Visitors to Cancun should prepare for some gusty winds and blowing sand as a Surada phenomenon blows into the beach resort destination for the next few days.
Depending on the strength of storm, tourists may see a big impact as their vacation adventures on the sea may be curtailed.
What is a Surada?
Between March and May, strong warm and dry southern winds up to 80 kilometers an hour whip through Cancun and the east coast of Mexico in an effect called a Surada.
These winds can cause anything from simply blowing dust and sand to tree and building damage.
They are caused when an intense low-pressure system parks itself in the southern part of the United States above the Gulf of Mexico or in the far southeast section of Mexico.
How Bad is This Storm?
For the next few days, the State Coordination of Civil Protection in Quintana Roo, the state where Cancun is located, has predicted that a medium-strength Surada will hit.
The winds are currently projected to be between 35 and 45 kilometers per hour.
Because this is a late Surada season storm, the damage from the storm is expected to be limited. However, there could be broken tree branches, blowing dust, and choppy ocean waves from this storm.
It is currently projected to intensify before decreasing in intensity going into Monday, June 19.
Unfortunately, the gusty winds will be warm and will have no effect on cooling down the already blistering summer temperatures visitors are experiencing in Cancun.
Boat Tour Cancellations
As the Surada strengthens during the weekend, what most tourists will expect is an unfortunate restriction on boating activities.
The Surada is expected to make the seas extremely choppy with large waves and unsafe boating conditions.
During Suradas, tour boats are often forced to cancel excursions due to safety concerns with the winds and high seas.
Therefore, most Cancun tourists are recommended to contact their tour boating operators in advance of arriving at the docks to make sure the boats have been cleared for departure.
Those susceptible to motion sickness on the ocean should work with their tour operator to reschedule their boat tour.
Poor Underwater Conditions
As the winds whip the waves, the clarity of the water around Cancun will also drop for underwater tourist activities.
Visitors should expect poor conditions for diving and snorkeling during the duration of the Surada event.
The clarity of the water is essential for divers and snorkelers to enjoy the adventure and clearly see the many different sea features and creatures off the coast of Cancun.
It also affects the safety of the activity as the clarity can make it difficult for divers and snorkelers to see and orient themselves safely in the water.
Because of this, those planning a snorkeling or diving tour in Cancun during the Surada storm should contact their tour agency to reschedule the event until after Monday, June 19.
Unhealthy Air Conditions
Tourists should prepare for some unhealthy air conditions in Cancun as the Surada storm kicks up dust and sand in the air.
Those with breathing challenges, such as asthma, or sensitivity to dust and sand in the air may want to limit their outdoor activities during the peak time of the storm.
There are a number of indoor activities available for Cancun visitors, and during the least gusty times, tourists may feel comfortable visiting nearby outdoor locations such as resort pools instead of beaches.
Last, travelers to Cancun should be careful with fire during a Surada because the possibility of wildfires increases with the intense winds.
The State Coordination of Civil Protection in Quintana Roo has requested a tourist ban on beach bonfires, fire pits, and other open flame activities until the end of the Surada event.
While the current Surada will be over soon, travelers are advised to always check before embarking on their trips, as Suradas do occur from time to time and may disrupt future trip plans as well.
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