Stormy Weather at Cabo San Lucas: Tropical Storm Information
Three hundred days out of the year, the weather is clear and sunny over Cabo San Lucas. While full-force hurricanes are rare, the area’s weather is often affected by tropical storms to the south during the rainy season, in the late summer. During this time, it’s not uncommon for several inches of rainfall to accumulate in just a few hours. The rainstorms are intense and short, and the sun usually comes out again soon afterwards.
Most of the time, Cabo San Lucas catches the edge of the storm and suffers little more than intense rain and wind. However, tropical storms do sometimes hit straight on. The storms follow the warm ocean currents of the Eastern Pacific, usually forming to the southwest of Mexico and moving off toward Hawaii. However, if the warm Pacific currents shift north towards Los Cabos, the storms will follow.
Warm ocean currents sometimes shift north because of El Niño weather conditions. In 1997, the El Niño effect was particularly severe, and the weather at Cabo San Lucas was affected by two of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded in the area. Hurricane Guillermo came close enough to damage the coastline in August. In September, Hurricane Linda missed Cabo San Lucas by 300 miles—but was still strong enough to cause significant flooding and giant waves.
In September of 2001, Hurricane Juliette hit Cabo San Lucas full-force. This resulted in some of the most severe weather seen in years. Thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed. Roads and airports were closed for days, and hundreds of tourists were stuck while they were repaired.
In September of 2003, Hurricane Marty bypassed Cabo San Lucas by a narrow margin and hit La Paz straight on. While the damage to buildings wasn’t extensive in Cabo San Lucas, the severe weather did knock out power lines, phone lines, and water mains in the area. One man died as a result of the storm, and the city had to use heavy machinery to remove the debris.
In July of 2006, Tropical Storm Emilia brought rain and severe winds at over 70 mph. Roads were flooded and damaged, but buildings and resorts were not seriously damaged. Cabo San Lucas closed its marina for two days, but most businesses were not affected by the dramatic weather.
The most recent storm to hit Cabo San Lucas occurred in September 2006. It veered north at the last minute, ultimately landing thirty miles to the north of San Jose del Cabo. In all, Cabo San Lucas suffered weather no more severe than strong winds and some torrential rain. No businesses or resorts reported serious damage, and nobody was injured or killed.
The weather in Los Cabos is usually sunny—stormy weather is a rarity. However, when you’re vacationing near the equator, it’s best to be prepared for anything. You never know what unexpected turns the weather will take.