Beginning June 1st of every year residents in the cities along the Mexican Caribbean coast face the threat of having to deal with a hurricane, which is why Cancun hotels are preparing to keep tourists safe, as 9 storms are expected this season. According to weather officials, the prediction is based on the current conditions and trends in the climate and the temperature of certain parts of the sea. Weather experts are predicting 19 tropical storms in total, with nine predicted to turn into hurricanes and four of those category 3 or higher.
The past couple of years have been recording-breaking in regards to the total number of named storms and it looks like it will be above average this year as well. Typically, the average is around 12 storms each year but 2020 and 2021 were anything but normal, with 30 and 21 named storms, respectively, for those years. Hurricane season lasts from June 1 – to November 30 but the more active months are generally August, September, and October.
For this year there are a couple of different reasons for the predictions for a busy hurricane season. These different conditions combine to make it even more favorable for an active year with multiple storms, some of them considerably strong. The conditions that are causing this possibly record-breaking season for the third year in a row include La Niña and the Gulf Loop Current.
La Niña Conditions – The La Niña conditions this year affect the Pacific Ocean but the effects have the potential to impact places all over the world. When these conditions are present the water temperature in the Pacific, around the equator, will be cooler than average temperatures. This makes the conditions more favorable for hurricanes forming, compared to those of El Niño, during which upper-level winds are more likely to break hurricanes apart.
The Gulf Loop Current – According to Chad Myers, a meteorologist from CNN, the Gulf Loop Current is “a 600-foot-deep river of hot Caribbean water that travels between Cancun, Mexico, and western Cuba into the Gulf.” The farther north loop current sends warmer waters deeper into the ocean and closer to areas around the Gulf of Mexico, and the warmers waters make it easier for hurricanes to intensify.
With two separate but equally important conditions making it more favorable for more and stronger hurricanes this year, it is important to prepare for the possibility of storms affecting Cancun and other Mexican Caribbean coastal cities. It is particularly important for hotels to be prepared to protect guests that may be at a hotel when a hurricane develops and are unable to leave before it hits. The Riviera Maya Hotel Association, which includes 140 hotels in the area, has a civil protection committee that determines protocols designed to help guarantee guest and employee safety.
Because there is a need to protect guests and employees, hotels are already updating their protocols to meet current standards for preparation. These standards are laid out in an internal civil protection manual that is updated on an annual basis. It lays out first aid and evacuation protocols that hotels need to train staff in. It also guides hotels in reviewing their facilities for any changes from the previous year that may affect how they keep their guests safe.
Only two major storms have affected Cancun over the last 30 years but many develop and there is no way to tell whether they will affect the city or not. Cancun receives millions of visitors throughout the summer, so it is important that safety preparations and training take place every year in order to be ready when one does hit the beautiful, and ever-popular, Mexican Caribbean City.
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