The Hurricane History of the Baja
A wise man once said “The price of paradise is hurricanes and mosquitoes.”
Thankfully here in Cabo both are very rare. The climate is so dry that mosquitoes are very rarely a problem unlike other Mexican resorts (such a Cancun for example) and on the few occasions that they do appear they are short lived and not numerous. This is great news because not only do most travellers not get bitten, they are not exposed to mosquito borne diseases such as malaria or dengue.
Hurricanes are equally scarce although, being below the Tropic of Capricorn, they are still a consideration. Very few have posed a threat as a “direct hit” however and the most likely outcome will be a few days of heavy rain or higher than usual winds. To put it into context, the heavy rains experienced in August 2012 were the first in over a decade!
So the chances of anything raining on your parade and spoiling your vacation is extremely low.
The history of hurricanes and tropical storms in the area is interesting however:
• August 14–15, 2000: Tropical Storm Ileana briefly threatened the southern areas of the peninsula before suddenly turning out to sea. Large waves caused by the storm likely impacted the coast of that area. No damage or deaths were reported.
• September 30, 2001: Tropical Storm Juliette made landfall near San Carlos. It caused damage and heavy rainfall throughout the peninsula; Cabo San Lucas was "clobbered", with it being cut off from the rest of Mexico for several days. Juliette caused two deaths in or near the peninsula. A maximum of 39.8 in (1,010 mm) fell in Caudaño, the highest known total ever recorded from a tropical cyclone in the sate.
• September 19, 2002: Tropical Storm Iselle briefly threatened Baja California on September 19, before dissipating about 55 mi (90 km) offshore the next day.
• August 25, 2003: Hurricane Ignacio made landfall on the peninsula. Heavy rains caused a flood that swept two rescue workers to their deaths.
• September 22, 2003: Hurricane Marty made landfall near San Jose del Cabo. A total of 4000 houses were destroyed with disruption to boats in the area. The hurricane was responsible for significant flooding and storm surges. Five deaths were reported and 6,000 people were affected. Total damage from the storm was $100 million.
• Early September 2004: Outer rainbands from Hurricane Howard produces heavy rainfall.
• September 19, 2004: Tropical Depression Javier made landfall on the peninsula. Flooding rains damaged portions of a highway.
• July 19, 2005: Tropical Storm Eugene came within range of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. Tropical storm watches were issued for the area around Cabo San Lucas for most of the day, but the storm moved away without affecting land.
• September 30-October 3, 2005: Hurricane Otis approached close to the peninsula. Flooding was the only impact.
• July 27–28, 2006: Tropical Storm Emilia passed close to the peninsula, causing isolated reports of gale-force winds and minor flooding and damage.
• September 2, 2006: Hurricane John made landfall on the peninsula. Winds and rain caused heavy damage throughout the peninsula. John killed five people. Damage in Mexico amounted to $663 million (2006 MXN, $60.8 million 2006 USD).
• October 23–25, 2006: Tropical Storm Paul passed close to the peninsula. High surf caused two deaths.
• September, 2007: Hurricane Henriette caused a person to drown in surf south of the peninsula.
• September 2007: The remnants of Hurricane Ivo produces rain without any major impact.
• August 25, 2008: Tropical Storm Julio makes landfall on the peninsula, causing flooding that kills one person.
• September 11, 2008: Tropical Depression Lowell made landfall on the peninsula. No damage is reported.
• October 11, 2008: Hurricane Norbert became the strongest hurricane to hit the western side of the Peninsula. Two towns were nearly completely damaged, with heavy flooding and storm surge reported. Officials estimated that damages from the hurricane was MXN 8.8 billion ($650 million). The worst damage occurred in the municipality of Comondú where 16,000 residents reported damage to their homes.
• September 2, 2009: Hurricane Jimena ties Norbert's short–lived record as is one of the most intense hurricanes to make landfall on the Pacific side of the peninsula. Prior to the arrival of Jimena, civil defense authorities in Los Cabos announced that they would have to evacuate 20,000 families from their homes.The storm later causes widespread flooding and damage, and kills one person. Damage from the storm amounted to MXN$800 million (US$59.8 million).A total of 35,000 were reported to have been left homeless.
• Early October 2009: The remnants of Tropical Storm Olaf cause rain on the peninsula.
• October 14, 2009: Tropical Storm Patricia threatens the southern tip of the peninsula, without causing any appreciable impact.
• October 18 and 19, 2009: Waves from Hurricane Rick kill two people on the peninsula.
• September 20, 2010: Tropical Storm Georgette makes landfall near San Jose del Cabo
Most tropical cyclone impacts occur in the month of September on average. This coincides with the statistical peak in the eastern north Pacific hurricane season, which occurs in early September or late August. Although hurricane season in the eastern north Pacific officially runs from May 15 to November 30, no known tropical cyclones have impacted the peninsula in May, June, November, or outside the season.
Number of storms affecting
the Baja California Peninsula
For up to date hurricane information you can check out the NOAA site here http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/?epac