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      Characteristics of tropical cyclones making landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico: 1970-2010

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          Abstract

          This study evaluates impacts from tropical cyclone (TC) landfalls on populated areas located along the Pacific Ocean coast of Mexico. The period of interest is from 1970 through 2010 and an international disaster database is used to identify the impact from the landfalling TCs. More than 30 landfall events occurred during the period; we examined the top 25 TCs based on rainfall accumulation, as well as the top 10 TC-related disasters based on the affected population. Each event resulted in affected population from 20 000 to more than 800 000. Strong winds and heavy rainfall, during periods of one to three days, are associated with property damage and loss of lives. Our results indicate that excessive rainfall accumulations and daily rates, over highly populated areas, are important elements associated with the occurrence of disasters. Six of the top 10 TC-related disasters occurred during El Niño and three during neutral conditions; however, looking at the top 25 events, 10 occurred during El Niño and 10 during neutral conditions. Three case studies that occurred during El Niño events (Liza in 1976, Pauline in 1997, and Lane in 2006) are documented in more detail as they affected areas with different population densities in the southern and northwestern coasts of Mexico.

          Translated abstract

          Este estudio evalúa los impactos de los ciclones tropicales (CT) que tocaron tierra en áreas pobladas a lo largo de la costa del Pacífico mexicano. El periodo de interés abarca de 1970 a 2010 y se utiliza una base de datos internacional de desastres para identificar dichos impactos. Se registraron más de 30 eventos durante el periodo de referencia, de los cuales se examinan los 25 que acumularon mayor precipitación, así como los 10 que causaron mayores daños a la población afectada, que en estos casos varió de 20 000 a más de 800 000 habitantes. Vientos fuertes y precipitación intensa en periodos de uno a tres días se asociaron con daños materiales y pérdida de vidas humanas. Los resultados del estudio indican que las acumulaciones excesivas de lluvia y su intensidad diaria son elementos importantes vinculados con la ocurrencia de desastres en áreas densamente pobladas. Seis de los primeros 10 CT asociados con los mayores desastres ocurrieron en condiciones de El Niño y tres en condiciones neutrales; sin embargo, al examinar los 25 CT asociados con la precipitación acumulada, se observó que 10 de éstos ocurrieron en condiciones de El Niño y 10 en condiciones neutrales. Tres casos ocurridos en eventos correspondientes a El Niño (Liza en 1976, Pauline en 1997 y Lane en 2006) se documentaron con más detalle debido a que afectaron áreas con densidades poblacionales diferentes en las costas del sur y noroeste de México.

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          Most cited references 30

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          The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project

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            Censo General de Población y Vivienda 2005

            (2005)
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              Atlantic Hurricane Season of 2005

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Journal
                atm
                Atmósfera
                Atmósfera
                Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, UNAM (México )
                0187-6236
                April 2013
                : 26
                : 2
                : 163-182
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada México
                [2 ] Universidad de Costa Rica Costa Rica
                [3 ] Departamento de Oceanografía Física México
                Article
                S0187-62362013000200004

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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                Product Information: website
                Categories
                Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences

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