Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tropical Storm Arthur Moves over Belize

Unbelievable, the first storm of the hurricane season 2008 had to cross over Belize. Luckily the storm was a week tropical storm that formed Saturday off the Yucatan Peninsula and quickly made landfall at the Belize-Mexico border, dumping rain and kicking up surf.

Weather here in San Pedro started to deteriorate since Friday afternoon and it rained all day Saturday. There was some flooding off the streets and low lying areas. The seas were choppy, but all in all, there was only a lot of rain dumped on the island which was a blessing because everything was covered in dust for the past three months. Now we deal with mud! JeJeJe!

Alma Becomes Arthur

The first named storm of the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Arthur moved northwest across the Yucatan with maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (64 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The storm formed one day before the official start of the season June 1, hitting land near the Mexican port city of Chetumal and Belize's Corozal city. It dumped rain as far south as Belize City and kicked up strong surf on the popular tourist island of Ambergis Caye.

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Belize and Mexico's Caribbean coastline. In the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, which includes the popular resort of Cancun, ports were closed and all water sports were banned. Residents and tourists were encouraged to take precautions in coastal areas. Ports were also closed on the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres and in Chetumal.

In northern Belize, the National Emergency Management Organization expected about 4 inches (102 millimeters) of rain and warned of possible flooding around the Azul Hondo River.

Rain and rough seas ruined vacations for tourists in Ambergis Caye.

"I just came to lay in the sun and get a nice tan, but so far there hasn't been any sunshine," said Debbie Fountaineau, a police officer from Lake Charles, Louisiana, who arrived on the island Thursday.

The storm was projected to weaken as it crosses the Yucatan before moving out into the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical depression early Sunday.

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