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 (Belize) on Thursday, September 3, and has the potential to strengthen to a category one hurricane just prior to landfall with winds as high as 120kph (75mph). Nana will then weaken as it moves from Belize into northern Guatemala and Chiapas between Thursday and Friday, September, 4. Aside from tropical storm-force winds, forecasters have warned that Nana could produce rainfall between 2-4in (50-101mm) in southeast Quintana Roo. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a tropical storm warning for parts of the Yucatan Peninsula between Puerto Costa Maya to Chetumal and storm surges are possible in coastal areas.
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.
The states along the Gulf/Caribbean and Pacific Coasts are highly vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms, which typically form between June and November. The country has been hit by a number of such powerful tropical systems over the years, with damage ranging from moderate to catastrophic. Tidal surge, heavy winds, flooding and mudslides are all major factors associated with these events. However, even non-tropical storms can prove threatening in terms of flooding and mudslides, depending upon topography. Because a considerable part of the country lies at a higher altitude, temperatures can sometimes dip below freezing at night and, in the event of rainfall, produce snowfall that disrupts land transportation in affected areas, as the populace is generally not accustomed to snowy conditions.
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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