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As Belizeans held their breath this past hurricane season, from Wilma to Katrina the United States and the Yucatan Penninsula were not so lucky as the storms collectively stole thousands of lives and did billions of dollars of damage.

Including the last tropical storm of 2005 that came the day before the official end of the hurricane season at the end of November named Epsilon for the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet used by forecasters since they ran out of their standard list of names, there were 26 storms. That number surpassed the record of 21 storms in 1933. Of the 26 storms named in 2005 by the National Hurricane Center, 13 reached hurricane status, with seven of those considered major hurricanes. Three of those major hurricanes were catagorized as Catagory 5 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale with winds in excess of 155mph.

The most devastating hurricane during the 2005 season was no doubt Katrina. That hurricane cut a wide swath of destruction across the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. To ndate 1, 298 lives were lost, small towns as well as large cities were completely flattened displaciing hundreds of thousands of people. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said insurance claims totaled some $23 billion. and that reconstruction costs are estimated to be at least $200 billion, making Katrina the costliest storm in history. Though most people in the know believe that we're at the beginning of the up trend, not the down trend, due inpart to global warming, the liklihood 24 storms in 2006 is still a strong possible. Currently for the Atlantic Basin, the season hurricane forecast for 2006 predicts 17 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes of which 2.3 will be intense.

Please use the links below for current weather conditions in Belize:
CNN weather
Belize Times Weather
BBC weather
The Weather Network
Accu Weather
Earth Watch
National Hurricane Center
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