We saw a very light hurricane season in 2006…a welcome respite after Katrina, Stan, and Wilma brought havoc to New Orleans, Cancun, and Chiapas.
However, hurricane forecasters are predicting a very active 2007 season, with warmer than normal Atlantic and Caribbean waters contributing to an estimated 17 named storms.
The U.S. Atlantic basin will likely experience a very active hurricane season, the Colorado State University forecast team announced today, increasing its earlier prediction for the 2007 hurricane season.
The team’s forecast now anticipates 17 named storms forming in the Atlantic basin between June 1 and Nov. 30. Nine of the 17 storms are predicted to become hurricanes, and of those nine, five are expected to develop into intense or major hurricanes (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater.
If you’re traveling in the region this summer and fall, do make sure you’re ready for some wild weather. Travelers and TEFLers were caught off guard in Cancun in 2005 after Category 5 hurricane Wilma closed the airport and brought destruction to many beach front properties all along the Mexican Riviera.
|Monday, October 24, 2005|
CANCUN, Mexico – Mexicans and stranded tourists, hungry and frustrated after a two-day beating by Hurricane Wilma, stood in line to buy supplies Sunday or simply raided grocery or furniture stores, dragging goods from shops ripped open by the storm.
The hurricane’s steady march toward southern Florida meant an end here to two days of howling winds and torrential rains that shattered windows, peeled away roofing and sent the ocean crashing into hotel lobbies. The sun emerged over Mexico’s sugar-white Caribbean beaches.
But another kind of chaos took over, as police shot into the air to scare away looters from a shopping center, and looters responded by throwing rocks and chucks of concrete.
Downtown, officials feared looters would turn on tourists, so they quickly evacuated more than 30 foreigners from a downtown area overrun by people raiding stores. Military officials and police stood guard outside businesses and set up checkpoints to seize stolen goods.
“It’s chaos,” said fire official Gregorio Vergara. “They are taking things all over the city.”
One group of residents pushed carts against the boarded-up windows of a grocery store in an attempt to break in. At a convenience store, Cancun resident Alex Aguilar took batteries and aspirin.
“The window was broken, so we just went in and got what we wanted,” he said.
Others waited in long lines at the few stores that were open. Some American tourists without local currency offered $100 bills for $5 calling cards.
Meanwhile, military aid convoys rolled into the resort town, handing out bottled water and medical aid. City officials distributed food packages of rice, beans, crackers and cooking oil to people standing in lines that stretched for blocks.