Saturday, June 15, 2024

Mexico’s wild weather weekend: extreme heat, strong winds and hail

Residents of central Mexico may have thought they were accompanying Dante through the Inferno in a freakishly wild weekend for weather.

Extreme heat, destructively strong winds and a consequential hail storm — all accompanied by flooding — tormented central Mexico beginning on Friday.

People take water bottles from a shopping cart on an extremely hot day in Mexico City
Mexico City continues to break records in what feels like the city’s hottest spring season in history. (Edgar Negrete/Cuartoscuro)

In a “be careful what you wish for” moment, residents of the city of Puebla, who may have been wishing for relief from the heat wave, were stunned by a wicked storm that pounded them with hail for 30 minutes on Friday afternoon.

The squall covered streets in up to 50 cm of accumulated hail, nearly burying several cars in one neighborhood, toppling trees and producing flooding across the Historic Center and the northwestern part of the state capital.

Winds of up to 50 km/hr collapsed the roof of an auto dealership and a department store, knocked trees onto a housing project, blew over billboards and caused a power outage.

City and state civil protection agents were out in force to survey the damage and assist the public in digging out from the hail drifts. Police rescued a young girl who was being swept away by floodwaters, but no casualties were reported.

Residents of Puebla shared videos of the intense rain and hail storm on social media.

 

On Sunday, strong winds knocked over tarpaulins at campaign events in two municipalities of México state, causing dozens of injuries.

Meanwhile in Mexico City, capitalinos sweltered in the extreme heat all weekend. Sunday was the third consecutive day in which a record was set. The mercury hit 33.8 degrees Celsius (93˚F), which is a new all-time record for May 26. 

A day earlier, the temperature topped out at 34.7C, surpassing the all-time record set on May 9. Friday’s high also climbed above 34C, setting a new record for May 24.

National Meteorological Service (SMN) data confirms that record-setting temperatures are likely to continue through June, the newspaper Debate reported on Sunday. Mexico’s current heat wave — the third of an expected five heat waves this season — has seen temperatures above 45 C in parts of the country.

The Monday morning forecast from SMN warned that 19 states will experience extremely hot temperatures this week. Intense storms and high winds remain in the forecast for northern Mexico, where gale-force winds destroyed a stage at a political rally on Wednesday, killing nine people and injuring dozens.  

The temperatures up north are expected to ease slightly in the coming days, according to the weather site Meteored, but tropical humidity will arrive in its place. The emerging weather system will bring heavy rains in parts of central and southern Mexico, and states in the west and northwest should be prepared for extremely high winds.

With reports from La Jornada, El Financiero, Debate and Meteored

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