This summer is going to be the first summer that I do not have school the following fall and I am utterly stoked about getting out of the States for a while to visit Europe and the Middle East. It might be a dangerous time to travel but it is more than past time for me to gain the global experience that a guy like myself desperately needs if I want to become a better and more rounded individual. I bought a turkey tours package for myself as a graduation present and I can hardly contain my excitement at finally being able to travel overseas without the concern of having to attend university after the trip – I want to be able to take the time to absorb the experiences that I will no doubt have and digest them for a good year. Perhaps, even, to write a book while I rest my feet after years of scholastic pursuit.
It’s been a few years but once more Cancun is facing the threat of a hurricane, this time Hurricane Rina. Unfortunately, the previous authors of this blog are busy with other projects so I’m afraid we wont be providing so many updates this time around.
Here is the tracking map for Hurricane Rina which updates every 3 hours:
At the present time, Rina has been downgraded from her previous Cat 2 status and is now expected to remain a Category 1 when she reaches the Cancun area. This is a lot better than things were looking a few days ago and I dont expect there to be much in the way of damage, just some nasty rain and wind.
Heavy rain has just started here in Cancun and if you’d like to follow along please visit the Live Cancun Webcam which updates every few seconds.
For further reading please check out the following links:
Blogs, Webcams and Forums:
- Cancuncare – Busy Forum devoted to Cancun run by me Steve, a British expat living in Cancun.
- Cancun Canuck – Blog by Kelly a Canadian expat living in Cancun.
- Cancun Webcam – Fantastic view over the Cancun hotel zone and lagoon.
- Jeff Masters Tropical Weather Blog – Professional meteorologist discusses latest tropical storm activity
Gustav is about to reach his closest point to Cancun and all is well here. We had a small thunderstorm around 3:30pm which lasted for about 20 minutes and a couple of puffs of wind but the rest of the day has been mainly sunny. Now, the sky overhead is clear and tomorrow looks like it will be just like any other day in paradise. However, I understand that all maritime activities have been suspended for tomorrow as a precautionary measure.
The diagram below shows that there is zero probability of any winds occuring even of Tropical Storm force, let alone hurricane force, right across the Yucatan from Gustav.
Of course, Gustav continues on his way unabated and is currently tearing up Cuba before making landfall in the USA. As we bring another chapter of the Hurricane Cancun blog to a close we wish everyone in Gustav’s path the best of luck.
Posted by Steve in Cancun.
The National Hurricane Center reports that Hurricane Gustav has developed into a dangerous Category 3 hurricane as it heads towards western Cuba. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Cayman Islands and Cuba where Gustav is expected to make landfall later today.
The Gulf Coast of the United States is taking this storm very seriously, with a good possibility of a hard strike by Gustav on Monday or Tuesday. Some experts are predicting a further strengthening to a major Category 4 storm. Lousiana and New Orleans are preparing to evacuate starting today according to the Dallas Morning News.
Hurricane Gustav has already taken the lives of at least 77 people in the Caribbean, with the possibility of more to come in the approaching days.
Media analysts are jumping to determine what effect Gustav will have on the oil industry as it threatens oil production rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, including Cancun and the Riviera Maya appear to be well out of the danger zone from Hurricane Gustav. There is the possibility of rain on the weekend, but travelers should not fear, it seems that Gustav’s wrath will not make much of an impact and the popular tourist destination will remain business as usual.
posted by CancunCanuck
Gustav has been crawling along at a snails pace and spent most of yesterday traversing the length of Jamaica. As a result a second day of little forward progress ensured Cancun was not completely out of the woods, until just now.
The 11am CST (10am Cancun time) update shows Gustav is out to sea and speeding up once again which means the cone of probability has narrowed. Add in the fact that the storms predicted course has shifted Eastwards and the cone has moved eastwards too, so for the first time Cancun is not included within it. This means there is zero chance of Gustav hitting Cancun directly. It does not mean that there wont be any bad weather and we fully expect to see some mainly during Saturday evening and Sunday. Gustav is still a small hurricane as hurricanes go, and with his projected path shifting Eastward the potential effect on Cancun reduces the further Eastward he goes.
As for intensity, Gustav is expected to reach hurricane status today (I feel like I say that every post!) as he travels over some of the warmest water on the Planet and is likely to be a Category 2 hurricane as he passes the closest point to us sometime Saturday evening.
I suppose the blessing for us is that while Gustav crawled along tearing up Jamaica and Haiti, other weather systems that dictate it’s future path were moving and evolving and producing a different environment for Gustav to encounter than had been expected 48 hours ago. The die have rolled nicely for us….. this time.
Posted by Steve in Cancun.
Over the summer I attended a talk about hurricanes and hurricane preparedness. It was given by Dr. Mario Stoute of Dirección de Protección Civil (Cancun’s office of Civilian Protection).
Dr. Stoute brought up many, many interesting points. But I was especially impressed by a list he gave of the natural and man-made advantages that Cancun and the Riviera Maya have in case of a hurricane:
- Limestone – The Yucatan peninsula is primarily limestone and limestone is a natural sponge. There is always some crevice or hole in the rock for rainwater to seep into. So flooding from rainfall in this area is usually short-lived and not widespread.
- Flat Land – With no mountains and very thin topsoil we have no potential for landslides. Landslides are often killers in mountainous regions that face hurricanes.
- Deep Water Just Offshore – Because we have deep ocean water just to offshore of us here there is little potential for storm surge to travel very far inland. We still get battering waves but ocean water doesn’t come inland.
- Mangrove – In places where we humans have been smart enough to leave mangrove intact it acts as a natural hurricane punching bag. Mangrove can absorb a huge amount of the energy of a hurricane. Dr. Stoute stressed that it is unwise to ever build higher than the level of the mangrove here.
- Flat Land Again – The lack of mountains here means that we don’t suffer from the rise in water levels that can come about during a hurricane due to the “funnel effect.”
- Concrete Buildings – Concrete homes and buildings are the norm here. We don’t have stick homes that can blow apart in hurricanes and we don’t have roofs that can blow off.
These are some of the reasons why this area suffers very few casualties because of hurricanes. I never thought I would be thankful for a lack of mountains and a lack of topsoil, but I am now.
Posted by RiverGirl in Cancun
While predictions still seem to indicate that Cancun and the surrounding areas are not in imminent danger from Tropical Storm Gustav, the government has maintained its green alert for the state of Quintana Roo. A green alert signifies a low level of danger, but encourages people to start taking precautions and to continue to monitor the progress of this storm. Computer models show Gustav staying closer to Cuba than to Mexico, but as stated in previous posts, anythingn can happen with a storm like this, it’s very hard to predict which path he will take.
The Atlantic is becoming a busy place for storm action, Gustav has been joined by Tropical Storm Hanna and a concentration of thunder storms over the Bay of Campeche on the eastern coast of Mexico. At the moment, once again, it seems that Cancun and the Riviera Maya are still outside of the danger zone.
Gustav is set to possibly regain its hurricane status, bringing heavy rains and wind to Jamaica today, before moving towards Cuba. Computer models seem to indicate a west or northwest movement, perhaps protecting much of Cuba from the brunt of the storm, mostly affecting the western side of the island and possibly taking the storm through the narrow channel between Cuba and Mexico before it heads into the warm Gulf of Mexico waters.
The states on the Gulf Coast of the United States are in preparation for Gustav. Though it is still too early to really know where he might make landfall, it appears that Louisiana or Alabama could be in danger of a good hit from a strengthened Gustav.
In sad news, the death toll from Gustav’s run over Haiti and the Dominican Republic has risen to 51, in addition, seven people are still considered missing and 22 people were injured.
posted by CancunCanuck
Tropical Storm Gustav has left at least 22 people dead in the Dominican Republic and Haiti and continues on its path towards Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Gustav is expected to reach Jamaica tomorrow, then make a westward turn. By early Saturday, some predict the tropical storm will have intensified into a strong category 3 hurricane as it hits the western coast of Cuba.
Media outlets have begun to speculate about the possibility of Gustav inflicting heavy damage on the Gulf Coast of the United States, particularly the state of Louisiana which is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina of 2005. The governor of Louisiana has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm and citizens are being advised to stock up on supplies and protect their homes. FEMA has initiated precautionary actions and is coordinating with other government agencies in order to be prepared for Gustav and the National Guard is on active alert.
Cancun and the Riviera Maya still seem to be on the outside of the danger zone, but some models indicate a possible westward shift which would mean rain and wind on the weekend. It is still too early to know for certain which path Gustav will take, storms are notoriously unpredictable and many factors can affect its journey.
posted by CancunCanuck
A little bit of hurricane humor courtesy of The Onion
Posted by Steve in Cancun.
Since the last report here predictions for Gustav’s course have not changed very much and as such the chance of Cancun being severely effected is diminishing as the cone of error becomes smaller. The hurricane, as predicted, has reduced in intensity to tropical storm level due to the influence of the mountains in Haiti . Now it is once again over open sea Gustav is expected to intensify keeping a westerly trajectory for a few days before turning northwards due to the steering effect of an existing high pressure system centered near Florida.
It should be remembered that the cone of error for the course of a hurricane 5 days in advance is some 300 miles across and also that models are historically poor at predicting intensity that far ahead. In fact at the present time there is an equal chance of it being a Category 1, 2 or 3 storm in 5 days time. However, at the three days ahead stage which is of particular concern to Cancun and the Yucatan things are looking good and there is a great chance Cancun will be outside the path of this hurricane.
Posted by Steve in Cancun