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The Sea of Cortez Attracts Hurricanes

 

It has been common knowledge or at least speculation of many of the locals in Baja California that the temperatures of the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean may have a great influence on the tracks that hurricanes take in Mexico.

As the Sea of Cortez in the later part of the hurricane season warms up to the mid and upper 90’s (Fahrenheit) it seems to literally suck the hurricanes up between the peninsula of Baja California and mainland Mexico instead of heading west towards the Hawaiian islands. 

Hurricane IgnacioThese hurricanes then can “pinball” their way up on some rather unpredictable tracks due to the land masses on both sides. Imagine a spinning top thrown down a narrow hallway. It is a little hard to predict where it may go. 

When hurrican ignacio from spaceHurricane Marty which made land fall in La Paz was said to have already gone by 8 hours before it returned to do it’s devastation of the marine world of La Paz.

Also See: Baja Hurricane History

Those hurricanes that come up the Pacific side of the peninsula however seem to be easier to predict as was the case with Fausto in 1996. I remember well, how the National Hurricane Center predicted the proposed track four days before it arrived and proved to be very accurate concerning Baja.

The Sea of Cortez from Space\The influence of sea temperature has bee studied more and more, and as of June 2003 NOAA started providing global near-real time estimates of tropical cyclone heat potential in the seven basins during all year. We are located in Northeast Hurricane Ignacio from SpacePacific basin (click here for Baja heat potential). This and many other great resources for preparing and tracking hurricanes can be found in our Tropical Weather Alerts page here at the BajaInsider.

Having greater awareness of Hurricanes, their potential, possible behavior, and proposed track is all apart of being prepared. Helping you be safe during these somewhat unpredictable and yet very exciting months ahead.

Be aware, informed and prepared and you can stand by and revel as the Sea of Cortez Sucks up another one.

Happy hurricane season to you all! Jaime

 

 

Saffir-Simpson Scale for Relative Hurricane Intensity

Type

Category

Pressure (mb)

Winds
(knots)

Winds
(mph)

Surge (ft)

Depression

TD

-----

< 34

< 39

Tropical Storm

TS

-----

34-63

39-73

Hurricane

1

> 980

64-82

74-95

4-5

Hurricane

2

965-980

83-95

96-110

6-8

Hurricane

3

945-965

96-113

111-130

9-12

Hurricane

4

920-945

114-135

131-155

13-18

Hurricane

5

< 920

>135

>155

>18