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Climate Section


Belize Drought Outlook



Drought Outlook ( 6 Month's SPI outlook April 2016 to  September 2016)

June Update (Using the data up to May 2016)

 Drought Update: DROUGHT WATCH  is in effect for Southern Coast of the country (Stann Creek and Punta Gorda District).
of the Country. 

What does a Drought Watch means: that Drought is Possible.

The rest of the Country there is No Drought Concern, as seen in the map below.

6 month drought outlook

 Long Term Drought Outlook  

1.This 12-month SPI-based drought outlook uses observations until May 2016, 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).



Drought Watch is issued for West Central Belize.

 What does a Drought Watch means: that Drought is Possible.

The rest of the Country there is No Drought Concern, as seen in the map below.


 12 month drought outlook

 Current Drought Situation:

Because of the way Below Normal rainfall that occurred over most areas of the country in  May of 2016 as seen on the graph and maps below,  the drought situation shows that Drought is Possible over the Southern coastal areas up to September 2016 and West central areas up to December 2016



 may 2016 obs rainfallmay 2016 obs rainfall percent



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)


SPI Value


Spi Value


-0.50 to -0.01


0.50 to 0.01


-0.80 to -0.51

Abnormally dry

0.80 to 0.51

Abnormally wet

-1.30 to -0.81

Moderately dry

1.30 to 0.81

Moderately wet

-1.60 to -1.31

Severely dry

1.60 to 1.31

very wet

-2.00 to -1.61

Extremely dry

2.00 to 1.61

Extremely wet

= -2.01

Exceptionally dry

= -2.01

Exceptionally wet




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. 




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 1st week of  August 2016


If you have quires or comments please email Climate Section at the National Meteorological service at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .