Mexican authorities forecast up to 39 named cyclones for 2021 on Wednesday, so the rainy season, again, “will be above average” after arriving on the earliest date on record.
Although the official start of the season is on May 15, tropical storm “Andrés” formed on May 9, making it “the earliest formation in the Pacific,” said Blanca Jiménez, head of the National Water Commission (Conagua), at a press conference.
”The previous record was held by tropical storm ”Adrián ‘, which formed on May 10, 2017. In addition, this is the second consecutive year in the Pacific with cyclonic formation before the official start of the rainy season and tropical cyclones,” he said.
Conagua predicted between 15 and 19 named systems in the Atlantic Ocean, of which between eight and 12 will be tropical storms, between four and five category 1 or 2 hurricanes, and three to four category 3 to 5 hurricanes.
For the Pacific, where Jalisco is located, he foresaw 14 to 20 named systems, of which between seven and 10 will be tropical storms, three to five category 1 or 2 hurricanes, in addition to four to five category 3 to 5.
“Considering that the average number of landfalls in the country is four to five and that activity above the average is forecast on both coasts, we are anticipating having between five to seven landfalls in Mexico this year,” said Jiménez.
These forecasts are revealed after Mexico experienced the “most active cyclone season in history” in 2020, with 46 phenomena, of which 29 were tropical storms and 17 hurricanes, nine of them major storms.
But they are also forecast while 85% of the Mexican territory faces drought conditions, according to the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, in English).
“The phenomena associated with the presence or absence of water represent 90% of the losses or damages caused by the threats that occur in Mexico,” warned Laura Velázquez, director of the National Civil Protection Coordination (CNPC).
The factors “that determine the occurrence and damage of meteorological phenomena have multiplied,” acknowledged Rosa Icela Rodríguez, head of the Ministry of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC).
“As we face increasingly complex situations, climate change is generating the most atypical and severe events with a greater impact,” added the secretary.
This will also be the first year in which Mexico will not have the Natural Disaster Fund (Fonden), which President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) asked to eliminate due to his policy of “republican austerity.”
Even so, the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) affirmed that they have 80,500 men ready to attend any emergency, while the Secretary of the Navy, José Rafael Ojeda, asked the coastal areas to reinforce prevention.
“In many coastal states what is lacking is a bit of will on the part of municipal presidents or governors, to be vigilant, prevention helps us,” said Admiral Ojeda.