H1 Richard – Oct 23-10

For the latest storm information, check www.StormPulse.com and the Belize Weather Bureau, including their Doppler Radar images extending 400 Km, 200 Km and 50 Km.  These images show rainfall and you’ll see any rain bands as they approach the coast…


Latest Reports from Caye Caulker Weather…

Oct.25, 2010 – 10:00 AM

Well, I just got back from a bike ride through the village to asses what damage has occoured as a result of Hurricane Richard.  And, I have surprisingly LITTLE to report!

People are raking up sea grass, coconuts and palm fronds from the beach and streets.  Some boats are back in the water, all the others will be soon, I’m sure.  I saw no damaged buildings and didn’t hear of any either. I think we REALLY lucked out again…

Our thoughts are with the people to the south of us and inland where the hurricane was felt to a much greater degree…

One more thing…  Yesterday, on Sunday, we had 1,823 visitors to CateCaulkerWeather and just under 7,000 page views!  Wow!  This is a new, one day record for our little website, we’re quite pleased…  :)

That’s it for now, another storm under our belts for 2010…

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Oct.24, 2010 – 7:27 PM

Quick update… Winds are generally lower as of late, averaging in the low to mid 30′s.  Mostly from the east but some wind from the ESE as well…  About an hour ago, we had a new record gust for this storm at 57 mph

Wave action is pretty high at the moment.  Although, it’s not as bad as it was in the last storm, TS Matthew…

Still getting steady rain, quite heavy at times but I see the Doppler Radar shows less rain on the horizon for us fairly soon…

Bye for now…

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Oct.24, 2010 – 6:10 PM

The 7 PM CDT update just came in…  They say Hurricane Richard is about to make landfall.  Based on the doppler radar images, I think it already HAS made landfall…  Oh well…

The report indicated 90 mph and the storm is moving at 10 mph.  There was some speculation that the storm might reach Cat 2 level before landfall, but it was not to be…  Thankfully…

On Caye Caulker, we’ve had almost steady rain ranging from quite light to VERY heavy.  Winds have been sustained in the mid 40′s with another gust or two to 56 mph.  The weather console says ‘ Hold on to your hat!’ (the console actually has a sense of humor!).  Winds are now solidly from the east and just starting to come from the ESE…  Just what we expected…

That’s it for now, hope everyone is safe and sound…  Bye for now…

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Oct.24, 2010 – 5:05 PM

Quick update here…  Based on the current 50 km Doppler Radar image from Belize MET, the eastern eye wall of the hurricane has reached the coast between Belize City and Dangriga.  They are likely experiencing winds from the north at around 90 mph.  I sure hope everyone is safe… :(

This image to the right shows the eye wall at the coast…

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Oct.24, 2010 – 4:07 PM

More wind now with average in the mid 40′s and gusts to 56 mph…  Sounds like a freight train!  Barometer is still falling rapidly and now shows 1007.0 mb.

One more thing… We usually have about 100 visitors per day at CayeCaulker Weather but TODAY, so far, the number of visitors stands at 903!  Wow!

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Oct.24, 2010 – 3:25 PM

Lots of wind here on Caye Caulker with regular gusts to 45 mph and moderate to heavy rains.  Wind direction is shifting from the NE,  to the ENE at this point.  The barometer sits at 1007.2 and falling rapidly.

At the hurricanes core, maximum sustained winds are at 90 mph with higher gusts and minimum central pressure is 981 mb.  It appears that the storm is about 25 miles from the mainland at this point, so that would make landfall at about 5:00 PM local.  At least it won’t be dark yet…  I imagine a hurricane making landfall in the pitch black might be scarier than in the daylight!

I hope everyone is safe!  We’re all fine, ticked away safely inside… :)  Bye for now…

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Oct.24, 2010 – 1:45 PM


Bands of  heavy rain have reached Caye Caulker and will reach the mainland coast of Belize very soon, from Belize City and south.

Here at Caye Caulker Weather, winds are averaging 28 mph with a gust to 38 mph a few minutes ago.  Barometer is 1009.1 and falling rapidly.

The 1:00 PM Doppler Radar image to the right showns heavy rain in green and the center of the hurricane is quite visible.

Current landfall is thought to be just south Belize City, later this afternoon.

There are very few people on the streets of Caye Caulker now, everyone is at home, taking shelter from the wind and rain.  More later, stay safe…

Check out the Caye Caulker Weather webcam view with this LINK

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Oct.24, 2010 – 11:55 AM

Latest forecast just in…  Maximum sustained winds of 85 mph with higher gusts, hurricane is moving at 13 mph and some strengthening is expected before it makes landfall… Landfall is predicted to be between Dangriga and Belize City…

On Caye Caulker, we’ve just had a rain band pass us by with a good downpour and gusty winds.  It’s passed now and winds are from the north at 6 mph and barometric pressure is 1011.9 and falling… We’ve had 0.49 inches of rain so far today…

We’re still getting some bigger waves breaking on the beach and the tide is falling now for the next few hours…

All our storm preparations are complete, we now just wait and see…  More later…

Oct.24, 2010 – 9:45 AM

Ok, it’s official now…  The storm has been upgraded to Hurricane Richard.  Maximum sustained winds are now at 85 mph and as of a short while ago it was located about 95 miles ESE of Belize City. Minimum central pressure is 991 mb… Forward speed has increased to 12 mph.  Predicted storm track is the same… Some additional strengthening is expected before the hurricane makes landfall.

On Caye Caulker, the wind is out of the NE at 17 mph, barometer is 1014.4 and rising slowly. We are starting to get some storm surge action here on the east side of the caye.  Occasional rogue waves are breaking higher on the beach and generally the water is higher than usual. We have a high tide at 11 am local time followed by low tide at 4:08 pm and then the higher high tide at 10:23 pm.  THAT’S the critical time, there will be high winds coinciding with high tide and storm surge.  Tie up those boats on the beach!

More later…

Oct.24, 2010 – 6:40 AM

Good morning all…  Not much new to report at this hour.  Storm strength is the same, forecast track is the same and it’s predicted that by noon today this system will reach hurricane status.

Tropical Storm Richard is currently passing just north of the Bay Islands and as of about an hour ago it was 129 miles from Belize City…

Here on Caye Caulker, we got 0.25 inches of rain in the night with that passing rain band.  The wind is generally from the north averaging 11 mph with cloudy skies.  Barometer is 1013.2 mb and generally steady…  More later, bye for now…

Oct.24, 2010 – 3:20 AM

This latest forecast from about 20 minutes ago indicates the storms wind speeds still at 70 mph but the storms forward speed has increased from 8 mph to 10 mph.  In addition, the forecast track has moved slightly further north again and now they are thinking it will make landfall just a few miles north of Dangriga.  The storm is now approaching the Bay Islands off Honduras and Doppler radar shows they are getting heavy rain there right now.

Here on Caye Caulker, it’s been a quiet, calm night but just now, the wind has shifted from the north to the east, increasing winds from 6 to 9 mph to the high 20′s with a gust to 32 mph.  This rain squall, or rain band, is typical as a storm approaches and we’ll see more of these as the storm gets closer. In fact, Doppler radar shows another rain band approaching the coast, about 120 miles from us now, this one much larger with heavier rain. Right now, the wind is in the mid 20′s and the weather station here says ‘It’s raining cats & dogs’ and indeed, it is coming down pretty good at the moment!

The barometer reads 1012.8 but as the storm approaches, we’ll see this drop.  At the center of the storm right now, they estimate the barometric pressure to be 995 mb.

One other thing about this latest forecast…  It’s predicted that as of noon today, Sunday, the storm will reach hurricane status.  Given the forecast track for the storm is just a bit further north than before, it looks like Caye Caulker might be right at the edge of the 58 to 73 mph wind window. We’ll see…

The image on the right shows the Doppler Radar mounted on top of the Belize Meteorological Service located at Ladyville, near Belize City.

That’s it for the moment, stay safe everyone.

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Oct.23, 2010 – 9:10 PM

At this time, maximum sustained winds have increased to 70 mph with higher gusts but this system is still considered a tropical storm.  By 6 AM Sunday, it is forecast that winds will increase to 75 mph and we’ll officially call him Hurricane Richard.

The forecast track has moved slightly again to the north and it now shows a predicted landfall just a few miles south of Dangriga.  However, it could be north of there, or south, we’ll have to wait and see.  Landfall should occur in the evening on Sunday, maybe around 8 PM.

Here on Caye Caulker, we’ll be within the 39 to 57 mph wind window by the early to mid afternoon.  Given the counter-clockwise rotation of storms in the northern hemisphere, and given the storm will be passing to the south of us, we’ll have winds from the north and north-east to begin with.  Then, as the storm continues it’s path west, the winds will shift to the east and then around to the south east.  With this storm, we’ll likely see the highest winds when they are from the east and south east, maybe in the range of 50 to 60 mph  …. Large, wind driven waves crossing over the reef are likely to come ashore on the east side of the caye.

We are very lucky to have new Doppler radar installed here in Belize about two years ago.  This radar shows rainfall all the way out to 400 Km.  Follow this LINK to the website for the Belize Meteorological Service showing the 400 Km image.  Keep the window open in your browser and refresh it from time to time to see the advancing storm…  Very cool…  :)

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Oct.23, 2010 – 6:10 PM

Once again, the latest forecast issued just a couple of minutes ago is not that different from the last one… Now TS Richard is 267 miles from Belize City.

For those living on along the east side of the caye, keep in mind there will likely be a storm surge associated with the passing of Richard.  Current predictions are for an increase of normal tides by a factor as much as 2 to 4 feet for the northern coast of Honduras and Belize.  Further north here on Caye Caulker we may not see this much, but you never know…

Rainfall amounts could be 3 to 5 inches with storm totals up to 7 inches so it looks like this might be a wet one!  Check your storm shutters!

The weather was just beautiful here today! Light breezes and lots of sunshine.  It’s hard to believe that just 24 hours from now we’ll be in the thick of it with rain, wind and lots of excitement…

Stay safe everyone and get ready as early as you can!

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Oct.23, 2010 – 3:30 PM

The latest forecast is very similar to the last one…  Maximum sustained winds winds at 65 mph and the storm is moving at 8 mph.  The storm is still at tropical storm strength and it’s 282 miles from Belize city.  The forecast track has moved a bit further south, I calculate the forecast land fall it to be about 12 miles north of Placencia or about 20 miles south of Dangriga.

On Caye Caulker, people are making preparations: boats out of the water, storm shutters in place and making sure to be stocked up on food and water.  We have our boat safely in the yard now, along with 5 other boats!  This property has a history of boats and boat building and several of the local folks have their boats here at the moment… :)

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Oct.23, 2010 – 12:10 PM

Ok, the latest update has been issued by the National Weather Service and it indicates that the Government of Belize has now issued a Hurricane Warning for the coast of Belize.  At present, maximum sustained winds at the core of the storm are 65 mph with higher gusts and tropical storm force wind extend out 85 miles.  The storm is still quite a distance out there, 310 miles from Belize City.

The forecast track remains the same from the last update with a prediction that it will approach the southern coast of Belize, near Dangriga.  The storm will approach on Sunday afternoon as a Category 1 Hurricane and will reach the coast in the early evening…  See links above for current info…

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Oct. 23, 2010 – 10:09 AM

The latest storm track prediction brings the path a  little closer to Caye Caulker, but still south of Belize City.  It WILL be windy here tomorrow afternoon!  On Sunday morning, we’ll be making the final storm preps, including take the boat out of the water…

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Oct 23, 2010 – 8:32 AM

Well, it looks like the forecast track for this storm is now further south and a direct approach to Caye Caulker is not predicted.  We’ll still get winds and rain from the north, and then from the east but the heart of the storm will pass to the south.

We’ll be making some storm preparations this morning as other Caye Caulker residents will be, we have to be prepared…  More later…


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