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Stormbringer: Tropical Storm Ida Makes Move Towards the Mexican Caribbean
Filed under: Cancun Casa Blog, Cancun Tourism, Tropical Storm Ida
Posted by: Dangers @ 9:14 pm

Tropical Storm Ida, Courtesy of the NOAA

Updated: Saturday, November 7, 2009*
In what had become one of the calmest hurricane seasons in recent memory for the Western Caribbean, a late coming storm, Tropical Storm Ida is making waves and threatening the relative calm of the Caribbean Sea. At this point in time, Stormbringer Ida has appeared to have cleared the coast of Honduras and is starting to once again strengthen and reform itself as it moves slowly out into the Western Caribbean, southeast of the Mexican Caribbean and Belize. TS Ida is expected to remain a tropical storm according to most meteorological reports, failing to reach the level of hurricane intensity by the time the storm reaches the Mexican coast but warm water, the gasoline of all tropical storms, is prevalent in the Caribbean this early November, and there is a chance the storm fueled by warmer waters may reach low level hurricane strength by the time it reaches the Mexican Yucatan, projected right now for sometime Sunday afternoon.

*Officially as of 10 AM EST Saturday, the government of Mexico has issued a hurricane watch for Tropical Storm Ida. The latest Advisories from the NHC are available at: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT1+shtml/071452.shtml

* Tropical Storm Ida is now projected by the NHC to reach low category hurricane status (Category I ) sometime within the next 24 hours, she is not expected at this time to sustain wind speed above Cat I prior to reaching the Gulf of Mexico.



Stormtracker Map, Courtesy of Weatherunderground

  Currently, the Civil Protection Agency of Mexico has issued a weather bulletin announcing a “Green Alert”* (See Update Below) in their color coded warning system for the Mexican Caribbean. The Green Alert symbolizes potential tropical weather activity is expected within 48-72 hours and is a low warning level alert that asks people to monitor the storm and to be prepared to seek shelters if necessary. Maritime interests in the area are under advisement to seek safe harbor as the storm approaches and the large Sand Dredger Kaishuu, along with other vessels involved with the Cancun Beach Restoration Project are anticipating making safe harbor offshore of Cancun at Isla Mujeres when the time comes though as of today, work continued on the project even as Tropical Storm Ida beckoned from a distance.

 * As of midday Saturday, the Quintana Roo State Civil Protection  Director  has issued a Yellow Alert indicating a tropical storm approach is imminent (36-28 hours) and preparation should be finalized. (Based on current reports the storm could actually now be within 24 hours of approach due to advance speed since last reports and it would not surprise us to see the Alert level advance to the Orange status in the very near future.)

 * Reports on Saturday indicate that the Kaishiuu and her two barges will likely attempt to make port at Progreso, Yucatan due to the inability of the harbors on Isla Mujeres to accommodate the ship and her sister barges. As of Saturday, the beach restoration work in Cancun has been suspended due to the impending storm and likely will not restart for the better part of week.* 

 Here at Cancun Casa, we advise travelers and locals alike to monitor the major weather reporting agencies, particularly the National Hurricane Center or NHC:Tropical Storms . We would also appreciate folks noting that Tropical Storm Ida while briefly a Category One Hurricane, is fluctuating between a tropical depression and tropical storm currently, and is not expected to reach major hurricane strength while in the Mexican Caribbean based on current reports. However, please do continue to monitor the storm and keep abreast of the latest news. Common sense would dictate that people traveling allow time for potential delays at airports and other venues.


 Based on current reports from the NHC and other agencies, Tropical Storm Ida is expected to be a heavy rainmaker with high wind gusts that will help churn up the local surf and shut down most small boating craft for a period of a few days or so, damage to beach areas may be expected along with dangerous water conditions. Authorities in Quintana Roo, the home state of Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel are expected to elevate the current Green Alert status to a Yellow Alert sometime Saturday to indicate the storms further approach.  The Q. R. State Civil Protection Director, in a report from regional newspaper, Diario de Yucatan, is stating that he anticipates Tropical Storm Ida to bring rain to the region from late Saturday through and including Wednesday of next week with the heaviest of the rainfall expected between late Sunday and Tuesday. Mexican Authorities are also opening their new Tourist Positioning System to foreign embassies and major travel agencies to allow, presumably, the quick location of foreign nationals, if necessary, visiting Cancun and other major tourist areas along the Riviera Maya during the course of the storm.  Hotel occupancy in the area is approximately 40% in the current low season.

*As of Saturday morning, officials in Cancun are reporting that tourist reservations are being maintained as scheduled and that occupancy is expected to increase to between 48-50% over the weekend. The Cancun International Airport reports no cancellations of flights though expects potential delays due the heavy rains expected from the storm. As per Por Esto News in Cancun, 28,000 to 30,000 tourists are expected to be vacationing in Cancun during the course of the storm. As of this update, officials in Cancun expect the effects of the storm to be minimal in Cancun and along coastal Quintana Roo’s developed Riviera Maya area, including the Islas, based on the most current information available from official weather reporting government agencies, and do not foresee the cessation of major tourist operations (Hotel, Airport,Businesses). They do however urge through the official alerting system that all people with interests, living or traveling within the region, monitor official sources until the storm clears the area. Notably, there’s no guarantees associated with tropical storms, their strengths and movements, short of the most recent official reports and people in the area should be prepared for any contingencies should the reports change.

More as it becomes available…

Coming out of nowhere, driving like rain, stormbringer dances on the thunder again…



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