Residents accustomed to Yucatán’s heat huddled under blankets and some likely resorted to wearing socks and wool caps to keep warm overnight.
Warmer weather should arrive by Thursday, but that doesn’t mean wintery weather is over. Rather, it could get worse, warns local weather forecaster Juan Vázquez Montalvo.
We’re already ending the coldest December in years, said Vázquez Montalvo.
Sunday morning was the coldest so far this year. Motul and the general henequen area held the record for the day, with 8C / 46F. The Centro woke up 13C / 55F, which feels even colder because of humidity in the 60-70% range.
“This is due to the cold air mass that was intense, which accompanied the 23rd cold front of the season,” he told local media. “However, it is expected that in the next few days its intensity will decrease.”
Computer models show that it could get even colder in January and February, he said.
The 2020-2021 winter season may be one for the record books. Of the 55 cold fronts predicted, half should reach the Yucatan Peninsula.
“It has been proven that the lowest temperatures on the Yucatán Peninsula occur in January, with a record of 5C / 41F in the city of Mérida that was recorded in 1971,” he said.
Vázquez Montalvo indicated that all this will depend on the intensity with which the cold fronts arrive, and on the composition of the Arctic polar cold air mass, which is what causes the so-called heladez yucateca, or Yucatán ice-cold effect (or ice cream, under some translations).
Few homes in Yucatán are equipped with heaters or fireplaces to ease the chill.