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Local and regional climate trends drive rates of change in coastal ecosystems. To better understand local climate, 35-year-long time series of air temperature, relative humidity and rainfall were analyzed along the reef corridor of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Data came from a climatological model and to assess its local performance, differences with in situ records were estimated when available. All three variables showed coherence with the record of the North Atlantic high-pressure system (also known as the Bermuda High) at similar times and periods between 4 to 8 and >10 years, evidencing the influence, at this regional scale, of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Positive and negative anomalies showed linear trends depicting an increase of warmer and moister events during a seasonal climatology at the reef corridor of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and a relatively higher correlation (> 0.5) with the AMO mode. Return periods of extreme values varied between 5 and 10 years. In general, trends and extreme events showed similar patterns at a regional scale, but the increase in rainfall is expected to be larger near the central location of the study area. A higher frequency of extreme events could threaten local ecosystems and human populations; therefore, plans and actions at local scales of governance are needed to achieve preemptive climate adaptation.
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