Right on time, heavy rainfall starts the last week of May and continues into the first part of June. This is also the hottest and most humid time of year as well. Mérida experiences tropical storms as well as hurricanes. It’s important to know when is hurricane season in Mérida Mexico?
Hurricane season is June through November.
While the actual season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30, hurricanes do happen outside of this time frame. The National Hurricane Center has the ability to both predict and track these massive storm systems. On average, these storm systems occur 12 times annually in the Atlantic basin.
- 1 How often do hurricanes occur in Mérida Mexico?
- 2 What is the difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane?
- 3 Storm terminology, warnings, and watches
- 4 Weather in Mérida Mexico is most humid during rainy season
- 5 Where are the main hospitals and clinics in Mérida Mexico
- 6 14 emergency items for hurricane season in Mérida Mexico
How often do hurricanes occur in Mérida Mexico?
Due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Mérida experiences hurricanes about every 15 years. The last two hurricanes were Wilma in October of 2005 and Isidore in 2002. Therefore when hurricanes happen in the Yucatan Peninsula, it is possible for them to hit Merida as well. The last two hurricanes to hit the state capital were Isidore in 2002 and Wilma in 2005.
So let’s take a closer look at the two most recent hurricanes in Mérida Mexico:
- Wilma was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean with wind speeds up to 282 km/h. Massive losses for agriculture and tourism happened when it hit the Yucatan coast in several places. Thousands of people were evacuated and some areas had electrical outages for weeks. In Mexico, it left 19 dead and almost $10 billion in damage.
- Isidore was the strongest hurricane in the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season. Isidore moved slow over Mexico killing 22 people and about $1.3 billion in damage.
What is the difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane?
In my first hurricane season, I experienced Tropical Storm Cristobal. Massive flooding throughout Merida and the surrounding communities and villages occurred. As it gained strength, warnings went out that it may turn into a hurricane. Fortunately, it did not.
The main difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane is the sustained surface wind speed.
News flash . . .
Just two weeks after this powerful storm ripped through Mérida and the Yucatan, many are still without electricity. Homes, businesses, and other establishments flooded to dangerous levels. Even in my neighborhood, the water rose to a height above sidewalks. Rapidly rising water also poured into the front entrances of many homes and stores. Fortunately, I only had a few leaks in my roof and did not sustain any noteworthy damage.
I’ve never been in a hurricane before however there were many tornadoes in West Texas where I grew up. The preparation process is quite similar as both of these storms can be devastatingly destructive.
Storm terminology, warnings, and watches
Tropical Cyclone – developing over tropical or subtropical water, a tropical cyclone is comprised of multiple thunderstorms.
Tropical Depression – a tropical cyclone of sustained surface winds with a one-minute average and 38 mph or less.
Tropical Storm – areas of extremely low pressure where air rises and causes low pressure on the earth’s surface of sustained surface winds with a one-minute average and between 39 mph and 73 mph.
Hurricane – a tropical cyclone of sustained surface winds of 74 mph or greater.
Typically, tropical storms and hurricanes increase in August, peak in mid-September then decrease by early November.
Tropical Storm Watch – issued when conditions including wind speed pose a possible threat to a specific coastal area within 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Warning – issued when conditions including wind speed are expected in a specific coastal area within 36 hours or less.
Hurricane Watch – issued when sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are possible within the specific area of the Watch. A watch is issued at least 48 hours in advance so that people can prepare accordingly for tropical-storm-force winds.
Hurricane Warning – issued when sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are expected within the specific area of the Warning. A warning is issued at least 36 hours in advance so that people can prepare accordingly for the onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
It’s important to note that if dangerously high water and/or exceptionally high waves continue, the Hurricane Warning can remain in effect.
Weather in Mérida Mexico is most humid during rainy season
Moreover becoming familiar with the weather in Mérida will also help you with the sometimes harsh seasons. Since Mérida is inland and has low elevation, it is typically a few degrees hotter than in neighboring coastal areas. Located in the northwest corner of the Yucatan Peninsula, you can expect to use your air conditioner for most of the year. Read more about the weather in Merida.
The temperature normally ranges between 63 F and 97 F; rarely dropping below the mid-50s or soaring above 103F. While most rain falls in September with a total accumulation of 7.3 inches, July is a close second with an average of 6.3 inches.
What’s more, between June and October rainfall accounts for about 80 percent of the city’s 40 inches of annual precipitation. Humidity is high during the rainy season but generally does not rise above 76%. The least rain falls around March with an average total accumulation of 0.7 inches.
You’ll notice that rainy season is also hurricane season in Mérida Mexico.
Where are the main hospitals and clinics in Mérida Mexico
Whether you need medical assistance during hurricane season or not, it is important to know about the medical facilities and staff, hospitals, and clinics.
There are many American expatriates in Mérida. Because of this, there are hospitals and clinics here to provide a variety of services to expats with English speaking doctors in Mérida Mexico with English speaking staff available too.
If you think you need a hospital or clinic, here are a few of the most popular ones:
Faro del Mayab
Phone: 999 689 4500
Location: Calle 24 s/n x 7 y 7A – Col. Santa Gertrudis Copó (97115)
Centro de Especialidades Médicas or CEM Sureste
Phone: 999 920 4040
Location: Calle 60 #329-B x 35 – Centro (97000)
Phone: 999 930 2880
Location: Calle 26 #199 x 15 y 7 – Col. Altabrisa (97130)
Clínica de Mérida
Phone: 999 942 1800
Location: Av. Itzáes #242 – Col. García Ginerés (97070)
Website: www.clinicadeMérida .com.mx
Centro Médico de las Américas or CMA
Phone: 999 926 2111
Location: Calle 54 #365 x 33A y Avenida Pérez Ponce – Centro (97000)
If possible, have your medical history with you. You’ll also find private hospitals in Mérida, Mexico like StarMedica and Clinica Mérida will accept anyone who can pay. Don’t take it for granted that your medical insurance will also cover emergencies or procedures while you are out of the country.
But that’s not all . . .
While the cost of living in Mérida is extremely affordable, it is worth exploring travel insurance as well especially during hurricane season in Mérida Mexico.
14 emergency items for hurricane season in Mérida Mexico
Above all, you will have some notice of a tropical storm or hurricane.
My best advice: prepare in advance so that you are not in a panic or can’t find essential items. It may also benefit you to compose a list or timeline of what to do in the event of an emergency.
Here’s my timeline:
- Fully charge all electronics including phones, back-up power packs, laptops, etc.
- Place all important papers, personal items, and jewelry in zip-lock bags. Then place in another large trash bag. Ensure it is airtight.
- Gather all towels and place them in trash bags.
- Find candles, towels, lighters, and matches and place them in ziplock bags.
- Place liquids such as soap, detergent, hand-sanitizer, vinegar, Clorox, mosquito and bug spray, etc. in an upright container such as a crate.
- Ensure I have enough water in plastic containers for a minimum of 2 weeks.
- Remove all glasses, dishes, and other breakables from high shelves.
- Clean out “safe room” and outfit with chairs, blankets (in trash bags), and other essential items. My safe room is the laundry room which is in the middle of the house and protected from glass. It has storage shelving where I can place all of my emergency and essential items during a storm. If you don’t have a laundry room, choose a closet or another room towards the center of your home.
- Locate battery-powered AM/FM radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
- Place canned food, drinking water, can opener and other food items in a lidded container.
- Collect plastic bags and any other bags from around the house (useful to use for many things during a storm).
- Gather all medications, pain relievers, first-aid kit items and place in ziplock bags.
- Get clothes and shoes arranged such as tennis shoes/closed-toed shoes, t-shirts, jeans/long pants and jackets. I have at least 3-4 changes of clothes with me and 2-3 pairs of shoes, all closed-toe.
- I fill all buckets and large containers with water from the pool and keep in the bathrooms. I’ve learned that you can use the toilet in Merida even if you lose water or electricity. Simply pour a full bucket of water down the toilet and it clears the contents. if this does not work, line the toilet with trash bags that you can remove as needed.
Once you experience your first tropical storm, you will have a better idea of what else you might need to help you stay safe and comfortable. To discuss how others prepare for the weather here, join other expats and locals on Life in Merida: Visitor & Resident Resources