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- Ambergris Caye after Ernesto
  • From: Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2012 07:50:24 -0600
Ambergris Caye - post Ernesto

Yesterday was very windy and rainy throughout the morning.
Weather started to clear up in the afternoon.

Still breezy today, seas choppy.

A little shore erosion and some messy yards, but no other damage to report in this area.

SP Airstrip opened yesterday around noon.  Some boats are back on the water.
Today will be a lot of unpacking and unboarding for everybody.

To tourists and guests in times like this --- we really appreciate your support, your patience, your enthusiasm for our island.  Please also understand that the day after a storm the water is too murky for snorkeling and the people are kind of busy putting homes back together ....... employees may be scattered around the country due to having gone "home" to secure family properties so many businesses may have only half-staff.  We aways do our best to host visitors and we ask for your consideration as we transition quickly from emergency to business as normal.  

Many thanks from Ambergris Caye

Diane Campbell
Indigo Beach Homes
PO Box 101
San Pedro Town
Ambergris Caye

Phone + 501-226-5200

- Ernesto
  • From: Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2012 07:51:50 -0600
7:50 AM - Ambergris Caye - eastern shore - 5 miles North of San Pedro

Winds from the south hit us around 3 and blew hard.
Currently blowing even harder, coming from ESE.

I'd estimate 35-40 MPH right about now.  

Near white-out, but can almost see the reef occasionally.  

No significant damage reported in San Pedro so far, but it's not the best time to go outside to look.


Photo below was taken at 5:30 AM - winds from the south, light rain.


- Belize City the Day after Ernesto
  • From: Juana Avila <avigabi2005 at yahoo.com>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2012 05:57:07 -0700 (PDT)
Good Morning,
This morning in Belize City the skies are overcast with little to no rain and the wind is almost calm.  We never got any of the strong winds and rain.  Belize is about 110 miles South of the landfall area in Mexico.  This morning Nemo Belize has given the all clear for Belize City and going South.  The Tropical Storm warning is still in effect for Belize City and North of the City.
 Reports from Corozal Town, which lies near the Mexican border, is that the winds in that area reach about 35 to 40 miles an hour about 2 a.m. this morning.  We have no reports of damage at this time.  The winds in that area is still blowing about 25 miles an hour.

- Ernesto's tail
  • From: Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2012 05:58:49 -0600
The winds just hit.  Howling straight in from the south.  Roaring.  
Accompanied by moderate rain - visibility is about 500 feet.
Seas are rough but not high.

Am I crazy or did Ernesto jog a little south inland ?  Some of the older folks around here were afraid Ernesto would do a Hattie ..... let's hope not.

Very concerned about our friends and neighbors in Mexico - reports please!

- Ernesto
  • From: Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2012 01:44:24 -0600
1:39 AM - on the coast of Ambergris Caye - 5 miles north of San Pedro Town - not too windy (seems less than TS strength), and as far as I can see (from a sheltered veranda) with my super-spotlight, sea is not particularly high even though it's around high tide time.

Thoughts are with everybody in the path of the storm.....   

- Ernesto
  • From: Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2012 20:33:07 -0600
Despite the very scary infrared satellite image we just saw, conditions in our little corner of Ernesto are pretty benign.  Winds are swirling without a lot of strength and also without too much sense of direction.  Erie, but not damaging.  Spitting sprinkling rain is following the disorganized winds.
No thunder or lightening.  Tides are not high at the moment so waves are not crashing.
Under it all there is a sense of something fairly big out there and I sense more excitement is in store later in the night.  Pity we can't see what's going on as full-dark has come.  Tides were quite high this afternoon, but we have seen worse in a March blow.  High tide and the closest point of approach are pretty much at the same time just after midnight tonight, so we could have some interesting water effects.  The good news for us is that the wind-direction is from the back and that flattens the water out a lot.  
Saw a guy with a surf-board heading down a flooded island trail today in search of excitement - I guess he was too busy being super-cool to listen to the news about how it was both illegal and foolhardy to get in the water.  
All in all (would-be-surfers not withstanding) we're managing very well and look forward to the sunshine tomorrow when Ernesto is long gone to the Bay of Campeche.
Our thoughts are with our neighbors to the north.  Hang in there !

- TS Ernesto
  • From: "Scott K." <scott at wyldlyfe.com>
  • Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2012 11:13:38 -0600
We are now seeing the Outer bands of Ernesto hitting the shores of San Pedro. The skies are grey and it is pouring down from the current band of rain which we expect to see passing in the next 30 mins or so.

We have been issued a voluntary evacuation by NEMO for the Island here on Ambergris Caye as a matter of precaution even though now we are expecting it to hit land more than 50 Miles north of San Pedro Town. Those on the outer islands especially outside the reef are being advised to move inland and move boats to the lagoon side of the island. Due to the expected 10 - 12 feet waves outside the reef.

People are stocking up on groceries and taking the advice of the government issued warnings to ensure that they have sufficient food and supplies for the next few days at least. Most grocery stores had long queues throughout the day yesterday and many remain open today to serve those staying on the Island.

The island is in good spirits and all remain hopeful while watching Ernesto's path.

We will update as Ernesto moves closer.

- Tropical Storm Nears Belize and Yucatan
  • From: Juana Avila <avigabi2005 at yahoo.com>
  • Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2012 06:29:15 -0700 (PDT)
Good Morning To All,
This morning in Belize City the sky is white and overcast.  There is a slight breeze blowing from the North East.  Early this morning there was lighting on the horizon East of Belize City, but did not turned into a thunderstorm.
Nemo Belize has posted a Hurricane Watch for the entire coast of Belize as Tropical Storm Ernesto looms some 273 miles East North East of Belize City (Belize City is at 17.3 N and Ernesto is at 17.8 N moving on a WNW at 13 miles an hour).  Today, August 7th has been declared a holiday for the entire country by the Government of Belize as we prepare. 
Ernesto has been erratic in its movement over the last 24 hrs, so although it seems as though the system may continue on its general direction, Belizeans will have to remain vigilant for the next 24 hrs.  Historically, Belize has had some storms doing some weird last minute turns and loops and hitting us.  Although Belize City is still on the Southern fringes of the projection cone, our Town of Corozal, which is  our most Northernly Town near the Mexican border could still become ground zero, so that is where most of our attention lies currently.
Later I will give an update as the storm moves closer to Belize.
Best Regards

- Ernesto
  • From: Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2012 05:02:54 -0600
Ambergris Caye -
It's still a little dark outside - not quite 5AM.
It will be dark inside most of the day due to the darn boards on the windows!
Rain bands are beginning to come in - when it does rain it is very heavy.  Not much wind.  
Can't see the sea yet - will get some photo updates posted a little later in the morning.

Diane Campbell
Indigo Beach Homes
PO Box 101
San Pedro Town
Ambergris Caye


- Ernesto
  • From: Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2012 18:21:56 -0600
Belize Met Office has posted the following message:

Belize NMS Forecast

3:00 PM in Belize, August 6, 2012

Tropical Storm Ernesto was located near 16.2° N Lat, 81.6° W Long or about 447 miles east by south of Belize City, Belize. Maximum sustained winds were 65 mph and movement was to the west northwest at 12mph.

Expect torrential rainfall and TS force winds with this system on Tuesday night and early Wednesday.

The feature of interest this week will be the approach and landfall of tropical cyclone Ernesto along the northern coast of Belize on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning as a minimal hurricane. The GFS model cyclonic vorticity projection has the center of Ernesto moving across the central coast of Belize early on Wednesday. Although Ernesto is entraining dry air as it moves into the western Caribbean this evening, environmental conditions will still be favorable for the system to strengthen to hurricane intensity before making landfall over the northern or central coast of Belize. A strong windshear zone is evident in the extreme NW Caribbean and SE Gulf of Mexico, while a persistent high pressure ridge to the north of the western Caribbean will keep Ernesto on a westerly to west-northwesterly track, propelling the system towards the southern Yucatan-Belize coast. Regardless of where, along the coast of Belize, Ernesto makes landfall, tropical storm force winds will affect most areas of Belize, with hurricane force winds in a narrow zone near the center. Torrential rainfall will spread across the country by Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, with highest concentration projected over the north and central areas of the country. The instability will persist through Thursday until Saturday. So expect much rainfall this week, with a high potential of strong winds near where Ernesto makes landfall, and flooding in flood prone areas, including the Belize city area and surroundings!

Daily rainfall accumulations will range from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch on Sunday and Monday. Rainfall rates will increase on Tuesday and Wednesday continuing through Thursday. Expect the highest rainfall amounts on Tuesday night through Thursday morning, with rates of 2-3 inches per day. Locally higher daily rates of 4-5 inches are expected in the elevated areas of the Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. The northern sector of the mainland including the Belize District will also see high rainfall accumulations on Tuesday through Thursday, with totals of 2-3 inches per day. The rapid runoff will provoke localized flash floods in valley and hilly areas. Residents in flood prone zones should be prepared to move to safer areas.

R. Frutos

- Updates - Ernesto
  • From: Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2012 16:59:47 -0600
4:45 PM - Ambergris Caye

Still watching Ernesto or course - but before getting into the details of the 
storm,  may I once again comment on just how beautiful it is today!  

Current computer models put the probable landfall as much as 40 miles farther 
north than they did earlier today.  For us the significance is wind-wave 
direction.  This slight change - if it holds - could significantly lessen the 
potential for shore erosion along the island.

Government offices closed today at mid-day.

Some banks closed at noon today, others at 3.  None will be open tomorrow.

Employers have been firmly reminded that they may not "require" employees to 
work tomorrow, as they need time to tend to their own families and properties.

Some/many island resorts have moved tourist-guests to other accommodations.  
Thatch-roof cottages are romantic, but not a great idea in a hurricane (even a 
Cat 1).    Some guests are delaying arrivals by a day or two, and at least one 
wedding is sadly going to be postponed due to lack of government officials to 
process the marriage license.

People in particularly low-lying areas or in poorly built homes are being given 
the chance to shelter in churches and other strong concrete buildings.

Liquor sales cease at noon tomorrow.

Honestly I think we're all pretty much ready ---- boards are up, work is 
done--- time to watch the Olympics as long as the cable TV works.   Tomorrow 
the weather should begin to deteriorate around mid-day they say.  For now it's 
sunshine and intermittent rain-showers.  Very warm seas ........ and a TON of 

Will keep you updated.  

- Ernesto
  • From: Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2012 10:38:21 -0600
10:30 AM - Ambergris Caye, Belize

Beautiful sunny day, but all eyes are on Ernesto.
For now it looks like a direct hit on the island or very close by. 
Emergency operations have been activated.
Boarding windows, pulling boats.
We rarely have bad storms, but we know what to do and we're doing it.

Belize Met Service sent out the following map and notice:

Here is the 9:00 am updated track and warnings for TS Ernesto. Ernesto is intensifying and will become hurricane within the next 3-6 hours as it heads W (280 deg) at 9 mph. All preparations should be underway.


- Ernesto
  • From: Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2012 13:19:00 -0600
Ambergris Caye
Sunday 5 August 

Hot, sunny, beautiful.

Predictions are for Ernesto to arrive in Belize City (30 miles south of here) 
in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday.  We anticipate rains to start 
early on Tuesday and for mainland flooding to be the major threat.

Due to the rapid rate of travel of this storm we're planning to do a bit of 
prep Monday just in case - pulling a little boat and tucking away some 
furniture isn't much work and better safe than sorry.

As of now, most resorts on the island are planning on business as usual. 

- General Weather/Ernesto
  • From: Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2012 09:10:23 -0600
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Beautiful full moon last night.
Super weather today.   
See early morning photo below - photo credit goes to Elbert Greer of White 
Sands Dive Shop.

We're watching Ernesto of course.  Successive predictions have moved the storm 
track somewhat south, and seeing 4 of 6 computer models having an arrival in 
Belize does make one sit up and take notice.  
The good news - and it is very good indeed - is that strength is predicted to 
be in the low end of a Category One.  That kind of storm doesn't phase most 
islanders any a'tall.
We're blessed with a remarkable Barrier Reef that blocks waves & major surge, 
and with a sufficiently flat terrain that there is no fear of landslides or 
significant flooding.  

Have heard from a couple of tourists (with arrival dates of next week) 
wondering what we think will happen but all I can say is to watch the reliable 
maps and websites - for sure don't watch the US based TV shows that are either 
all about the US coastline and/or are looking for ratings with rants and 
At this point I don't know of anybody around here who is particularly tense 
over this one.     Curious, aware and prepared? Yes.      Scared? Nope.

To all of our visitors - the tourism industry in Belize (and particularly in 
the cayes) is well-versed in safety and is dedicated to erring on the side of 
caution where your welfare is concerned.  We'll take excellent care of you rain 
or shine.  Come on down - the welcome mat has your name on it!

As for this particular resident - I'm planning a day of gardening & laundry 
interspersed with a few dips in the sea and some hammock-time (pulp fiction 
If anything more exciting happens I'll make another posting.  For now all is 
very well indeed. 


Diane Campbell
Ambergris Caye, Belize


  • By Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 05:31:00 -0600
We've lived on Ambergris Caye for 20 years.  This is to my memory, the wettest May-June we've ever seen.  The rains keep coming.
Cisterns are full-up, potholes are full-up too, but this is a time when our topography as a narrow island works in our favor.  The rain runs pretty easily off to the sea without flash-floods, major erosion or other dangers. 
On mainland Belize there are rivers full-up, a chunk of the Southern Highway washed out, rural villages inaccessible and fields of vegetables that are flooded and destroyed.  It's on it's way to being a serious situation.

At present San Pedro's biggest worry is how to entertain the tourists!  Thankfully lobster season just opened and Lobster Fest is in full swing, rain or shine.  
Eating, signing and dancing continue regardless of the weather.

Diane Campbell
Indigo Beach Homes
PO Box 101
San Pedro Town
Ambergris Caye

Phone + 501-226-5200

- correction
  • By Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 27 May 2012 08:08:31 -0600
Make that HULA-HOOP contests (not hull-hoop)

- rainy Sunday
  • By Diane Campbell <dcampbellbz at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 27 May 2012 08:04:27 -0600
The 2012 "dry" season wasn't very dry for us here in Belize.  After last year's drought, it was a nice change of pace to have enough water in the cistern and nice green plants in the yard all the way into April !

The rainy season has arrived early and with enthusiasm.   Our cistern is already overflowing and ordinarily that doesn't happen until much later in the summer.  

Weather on Ambergris Caye:
Last night it rained heavily, wind gusts were to 35 MPH and there was some not to dramatic (probably quite distant) thunder and lightening.  Today the winds are blowing from the south, the sea is choppy with white-caps inside the reef.   

Unfortunately we'd scheduled a big fund-raiser Bar-B-Q for Liberty Children's Home for today and this weather is causing a reschedule.   About 500 tickets for bar-b-q were sold, hull-hoop contests were planned and the silent auction gift-list is amazing.  Early morning calls concurred that you just can't have a good kid-party in a muddy yard in the rain.  Bummer.    Will have to reschedule.   
If you're interested in some wonderful work being done in Belize with abandoned and abused children, check the Liberty website - 
<www.libertychildrenbelize.com>   I promise it's uplifting and inspiring - really!
Enjoy the day!

Diane Campbell
Indigo Beach Homes
PO Box 101
San Pedro Town
Ambergris Caye

Phone + 501-226-5200

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