lunes, 17 de octubre de 2011

lunes, 17 de mayo de 2010


Quintana Roo State is located in the eastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula at the southeastern tip of Mexico and is the youngest state of the Mexican Republic. Its beaches, considered among the most beautiful ones in the world, are surrounded by the beautiful blue intensitive to clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Our State is wonderful but it is not perfect because for our geographical location, every year we are prone to be impacted by a hurricane.

sábado, 15 de mayo de 2010

What is a hurricane?

Begging with this blog, it's important explain what a hurricane is, so I interviewed to Meteorologist of the Dirección Estatal de Protección, Captain Jaime Villasano Espejo who said that:

"A hurricane is a low pressure system that forms over warm sea which groups cloudes in spiral shape. During its trayectory produces heavy rains and strong winds. The Hurricane Season for the fourth region that covers Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean starts on June 1 and finishes on November 30 but the months where there is a major activity are Agust, September and October. In consequence, the month more dangerous for our State is September.
The conditiones for hurricanes to develop, there must be a warm layer of water at the top of the sea with a surface temperature greater than 80 degrees F (27 degrees C). This ocurrs during spring and summer.

The life of a hurricane is divided into four stages: tropical disturbance, tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane.
At the moment that system becomes a tropical storm, it receives an official name and continuos with the same if it becomes a hurricane. "

jueves, 13 de mayo de 2010

Its Names

When we are born our parents give us a name which identifies us and distinguishes us of other people. This way, the meteorologists put names to the hurricanes to identify them and track them as they move across the ocean. Remember, there can be more than one hurricane at a time and without naming them, we could get confused of which storm we're talking about.

  • For several hundred years many hurricanes in the West Indies were named after the particular saint's day on which the hurricane occurred.
  • An Australian meteorologist began giving women's names to tropical storms before the end of the 19th century.
  • In 1953, the U.S. National Weather Service began using female names for storms.
  • In 1979, both women and men's names were used. One name for each letter of the alphabet is selected, except for Q, U and Z. For Atlantic Ocean hurricanes, the names may be French, Spanish or English, since these are the major languages bordering the Atlantic Ocean where the storm occur.
  • Nowadays, the World Meteorological Organization uses six lists in rotation. The same lists are reused every six years. The only time a new name is added is if a hurricane is very deadly or costly. Then the name is retired and a new name is chosen.

  • Every tropical season, there are 21 named tropical cyclones for the Atlantic, additional storms will take names from the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gama...)
  • For this season, in the Atlantic Ocean names are Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Igor, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tomas, Virginie, Walter.

sábado, 1 de mayo de 2010

Early Warning System for Tropical Cyclones

How often have we heard that we are in blue or red alert? What is an Early Warning system for Tropical Cyclones? Well this is a System was created by the National Civil Protection System in 2000, with the aim of keeping people informed when a disturbed system according to its track could affect any part of our country and this way mitigates its effects.

To achieve this, among the main points are mentioned as follows:
  • Using of two cyclone intensity scales: the Saffir-Simpson scale and the scale of circulation.

  • Using of two schedules according to colors: one when the cyclone is aproaching and another when it is moving away.
  • Using of an alert by a fixed color code (Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red) to facilitate understanding of the seriousness of the danger.
  • Incorporation of actions to be followed by the population in each of the stages (1).

Each alert mentions the meaning of color, the distance of the tropical cyclone, the type of danger, issuing weather bulletins, the actions that the government and people should do and more.

(1) Sistema de Alerta Temprana para Ciclones Tropicales. Obtained on May 9, 2010.

viernes, 30 de abril de 2010

A history brief about hurricanes at Quintana Roo

Every year, during the hurricane season Quintana Roo is always prone to be stricken by a cyclone. From 1950 to 2009, our state has been affected by tropical systems approximately 120 occasions. The most destructives have been:

Janet (category 5 hurricane), which was least 687 deaths in the Lesser Antilles, Yucatán Peninsula and mainland Mexico, struck Chetumal on September 28, 1955. Our small city was destroyed and many houses too because majority of them were built of wood. Every year, our government organizes a ceremony in memory for those who died during the hurricane at Fiscal Dock. Besides, it built the monument “El Renacimiento”.

Carmen (category 4 hurricane) was the most intense tropical cyclone of the 1974 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The storm's center passed a few miles north of Chetumal, which was likely under its eyewall.

Gilbert (category 5 hurricane) struck Cozumel and Cancun on September 14, 1988. It wreaked havoc in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico for nearly 9 days. In total, it killed 341 people and caused about $5.5 billion (1988 USD, $9.4 billion 2006 USD) in damages over the course of its path.

Emily was the fifth named storm, second hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It struck Los Chunes and affected Xel-Ha, Tulum and Punta Allen on July 16, 2005.

Wilma was the third hurricane of the Atlantic 2005 season to reach category 5 status, setting a new record for the seasonal number of category 5 storms. It struck Cozumel and Cancún on October 21st. During its path over our State left a lot rain.

Dean (category 5 hurricane). After of several years Chetumal City was affected by a hurricane on 21st August 2007. During its path destroyed tourist zone as Mahahual and Bacalar. Its winds were as strong that brought down trees and houses which were near to the beach.

It is important to mention that while stronger is a hurricane less rain left.

Every season is different; however in last years, the hurricanes have been intensified and have caused more damage.

"Two factors that contribute to more intense tropical cyclones-ocean heat content and water vapor-have both increased over the past several decades. This is primarily due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and the clearing of forests, which have significantly elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere." (1)

(1) Union of Concerned Scientists (2006). Global Warning. Hurricanes and Climate Change. Obtained on May 18, 2010. Retrieved from

jueves, 29 de abril de 2010

Be already prepared

The government of Quintana Roo through of the Dirección Estatal de Protección Civil implement preventive mechanisms for protecting to population and the tourists that visit us. For that reason, every year it distributes 120000 leaflet and 60000 posters about the recommendations that people can do before, after and during a hurricane; and of Early Warning System. Besides, the mass media transmit recommendations too.

When a hurricane develops over Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, Protección Civil monitors it, keeps informing the people and start working the Consejo Estatal de Protección Civil and the Comité Operativo Especializado en Fenoménos Hidrometeorológicos.


Before a hurricane
• Buy non-perishable or canned food.
• You should have to first aid kit.
• Get a battery operated radio, hand flashlights, candles, batteries and matches.
• Protect your official documents.
• If your house is not secure, you should go a shelter. Close to your home, there is a shelter that has been assigned for your area.
• Store drinking water for several days.
• Have what necessary at transportation, food and medicines.
• If the authorities recommend you to evacuate, Do it!...Don’t think it twice!

After a hurricane
• When a hurricane comes in to affectation radio for the State, every three hours the route and path of tropical system will be issued.
• Disconnect the electricity energy, gas cylinder and make sure that there isn’t leaking.
• Move away from the sea side and protect yourself of the wind.
• Don’t go out from your house or shelter until the authorities indicate you.

Pay attention to eye of hurricane
• If the eye of hurricane passes over your city, it will have calm. During this time, you must not go out of your shelter because after the wins acquire force again and blow at opposite direction.

After a hurricane
• Return to devastated zone until the authorities say that there is not danger.
• Don’t move injured people, report them to the authorities.
• Don’t touch fallen cables.
• Be careful with walls, houses and buildings that are in danger of collapsing.

Quintana Roo has won the prize “Good neighbor Arward” in two occasion in 2006 and 2008 because after of the hurricanes Emily, Wilma and Dean didn´t have injured or died people. The actions that the government took to protect to population were the best.

Remember, don’t pay attention to rumors.