Some Quick Hurricane/Tropical Storm Blanca Thoughts

Blanca has come and gone, visiting Todos Santos in the middle of the night. Do these storms ever come during daylight hours, so we can see what’s happening?She was no Odile but still a pain. Top winds measured at the Pescadero Heights weather station were 47 mph. Total rain at that location was .12 inches.

We got very little rain and so the winds blew fine, silty dirt everywhere! I have grit on every flat surface I have checked. If we have to have a record breaking early storm, then we deserve a solid amount of precipitation. I understand it did rain in the mountains and that’s good since that’s the rainfall that feeds our aquifers.

Electricity, landlines, cell phones and internet stayed mostly on for the entire duration of the storm. Blanca was a teaser and she rapidly lost strength and form as she reached Cabo San Lucas. It was hard to see the center of the storm on satellite images. We would have winds for a while and then nothing. Until about 11 pm when the sustained gale forces arrived. She was moving slower as she passed Todos Santos, so it took most of the night for her to move on.

The two days before Blanca were hot and humid with temps reaching 95-98 F. Again, typically unheard of in our area, especially in June. Humidity was in the high 80-95s. Oppressive. Mercifully, temps dropped as soon as she passed and tonight is cooling down rapidly.

Blanca was the earliest second major hurricane in the eastern Pacific since modern records began and by far and away the earliest to threaten Todos Santos. If you check historical records of storm paths, none come north on the Pacific side this early.  The first two storms of this season have been CAT4. Another invest is percolating down there right now. It’s going to be a long and dangerous hurricane season for Baja Sur. I am not sure that historical norms continue to apply.

Security Operations To Be Intensified In La Paz, Baja Sur

The drug violence continues in La Paz and this has led the authorities to increase security operations. According to BCSNoticias.mx and translated by Fulano:

La Paz, Baja California Sur – As a part of the operations by the Municipal police, they will remove cars from circulation vehicles with polarized windows and will search all persons who “walk the streets in the late hours of the night.”

Through a press release it was reported that in addition patrol operations in specific colonias in the city, they will also search all vehicles “which generate any sensation of uncertainty or suspicion to residents of the city.”

Regarding the vehicle inspections, it was stated that “they will be removing from circulation those vehicles with polarized windows, and which are moving around suspiciously, have no license plates or with license plates from other states.”

The municipal police indicated that these operations will be random and constant over the next few weeks, at the places of higher crime.

Todos Santos Warily Watching Tropical Storm Blanca

I had a not good feeling that we would be experiencing a long, threatening hurricane season due to the abnormally warm air and sea temps. But not even I would have believed that we would be under the gun in June. That just is not the historical norm. This storm behavior is normal for late August and September but not for June. Andres and Blanca were both born in the same area of the Pacific where the water temps are very high and the wind shear is low. Typically these early strong storms go west and never approach Baja Sur.

But the forecasters say that currently Blanca is projected to make a bee line for Cabo San Lucas. Of course she could deviate (and let’s hope she does) and go further east or west. West would be the preference, far away from land masses.

While the rain would be welcome, high winds would not be. The center of Todos Santos is still a construction mess and most roads are dirt that will become a quagmire with heavy rain and winds. We just don’t need any more destruction right now so let’s all cross our fingers.

It might be wise to start preparations early. Argh.

A side note: this will have to affect statewide elections scheduled for Sunday morning and afternoon, right?

tropical storm blanca

Tropical Storm Blanca - June 2, 2015 - Heading For Los Cabos

tropical storm blanca

Tropical Storm Blanca - June 2, 2015 - Heading For Los Cabos

 

Eastern Pacific Hurricane Predictions From US National Hurricane Center

On May 29, the US National Hurricane Center and NOAA released their predictions for the Eastern Pacific storm season. The bottom line is very similar to predictions released by others, including the Mexican weather service about 2 weeks ago. Check the graphic below and read the full story at the link provided. It’s going to be a long, hot and stormy summer.

todos santos baja hurricane 2015 predictions

NOAA Eastern Pacific Hurricane Predictions

NOAA Eastern Pacific 2015 Hurricane Season Predictions

 

End Of May Musings

Ok, so the first 2 Invests of the season never formed into storms and headed way west of us anyway. But the disturbance far south of us did turn into Hurricane Andres and he became a CAT 2 storm, luckily moving more west than north and never truly threatened Baja Sur. But Andres did cause our weather to change. Overnight lows 2 days before Andres were in the 60s and daytime highs in the mid 70s. After Andres, lows above 70 and daytime high yesterday was a crispy 87F, 12 degrees higher than before Andres. The humidity increased also.

It’s about 50-50 whether temps will return to as they were before Andres but the existence of another Invest in the same area that just spawned Andres likely means that our temps will not return to the cooler spring mode but will march on slowly towards the heat of summer. This is better than last year when if I recall correctly, we had our first named storm before the season officially began and from mid-May on, it was hotter than historical norms would dictate.

The center of Todos Santos is a jigsaw puzzle and a maze. Day to day, you have no way to know what streets are open for traffic and which are not. Worse yet, if you find your way in to town in the morning, there is no guarantee that the morning route will work in the afternoon when it’s time to leave town. It’s a mess and without a doubt, businesses are suffering. I suspect more than a few will not be able to afford the rent during the slow summer months.

Elections are next Sunday, June 7 and according to what I read online, liquor sales will stop for that Saturday through Monday. Usually restaurants and bars can continue to serve their clients (mostly tourists) but beer and liquor stores will be prohibited from making sales. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t find booze if you really want some, but it will be more difficult so if you plan to party through the election weekend, best to stock up ahead of time.