October: the month for active cyclone acitivity

Cancun, Q.R. – October is the most active month in the state for cyclonic activity and meteorologists with the State Coordination of Civil Protection are warning people to stay vigilant.

The National Weather Service is saying that many regions along the Yucatan Peninsula could experience unstable weather due to several cold fronts of low pressure that will bring large amounts of rainfall.

Villasano Jaime Espejo, a meteorologist with the State Coordination of Civil Protection, says, “That due to the influence of the frontal systems on the Yucatan Peninsula we need to be more cautious about hurricane activity that is often generated in the southern Caribbean Sea.  In October, these low pressure channels can form into a tropical cyclone.”

Worldwide, tropical cyclone activity peaks in late summer when the difference between temperatures aloft and sea surface temperatures is the greatest.

A tropical cyclone is a rotating, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and has a closed low-level circulation. Tropical cyclones rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. They are classified as follows:

  • Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph (33 knots) or less.
  • Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph (34 to 63 knots).
  • Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher. In the western North Pacific, hurricanes are called typhoons; similar storms in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean are called cyclones.
  • Major Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph (96 knots) or higher, corresponding to a Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Even though the Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be low, NOAA says that for the U.S. and the region around the Caribbean Sea, tropical storms and hurricanes can and do strike even during seasons with El Niño. Two tropical storms (Ana and Bill) have already made landfall in the U.S. this season, striking South Carolina and Texas, respectively.

National Weather Service forecasters are expecting temperatures to remain between 35C and 40C for much of central and northern Mexico including the Yucatan Peninsula and Quintana Roo. They say that around the Yucatan Peninsula, it will be mostly sunny to partly cloudy with a chance of heavy rains, while Quintana Roo will continue to see partly cloudy skies with very hot daytime temperatures.

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