Yeppers. It’s been that time of the year again where my inbox fills up with people asking what this hurricane season will bring. Mind you, for the East Pacific region, we often do not see official forecasts until the day of and sometimes, after the start of Hurricane season which officially begins for us, May 15th. That is because everyone is more focused on the Atlantic Ocean, whose season begins on June 1st. Kinda feelin’ like the fugly redheaded step child but … I don’t feeeeeeeel fugly, just neglected by the people with fancy degrees on the walls behind their desks.
Last year I began a working theory on whether or not we should be freaking out when we hear the words el nino (the boy) vs la nina (the girl), and how people often get complacent when it’s a girl.
I had only gone back as far as 2006 but it seemed to me, that we here in Cabo San Lucas and the immediate areas saw the most wind or rain events during neutral years. I still haven’t gone back further than that time but we can still do a refresher if you’d like to read this link HERE in blue (or is it red?) I was going to just copy/paste a bit from last year, but this is a blog and not a book, so to keep this as short as possible, I deleted a bunch of repetitive stuff.
We all already know that La Nina years the water temps are cooler, and El Nino water temps are warmer. La Nina is supposed to be less active for the East Pacific, and El Nino is supposed to be more active. The Atlantic is of course the opposite from us (balance, yin/yang) It seems most do not pay much attention to neutral years in terms of pre-season worrying if we should get our panic on.
Blue is La Nina, Red is El Nino, Grey is Neutral. I am aware this grapgic isn’t showing us in the red, but we ARE in a weak el nino.
For 2018, the professionals said we’d see approx 18 named systems regardless of strength. We got, 23.
The professionals predicted we’d maybe see 8 or so named tropical storms, between 4-12 hurricanes (I’m looking at Mexico’s forecast alongside ones like Accuweather put out) and 4-6 major hurricanes (cat 3 or stronger).
Mind you, we were in a neutral year, but our ocean produced 13 hurricanes – 10 of which, were a cat 3 or stronger, but wait – regardless of landfall or nowhere near the coastline as the East Pacific IS a HUGE ocean, 2018 saw 3 tropical depressions, 10 tropical storms, 2 cat 2’s … 7 cat 4’s and 3 … cat 5’s. Wait, what? I think I just confused myself, too.
Let’s go over this again.
They said, 8’ish Tropical Storms, we got 10
They said, 4-12 hurricanes (lots of room for error) and we got 13.
They said, 4-6 of those storms would be a cat 3 or higher which are considered major. We got … 10. 10 major hurricanes, in a NEUTRAL YEAR.
Let’s just focus now on landfalls and near landfalls to Baja, both SUR, which is where we are, but also Norte. I’m including the northern state because it got hammered at the border with our state, and it effected us several hundred miles away (like, the roads got washed out and shipments were delayed kinda thing etc)
The second storm to form last year was the 2nd Category 4 hurricane to form (I know, that doesn’t even sound right but we kicked things off with strong intense storms that we are told, are generally reserved for El Nino years) and he was called, Bud the Dud. Bud formed on June 9th, became a cat 4 by the 12th w/peak wind speeds of 140mph but thankfully, fizzled into a tropical storm as it made landfall with max sustained winds of 45mph on the 15th and most – at least on the Cabo San Lucas side of the peninsula, would swear Bud never came to shore at all as it was oh so quiet, and oh so calm.
Now, Rosa … totally missed us here in Cabo but began on September 23rd, became the 7th Cat 4 system of the season and if I am not mistaken was a TS by the time she made landfall, but still managed to cause 50 million in damages and 3 confirmed deaths.
Now let’s look at another storm that also hit further up north immediately following Rosa … Sergio. Sergio was born on September 29th, became our 8th cat 4 of the season, and while he did weaken to a TS as he hit land (the first time), his total damage to Baja and then later mainland was 402 million dollars and 1 death.
Now about about that system in between that never got a name? I’ll just link it for those interested as I know my babbling can get lengthy … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Depression_Nineteen-E_(2018)
So yes, Accuweather did predict 3-5 landfalls for the coast in general and yes, Baja as a whole did in fact get 3 landfalls. I’ll have to research a bit more as this is getting lengthy to pick up where I left off to discuss how many they actually got right.
Bottom line, at the moment, neutral years make me more nervous than the scary El Nino. Not to discount El Niño, it just means we need more data. Add in the ever changing climate and the possibility of our planet about to see a mini ice age thanks to solar minimum … I got nothin’ at this moment. Not a clue what to expect for 2019, other than they say we are in a weak El Niño that should last until Spring, and maybe into the summer.
TO BE CONTINUED.
In the meantime, we ARE a radio station. https://livecaboradio.com/
not even gonna proof read. jajajahahaha It’s Friday. Have a blessed weekend everyone!
Oh, and please offer your thoughts. This is a learning blog. teach me something ❤️