Whether you’re planning on taking a vacation, moving to the area, or are already living in Mexico, you’ll want the answer to the question: when is hurricane season in Mexico?
According to weather trends in the past, Pacific hurricane season in Mexico begins in May and ends after the month of November, while Atlantic hurricane season begins in June and ends in November.
In this article, we’ll cover when hurricane season begins and ends in Mexico, what causes the hurricanes to form during that time, how often Mexico has experienced hurricanes, and a few more frequently asked questions relating to the topic!
When is Hurricane Season in Mexico?
Hurricane season refers to the months when hurricanes are most likely to form and remain active during the calendar year.
Hurricane season in Mexico differs depending on the hurricanes’ location, which can either come from the Pacific Ocean or the Atlantic Ocean.
The table below reflects commonly understood hurricane seasons in Mexico:
|Ocean||Active Hurricane Season|
|Pacific||May 15th through November 30th|
|Atlantic||June 1st through November 30th|
According to historical trends, the month of October and the month of September are the most likely to result in hurricanes in Mexico, especially on the Atlantic coast.
The History of Hurricanes in Mexico
Hurricanes and tropical cyclones have affected Mexico throughout history. When gauging the effect that hurricane season can have on this beautiful location, it can be helpful to understand the history of hurricanes in Mexico.
Mexico is made up of both a Gulf Coast and the Yucatan Peninsula, both of which see activity from Atlantic hurricanes. The biggest hurricane to effect these areas from the Atlantic is widely thought to be Hurricane Wilma.
Making landfall in 2005, during the most busy hurricane season in history, Wilma first affected Cozumel Island and then the Yucatan Peninsula. Wilma’s winds were at a force of 150 miles per hour, according to Hurricane Science.org, and the storm brought 62 inches of rainfall!
This hurricane brought $4.6 billion in agricultural losses and $7.4 billion in total damages to Mexico. After two days of churning through the Peninsula, it turned back out into the Gulf and strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane, going on to cause even more damage in Florida.
The amount of damage Hurricane Wilma did to Mexico in October of 2005 has served as a cautionary tale to those spending time in the country during hurricane season.
Other Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms of note that have struck Mexico include:
- Hurricane Dean – A Category 5 hurricane which made landfall on August 21, 2005, on Costa Maya, close to Majahual, a town in Yucatan. This hurricane cost over $200 million in terms of damage, wrecking multiple hundreds of properties and causing damage to the Costa Maya cruise port.
- Hurricane Emily – This hurricane landed in 2005 on July 10, striking the Yucatan Peninsula while a Category 4 storm. It was actually one of five storms active at the time, and the most powerful. It only caused 9 fatalities, but utterly destroyed more than one town, especially in Cozumel and Tamaulipas.
- Hurricane Opal – Hurricane Opal was formed in 1995 and did not advance to hurricane stage until it moved through the Bay of Campeche. It made landfall in October as a Category 4 hurricane, but caused damage to the Yucatan’s towns of Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas from flooding. It struck at the same time as Hurricane Roxanne!
- Hurricane Roxanne – Hurricane Roxanne struck around the same time as Hurricane Opal, landing at Category 3 strength to affect Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, and several other areas of the Yucatan with it’s 115 mile-per hour winds. It also caused a storm surge in the Gulf and was blamed for the sinking of a petroleum barge, causing 5 deaths out of the 245 passengers.
The portions of Mexico that have been historically affected by Pacific hurricane season are the southwest coast, including Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta.
When hurricanes impact these places negatively, the effect is exacerbated by the fact that it is the home of most of Mexico’s beach resorts and main tourism revenue.
In terms of history, by far the worst hurricane to hit Mexico from the Pacific is known as Hurricane Mexico. This seems to have been a once-in-a-lifetime event, since both Category 5 hurricanes and the rarity of hurricanes on the Pacific coast compared to the Atlantic: however, Hurricane Mexico was both!
Making landfall on October 27th in 1959, it is blamed for over 1,000 deaths and had winds up to 162 miles per hour. It destroyed many homes in the Jalisco state and caused a Colima landslide.
No other hurricane, including the more frequent Atlantic variants, has caused as much death.
Other noteworthy Mexico hurricanes from the Pacific are not as frequent, but include:
- Hurricane Pauline – Landing on October 8th of 1997 as a Category 3 hurricane, this hurricane caused more than 250 deaths and left over 20,000 people homeless. This is because it struck some of the most impoverished areas of Mexico with floods and mudslides that affected the Guerrero and Oaxaca states.
- Hurricane Beulah – Hurricane Beulah landed in September 20th of 1967 on the border of Mexico and the United States, causing significant damage to both Mexico and Texas. It caused the worst flooding in Mexico to date, but only claimed 38 lives and causing $100 million U.S. dollars in property damage.
A 50-Amp generator is one of the most cost-effective and convenient ways to power your RV or home when you’re off-grid.
Hurricanes can leave your home off the grid for a week or more. If you evacuate in an RV, you’ll need power too (and it may be a cloudy stretch of days for solar power).
Here below are the Best Generators for Hurricane Backup:
The Westinghouse 50-Amp RV generator can create 15,000 starting watts and 12,000 running watts.
With such an incredible amount of power, it’s no surprise that this is a behemoth of a generator and weighs 352 pounds.
Champion’s 50-Amp RV generator creates 15,000 starting watts and 12,000 running watts.
When you fill the 10.9-gallon tank with gasoline, you can expect nine hours of power. It’s a heavy generator at 330 pounds.
Hurricane Season Cancun FAQs
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions relating to hurricanes, their frequency, in Cancun and Mexico!
When is the best time to go to Mexico?
The best time to go to Mexico, according to climate trends, is early winter through late spring: specifically, after December and before the month of April is over.
During this time, the chances of rain decrease significantly, and the temperatures rarely get warmer than 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
What part of Mexico does not get hurricanes?
Although all of Mexico is susceptible to landfall by hurricanes, it is generally agreed that the valley of Puerto Vallarta is one of the safest places to go in Mexico in the event of strong winds and bad weather.
This is because the mountains create a natural barrier against the effects of both storm surges and harsh winds.
What month is hurricane season in Cancun, Mexico?
Hurricane season in Cancun begins in June and lasts through November. This means that it starts earlier than the average months of likely hurricane landfalls in the rest of Mexico, and ends around the same time.
What are the worst months to go to Cancun?
The worst months to go to Cancun, Mexico in terms of weather is during Cancun’s hurricane season: June, July, August, September, October, and November.
In terms of crowds, the middle of march and the very beginning of April caused Cancun to become stuffed with students on Spring Break!
What part of Mexico gets the most hurricanes?
The part of Mexico that suffers from the most hurricanes is the northwest and southern portion of the Baja California peninsula, as well as the Michoacan state and the Yucatan.
On average, more intense hurricanes of note hit the coast of the Gulf or Caribbean.
What months are the worst for hurricanes?
On average, no matter where you go in the world, including Mexico, the worst month for hurricanes is the month of September.
In the Atlantic, the hurricane season is considered to be June 1 all the way through the end of November. In the Pacific, hurricane season starts in May and ends around the same time, near the close of November.
Again, when averaging between the two seas, September is universally recognized as the worst month in terms of likelihood of hurricane landfalls.
Is Mexico safe during hurricane season?
According to meteorologist Dennis Feltgen, every part of Mexico’s coast is vulnerable to hurricane landfalls, but some places, like the sheltered cove of Puerto Vallarta, are safer than others in the event that one does come near to land.
Mexico does have plenty of places to take shelter from hurricanes, such as the capital, and moving inland when a hurricane nears any of Mexico’s coasts is a widely recognized way to stay safe during the dangerous seasons.
What is hurricane season in Puerto Vallarta?
Like much of the coast of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta’s hurricane season begins in June, peaks in September, and ends around October.
In conclusion, hurricane season in Mexico is divided into hurricanes that come from the Pacific ocean and hurricanes that come from the Atlantic ocean.
The Atlantic hurricane season begins in June and the Pacific hurricane season begins in May. Both hurricane seasons ending after November.
Pacific hurricanes are rare in Mexico, and their negative effects are the least prominent in sheltered areas like Puerto Vallarta.
Atlantic hurricanes are more common and have caused the most damage.
Though Mexico has suffered fearsome hurricanes in the past, it’s hurricane season trends are well documented so that you can travel prepared!
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