Tropical Storm Nana formed on Tuesday, September 1, 234km (148mi) southwest of Jamaica. Nana is currently moving west and is sustaining winds of up to 80kph (50mph). Nana is currently forecast to make landfall north of Dangriga (Stann Creek district) on Thursday, September 3, and has the potential to strengthen into a category one hurricane just prior to landfall with winds as high as 120kph (75mph). Forecasters have warned that a storm surge of between 3-5ft (1-1.5m) is possible near and to the north of the landfall area. Nana is also forecast to bring up to 3-6in (76-152mm) of rainfall to Belize, creating the potential for flash flooding. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning for the entire coast of Belize.
Further strengthening of the storm is possible in the near term. Heavy rainfall and associated flooding are possible over the coming days, along with evacuations and associated disruptions to business and transport.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage.
Organized tropical activity tends to peak in August and September. Storms tend to flood sections of highways and cause dirt-based roads to become temporarily impassable. More organized systems, depending on intensity, can prove catastrophic in terms of tidal surge, wind damage, flooding, and mudslides.
Those in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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