Climatology of landfalling hurricanes and tropical storms in México

ERNESTO JÁUREGUI

Abstract

The potential for damage from hurricanes landfalling in Mexico is assessed. During the 1951-2000 period, Pacific hurricane hits were more frequent on coastal areas of the northwest of the country (e.g., Sinaloa and the southern half of Baja California Peninsula) as well as in southern México (Michoacán). On the Atlantic side, the Yucatán Peninsula and the northern state of Tamaulipas were the most exposed to these storms. The hurricane season reaches maximum activity in September for both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the country. During the 50 year period, five intense hurricanes (category 5) made landfall on the Gulf/Caribbean coasts, while only one such intense hurricane made a land hit on the Pacific side. While hurricanes affecting Pacific coasts show a marked increase during the last decade, those of the Atlantic side exhibit a marked de-crease since the 1970s. However, when considering the frequency of landfalling tropical storms and hurricanes impacting on both littorals of the country, their numbers have considerably increased during the 1990s.

Keywords

Hurricanes; Gulf of México; Caribbean; Northeast Pacific

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