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Drought in Yucatan could become most severe in 3 decades

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Juan Vázquez Montalvo. Photo: Facebook

Day upon day of sunshine has a downside: Yucatan is heading towards it most intense drought in 34 years.

According to the weather forecast models, this year’s critical situation is comparable to the droughts of 1986 and 1962, said UADY meteorologist Juan Vázquez Montalvo.

When the Peninsula goes dry, wildfires are a higher risk, and some have even begun. February to May is Yucatán’s dry season, and also when farmers traditionally burn land to clear it for crops.

But this is an urban crisis, as well.

“The theory of climate change tells us that extraordinary meteorological events will occur in large urban spots,” said Vázquez Montalvo. “Therefore, Merida will be the city where the hot environment and high temperatures throughout the southeast of Mexico will suffer the most.”

“Everything indicates that the 2020 dry season will be the strongest since 1986,” he stressed, noting that this year’s dry season ties in with that of 2019 and part of 2018, when less-than-average rainfall fell.

“What is causing it? We do not know. The explanation may be a cycle that is repeating itself, because the atmosphere lives cycles,” said the specialist, who for more than two decades — until his retirement — was head of the Laboratory of Hydraulics and Hydrology and responsible for the UADY Meteorological Center.

The temperatures in the rest of March will be up to 39C / 102F, according to weather forecast models. Meanwhile, local Maculís trees flowered in February, a month early, and ceibas bore fruit prematurely. Ants are stockpiling food in their nests, which the professor calls a very bad omen.

Source: Diario de Yucatan

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