Belize Drought Outlook
Forecast Drought Condition for Belize is done by using Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI)
The Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI), developed by T.B. Mckee, N.J. Doesken and J. Kleist (McKee et al. 1993) of Colorado State University is an index that, if used carefully, can provide early warning of an extended drought period and aid in assessing drought severity. It can also provide similar information at the other end of the spectrum- extremely high precipitation. SPI is basically a representation of rainfall in units of standard deviation. Positive values indicate greater than median rainfall; negative values indicate less than median rainfall. Belize is now using this tool for early drought warning.
Table SPI classification (CIMH)
A three-month SPI analysis reflects short to medium term moisture and can give an indication of available moisture conditions at the beginning of the growing season. A six-month SPI analysis reflects medium term trends in rainfall and is effective in showing rainfall distribution over distinct seasons as well as being associated with anomalous stream flows and reservoir levels, which takes longer to manifest itself than does agricultural drought. A twelve-month SPI can indicate the potential periods of shortfall in groundwater amounts.
September Drought Update:
Long Term Drought Outlook - Drought Concerns Until End of 2015
1.This 12-month SPI-based drought outlook uses observations until August 2015, with potential impacts on large surface water reserves and groundwater. In general, impacts are expected if the 12-month SPI is ≤-1.3 (very dry or worse – ref.: CDPMN).
A Drought Warning is issued for Northern, Inland, Central Coastal Areas Belize up until end of 2015 .
A Drought Watch is issued for Southwest of the countryend of 2015.
Current Drought Situation:
Because of the Normal to Below Normal rainfall that the country experience during 2014 Wet and the end of 2015 Dry Season and also the Below Normal rainfall that is prevailing in 2015 Wet season some parts of Belize especially the North and some Inland areas of the country are experiencing drought. Drought condition will continue thru to the end of the 2015
The information contained herein is provided with the understanding that The National Meteorological Service of Belize makes no warranties, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of this statement. The information may be used freely by the public with appropriate acknowledgement of its source, but shall not be modified in content and then presented as original material.
Next Drought Statement will be issued by 10th November 2015.