Tropical Storm Nana is forecast to make landfall on the Belize coast overnight on Wednesday, September 2, south of Belize City, at near hurricane-level strength. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has reported that as of 18:00 (local time) Nana was about 160 km (100 miles) east-southeast of Belize City, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (97 kph), moving west at 15 mph (24 kph). A hurricane warning is in effect for the coast of Belize from Belize City southwards to the Belize-Guatemala border. A hurricane watch is in effect north of Belize City to the Mexican border. Long lines have been reported at supermarkets in Belize as people stock up on supplies in preparation for the storm's arrival.
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, utilities, 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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