Puerto Vallarta is a coastal city on the Pacific Ocean and is prone to hurricanes or their effects each hurricane season, which runs from May 15 to November 30 each year. While these are the months when hurricanes are most likely to form, the storms can form outside of these dates as well. The most active months for hurricanes, on average, are the later months from September through November.
In Puerto Vallarta, the largest risk from hurricanes is flooding from overflowing rivers and high tides. These can occur without a hurricane making landfall in Puerto Vallarta and can occur with storms as weak as tropical depressions, so taking each storm seriously and making sure you are prepared each year for hurricane season is recommended. While major damage from hurricanes in Puerto Vallarta is rare, it happens, and with climate change, it could happen more frequently.
These winds can cause some damage to buildings, including tearing off roof shingles, siding, and gutters. Additionally, tree branches can break off of trees. Falling branches and other storm debris can further damage properties or cause injury to people.
Category 1 hurricanes also have the potential to snap or otherwise damage power lines, leading to short-term power outages.
During a category 2 hurricane, buildings are likely to sustain major roof and siding damage. There is also a bigger risk of additional damage and injury caused by flying storm debris.
Shallow-rooted trees can be uprooted, blocking roads and taking down power lines. There is a big risk of total power loss that can last for days in hard-hit areas.
A category 3 hurricane is a major hurricane that will cause major damage to residential and commercial buildings. The strong winds can potentially tear roof decking and gable ends off well-built homes, for example.
Many trees will be uprooted and electricity and water will be unavailable for days or even weeks after the storm.
Catastrophic damage from a category 4 hurricane means that buildings will sustain extreme structural damage, potentially losing most of the roof structure and parts of exterior walls.
There is a very high risk of injury and further storm damage due to falling and flying storm debris and most trees and power poles will be downed. Power outages and water shortages can make areas uninhabitable for weeks or months.
Hurricanes in the highest hurricane category cause near-total destruction. A large number of homes and buildings will be completely destroyed. Areas hit by this level of a hurricane will lack power and water and be uninhabitable for weeks or months.