Hurricane Hilary is creating some tropical weather excitement in the beach resort town of Los Cabos. According to scientists, her arrival is only just the start of what will be a busy peak season for tropical weather systems starting on August 20.
Peak Tropical Storm Starts
The first tropical storm warning of the season was issued on August 17 as Hurricane Hilary was expected to brush by the coast of Los Cabos to the west.
However, Hurricane Hilary may only be the sign of more to come.
The peak tropical storm season runs from August 20 to September 20 in the Eastern Pacific, which includes Los Cabos and the rest of the Baja California peninsula.
Effects of El Niño
According to the National Meteorological Service (SMN) and Civil Protection Department in Mexico, due to the ocean warming and the effects of El Niño, the entire season should be more active than normal in the region.
In late June, the prediction was for a 30 percent increase in tropical weather systems affecting the Mexican Pacific this year due to the extended warming of the ocean waters from the El Niño currents.
That would put the number of tropical systems at 16 to 22 for the entire season. The concern is that so far, the season has really not amounted to much.
Of those, 9 to 11 are expected to be tropical storm strength. An additional four to six are expected to be Category 1 or 2 hurricanes.
Meanwhile, three to five are expected to become major hurricanes with strong winds and damage profiles of Categories 3, 4, and 5. The first up is Hilary.
Tourists Need to be on Alert
Jorge Garza, the director of Metmex BCS, says that the El Niño warm sea temperatures and atmospheric conditions are currently right for tropical cyclones to develop in the Mexican Pacific. Hence, the development of Hurricane Hilary.
Even after Hilary departs Los Cabos, he urged residents and visitors to the area to stay tuned to official sources during what is expected to be a busy tropical weather season.
Garza’s office takes into effect multiple complex technology-enhanced weather models along with some experience from living in Los Cabos for many years to build his projections and they are all pointing to the same answer – get prepared.
Resorts Are Ready
The good news is this is nothing new for the hotels and resorts serving tourists visiting Los Cabos. They deal with the same peak season every year and have detailed plans in place to keep visitors safe.
Before tropical weather season even started on May 15, Los Cabos officials inspected every hotel and resort property in the area to certify the structures were ready to withstand hurricane conditions and that emergency contingency plans were in place.
The hotels and resorts have temporary shelters ready to house travelers, usually ballrooms and meeting spaces on the lowest floor or basement of the building.
They also have satellite phones and an industry radio system in place to communicate with first responders in Los Cabos and other officials.
What Tourists Need to Know
It’s hard to predict if a tropical weather system will impact a tourist’s vacation plans. So initially there aren’t many ways to project weather impacts.
Travelers to Los Cabos should however monitor official newscasts and weather alerts as their travel plans advance.
If weather predictions are pointing to a possible tropical weather system during the duration of a vacation, of course it may be prudent to cancel or reschedule.
Because of this, visitors to Los Cabos should have travel insurance which includes coverage such as trip interruption and cancellation insurance along with emergency evacuation services.
These policies are slightly higher during peak hurricane season in Los Cabos. However, they can provide peace of mind in the event of a tropical weather impact.
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