Storms force planes to reroute from Cancun to Mérida

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A look into the weekend’s likely storm-development area. Source: NOAA

Heavy rains, which threaten to develop into a subtropical or tropical storm this weekend, on Thursday triggered an Army response in Quintana Roo.

At least seven flights headed to Cancun were diverted to Mérida, which was only on the edge of the weather system.

The military activated its DNIII-E plan, which establishes shelters and patrols neighborhoods, while a low-pressure system lingered.

Rain is forecast to continue today on the Peninsula.

The two most prominent weather models suggest that the small cluster of thunderstorms near Cancun will move into the Gulf of Mexico by late Saturday.

If the storm gets strong enough to become a subtropical or tropical storm, with sustained winds of at least 63 kph/39 mph, it will be named Alberto.

The wet weather is a harbinger of the coming hurricane season, but doesn’t necessarily indicate a busy season.

Echoing preliminary reports, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States (NOAA) reported that the Atlantic will see near-average, or just-above average, storm activity in 2018.

According to the forecast, 10 to 16 named storms will form. Of those, five to nine develop into hurricanes. One to four of those could become major hurricanes.

The season for hurricanes in the Atlantic affects the Yucatán because they often initiate in the Caribbean Sea and then cross or graze the Peninsula.

A weak El Niño effect is credited for the decline in predicted hurricanes. Earlier forecasts warned of a more active season, as many regions still grip with damage from 2017’s hurricanes.

The hurricane season begins June 1 and last through November.

With information from Diario de Yucatán, NOAA

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