The Eclipse in Belize & Approaching Weather Potential

Updated 2.30pm on August 17 below:

Looking out over the next week or so, there are a few things in my cross hairs.  On the 24th, I hope to set sail down the coast of Belize to Rio Dulce, Guatemala with Belize Sailing Vacations and…I want to weather to be perfection.  So…

First – a look at the weather map.  It’s mid-August and the time when weather disturbances tend to spin off the west coast of Africa.  Picking up steam over the WARM Atlantic and threaten our coast lines.

Right now, things are getting heated.

They are still quite a ways off.  But the one closest to us is forecasted to reach our general area early next week.  These are only forecasts!  But DO keep an eye on them.

UPDATE:  We are now one day closer and the storm has intensified yet again.  And, though there are still many days ahead, the CURRENT forecast show this storm turning  moving toward Central America as Tropical Storm Harvey.

The main celestial event next week, especially in the United States, is the total solar eclipse.  The moon will be passing over the sun, mid-day, and in the path of totality – will completely block it out.

Visitors will be FLOCKING to towns along that path — towns of 5,000 are expecting 10s…100s of thousands of visitors for this very rare event.  Interesting read in the Atlantic:  Small Towns Prepare to Cash In For the Solar Eclipse

My friend from NJ, who is headed down to South Carolina today for the event – picking up nieces and nephews along the way, sent me a photo of her eclipse mani/pedi.

Trust me when I say that these towns along the line are hoping for great weather.

You don’t want 50,000 of these leftover in your shop.

But what will we see in Belize?  Well…between about 11.30am and 2pm, the moon will dip down and cover about 48% of the sun.

That is nothing to ignore!  It’s pretty dang cool.

But when it comes to darkness – it will be like a cloud coming over the sun…but moving much more slowly.

Here is what you don’t want to do…LOOK DIRECTLY AT IT.  Read one of the many many sites about how to view it because what would NOT make the eclipse awesome is burning a permanent spot on the back of your eyes.

Take a look here.

AND, there is a superstition that I first encountered in San Pedro during a lunar eclipse about 10 years ago.  If a pregnant woman looks at a lunar eclipse, her baby will have a harelip.

I actually found reference to it on quite a few sites – interestingly attributing it to the Aztecs.

If you watch a lunar eclipse during your pregnancy, your baby will have a cleft lip

From a page on traditional Hispanic beliefs about pregnancy:  They believed that an eclipse was a bite on the face of the moon. If a mother watched it, the same thing would happen to her baby. For protection, the mom must carry something metallic, such as a safety pin, on her underwear. Although it’s a beautiful myth, the truth is that a cleft palate is caused by a blend of genetic and environmental factors that in no way include the planets.

I’m not sure why they call it a beautiful myth – or if it is believed to be true for a solar eclipse but…it’s interesting for sure.

So there you go.  Things to watch for over the next week.

And one more really quick and INTERESTING fact.  The Maya – known for their mathematical and astronomical prowess – predicted a solar eclipse in 1991.  Predicted it in the 11th or 12th centuryb.

Now THAT is totality impressive.

Posted in: