Located off the southwestern coast of Mexico, Tropical Storm John and Tropical Storm Ileana are expected to become major hurricanes as soon as tomorrow. Although only Ileana is believed to brush the mainland, strong winds and flash flooding is a possibility and a hurricane watch has been posted between Michoacan and Jalisco.
According to Nasa, Tropical Storm John, the larger of the two, was created out of a tropical depression yesterday and this morning was reported as 335 miles from the coastline of Manzanillo and moving at 8 miles per hour. Warnings have been produced about deadly swells and very rough sea conditions in the area, however, it is believed that there is no major threat to coastal areas at this point.
Tropical Storm Ileana is currently 245 miles southeast of Manzanillo and is producing winds of up to 65 miles per hour. It is expected to make its way out to sea by Wednesday, however, both storms have good conditions for rapid intensification, claim weather reports.
Mexico’s hurricane season usually stretches between June and November, however, the strongest storms are often recorded around September and October due to the perfect hurricane climate conditions. Averaging around 23 storms per year, there have also been claims that the frequency of hurricanes throughout the seasons is believed to be increasing.
Although residents are used to hurricane season, it doesn’t mean that past storms and their devastation are forgotten. Although there have been fewer fatalities in recent years as opposed to Hurricane Janet in 1955 which killed over 1,300 people, hundreds of buildings and millions of dollars of damage is usually sustained each season. Recently the largest storm to hit Mexico took place in 2007 when Hurricane Dean hit Yucatán, though there were only 12 fatalities.
The anticipation of hurricanes in the area is not new. The Mayan god, Huracan, is believed to have controlled wind, storm and fire and was known as the ‘heart of the sky.’ A Mayan temple located in Tulum also possesses an inbuilt hurricane warning system that continues to work to this very day. According to The Yucatan Times, the temple has a number of holes which howl loudly when hurricane force winds are detected. Although the area now boasts modern hurricane monitoring systems, it offers a secondary confirmation to people within the area, and also reveals the ancient civilisation’s strong tie to nature.
The two current storms heading up the coast of Mexico are not believed to pose much of a threat and will disappear before the week is finished. At the same time, Hurricane Hector, which has been branded a category four storm is being monitored as it nears Hawaii although again, no major land threat is posed at this point.