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Thursday, May 26, 2022

A record-breaking year for rain in Merida (and the year’s not over)

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State crews attempt to alleviate flooding in Merida’s Las Americas neighborhood. More than 600 houses are under water in the community. Photo: Courtesy

In the last seven days, rainfall has amounted to a third of what Merida normally gets in an entire year. But 2020 is not a normal year.

The year still has 82 more days to go and yet Merida has already broken its own annual record for precipitation.

The city has accumulated 1,474 mm / 58 inches of precipitation to date, beating 2013’s record of 1,418 mm / 55.8 inches, said Mayor Renán Barrera Concha.

A week of Cristobal’s June deluges was bad enough. Overlapping storms Gamma and Delta this month put the city over the top, he said.

For Merida, October historically brings an average rainfall of 107.6 mm / 4.2 inches. But the two monster storms alone brought down 338.3 mm / 13.31 inches of precipitation.

“This implies an increase of 215% so far this month,” the mayor remarked.

The rain has been difficult for the Peninsula to absorb. Not only neighborhoods and rustic paradores are drowning, but modern complexes such Merida’s two major golf courses, its shopping malls and reportedly the new Faro del Mayab hospital have been knocked out of commission by excess rainwater. The controversial Montejo underpass is filled with water again and even the Costco cenote is at high tide.

The year began with Yucatan under drought conditions. By April, residents were ecstatic to see rain.

When will it end? Assuming normal weather patterns resume, Yucatan’s dry season begins again in November, which is three weeks away.

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