|Record cold temperatures recorded in Belize|
|Written by Administrator|
|Thursday, 14 January 2010 00:00|
Near record low temperatures kept Belizeans buttoned down for most of the week following a cold front which crossed the country on Saturday night. The cold front was followed on Sunday by a high pressure system stretching from Canada and the United States to the Gulf of Mexico, the Northwest Caribbean and as far south as Costa Rica. The unusually vast high pressure system, which in winter is associated with cold air, was near stationary and basically sat on the region for four days, blanketing the entire region with its cold air as it slowly drifted eastand out of the region. According to the Belize Meteorological Service, the high system was 1040 millibars, which is considered extremely strong. Its strength was compounded by its slow movement.
Belize was on the southern fringe of the system but it was strong enough to plummet temperatures in the hills, inland, and the coast to near record lows. The Belize Meteorological Service reports that on Monday morning January 11, the minimum temperature was broken at twelve of the nineteen reporting stations. This included La Milpa in the north where the temperature plummeted to 46 degrees which is 7 degrees colder than the previous low of 53 degrees set in 1995.
At Tower Hill outside of Orange Walk Town, temperatures dropped to 50 degrees which is five degrees colder than the record minimum of 55 degrees set in 2002. The Belize Zoo also broke its day record with a reading of 56 degrees which was also five degrees colder than the previous minimum low of 61 degrees set in 2002. Records were also broken for the day in Pomona, Melinda, Hershey, Big Falls, Middlesex, Chaa Creek, and Maya King with an average decrease in the record minimum temperature of between one and five degrees.
But the country’s coldest spot was in the mountains of Baldy Beacon in the Cayo District where the minimum temperature recorded on Monday morning was 44 degrees. That is 14 degrees colder than the previous record low of 58 which was set in 2007. The all time record for coldest temperature was 38 degrees in Punta Gorda which was set in the 1960s.
A gradual improvement is expected on Thursday, but another cold front is moving into the area and that should begin to affect Belize’s weather by Thursday night. The accompanying high pressure system isn’t strong and isn’t expected to pack as big a punch as the one which plunged the country into cold for most of the previous week.