting flaboyinga:If you look at the fault line map for the US east of the Mississippi River basin, it's surprising how many population centers are on a fault line. The energy from the warm ocean, in the form of very warm air rising and the gushing of cooler air replacing it throws the entire storm into a fury of powerful, huge and monstrous spiral storm that can be seen from space. In the climatology section there is also a weekly analysis of the data which shows when the real peak of hurricane season is for Ambergris Caye and a five-year analysis to find out if more storms have passed close by Ambergris Caye recently. Those are rather like lightning -- hit you, or don't, low probability of the former, but if it happens, you just get very impressed. If you live in the highlands, water damage from a hurricane comes with very heavy rainfall, the gullies along the creekbanks, where people live, filling up and flushing everything away.
When people ask me whether I worry about hurricanes, I point out I moved here from New Orleans -- old Ground Zero, the Catcher's Mitt.

Far too many people tend to wait and see before bugging out, and then all want to go in the final hours. This is used to give an estimate of the potential property damage and flooding expected along the coast from a hurricane landfall. Barometric Pressure Above 980 mb (Above 28.94 in) Storm surge generally 4-5 ft above normal. Barometric Pressure Below 920 mb (Below 27.17 in) Storm surge generally greater than 18 ft above normal. A 14 ft storm surge was reported & 31 killed as 20 of those were people on a dive boat.This was a very small hurricane with hurricane force winds extending out around 20 miles from the center. Below is a brief description of each basin's "hurricane season." More information can be obtained from the NOAA Hurricane FAQ. However, the components that contribute to the greatest storm surge affect are the winds blowing to the left side of the storm and the topography of the land as the storm makes land fall. There was a map a National Geographic 2 years ago that showed Buffalo as being vulnrable to earthquakes.If you look at the fault line map for the US east of the Mississippi River basin, it's surprising how many population centers are on a fault line. The "art deco" rounded-corner architecture of Miami was adopted largely because winds tend to get funneled and intensified in municipal concrete canyons, and vortices that can form on sharp corners can actually pull a building down. If your home is located in an area vulnerable to flooding, storm surge, or higher-than-normal winds or if your may not be able to withstand high winds even though it may not be in a vulnerable area, you should plan to evacuate in the event of a hurricane or severe storm. The strongest surge comes ashore just to the right of the eye, where the fierce hurricane winds are blowing toward land.
The Hurricane Hunters measured 110 mph winds at the shore when Ike made landfall, and Ike's highest storm surge hit the peninsula.
Talked to several old timer that I have known for some time that to a person told me that this was on par with the damage that Hurricane Carla did back in '61. That's why I have an approved list of cities where I will visit in a hurricane and not stray from that list. But in New Orleans, where I lived for 26 years, hurricanes with winds under 100 knots, sufficient to close the schools and workplaces, were considered a great opportunity to catch up on your sunbathing and take outdoor showers -- hurricane rain is pretty warm except near the eye.
Only one hurricane force storm has ever occurred in the South Atlantic - Hurricane "Catarina" in 2004. Personnel Manager called, said to turn the boat over to the Mate and grab all "the Florida boys and head for home." Great, we were in Port Fourchon - we had already evac'd our cars to Houma. There's a few advantages to being 35 miles inland, 30 ft above sea level on level ground, in the middle of the pine tree factory.
Persons traveling to areas near the Atlantic Basin should exercise caution during the entire Hurricane Season. This is called a tropical depression and they have a wind speeds going up to about 38 miles per hour.
One is the cumulative effect of all that wind pushing all that water in a particular direction for a long time.
Ambergris Caye got caught about 2,000 bug-outs short when planes and boats couldn't do it any more, despite literally heroic work by aviators and boat pilots.
Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Low-lying escape routes may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane.
I'm crazy, but not that crazy!People should know by now that peninsulas are not safe during a hurricane.

Mitch never got closer than about 200 miles away, but was such a monster it generated waves that did that much.
Terrain continuously lower than 5 ft above mean sea level may be flooded inland 8 miles (13 km) or more. Terrain lower than 10 ft above sea level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas as far inland as 6 miles (10 km). Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Oblique aerial photography of Bolivar Peninsula, TX, from September 9, 2008 (top) and September 15, 2008, two days after landfall of Hurricane Ike. The low pressure area that defines a hurricane acts somewhat like a straw in operation in a malted milk shake. They thought it would be a great surprise for me to get home and not have all that work to do. The maximum impacts were on the Bolivar Peninsula, the site of our example comparisons online now.How you can helpFor those of you who want to help those in need, I'm proud to say that a group of wunderground members are spearheading their own Hurricane Ike relief effort, aimed at providing assistance and supplies to people that are not in the mainstream relief areas. The ECMWF and NOGAPS models indicate the possibility of something developing in about six days in the Western Caribbean near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The GFS model predicts development of a tropical depression off the coast of Africa about six days from now.Atlantic hurricane outlook for the last half of SeptemberWell, we've just come out of a long and intense period of hurricane activity--29 straight days with a named storm in the Atlantic, with all four of these storms--Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike--causing heavy damage and inflicting high death tolls. This year, we look to get a longer break of 7-10 days.Climatologically, the last half of September is one of the busiest periods in the Atlantic for hurricane activity. The peak of the season occurs on September 10, and the entire month of September is very active, with a high chance of dangerous major hurricanes (Figure 2). The peak portion of hurricane season lasts until mid-October, and I anticipate that we have at least one more major hurricane coming, and probably 4-5 more named storms.Figure 2.
Tracks of all hurricane and tropical storms for the past 156 years that formed in the last half of September.In the longer term, winds shear is predicted by NOAA's CFS model to remain below average over the Caribbean for all of October and November. The model also predicts that Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) will range from 1-2°C above average over most of the hurricane main development region (from the coast of Africa to Central America between 10° and 20° latitude, including the Caribbean). However, SSTs are about 1°C above average over the Caribbean and the region between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands.
Note the strong cooling of up to 4°C in the Gulf of Mexico created by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike when they churned up cool waters from the depths. The MJO is a pattern of enhanced rainfall that travels along the Equator, and can act to boost hurricane activity when it propagates into the Atlantic. The MJO has a period of about 30-60 days, and is currently in its inactive phase over the Atlantic.
However, according to the latest MJO discussion from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center, we are expected to enter an active phase for the MJO over the western Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean beginning six days from now.
As I mentioned above, the ECMWF and NOGAPS models are indicating the possibility of development in this region beginning about Monday of next week. The steering current pattern is not expected to change in the coming two weeks, and will favor steering hurricanes into the East Coast of the U.S.

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