August 31, 2006 was as normal as ever, head high waves and crystal clear skies. Early morning surfers enjoyed some rideable waves.
Although the storm basically missed Todos Santos, some damage was apparent by the morning of September 2. Highway 19 (which runs through the middle of Todos Santos) had been under repair for most of the summer and was still a dirt road when John struck. The callejon flooded as always, no surprises there. Lots of dirt roads have deep trenches in them caused by water runoff. But all in all, Todos Santos dodged a really powerful bullet.
Hurricane Marty took a good shot at Todos Santos and southern Baja. On Monday, September 22, we lost power and water at 3 a.m. while the storm was 30 miles south of Cabo San Lucas. Hard rain and high winds whipped through the early morning. By 8 a.m. Marty was 30 miles northeast of La Paz and we had our strongest winds, gusting to an estimated 90+ mph. The callejon flooded as usual. In town, roads were passable. Access to La Paz and Cabo was briefly interrupted. By Wednesday, September 24, city water was back on, but still no power. Friday, September 26, between 2 and 4 p.m. power was restored but by 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning, power and water were off again. On Saturday, September 27, in the mid-afternoon, both power and water were permanently restored and Todos Santos had weathered its second hurricane of this historic storm season. Business is back to normal. Overnight accommodations and lodgings including hotels and vacation rentals, restaurants and stores are all open for business.
Hurricane Ignacio did no lasting damage to Todos Santos. The streets were muddy but we were only without electricity for less than 24 hours, never lost telephone service, and life has quickly returned to normal. Overnight accommodations and lodgings including hotels and vacation rentals, restaurants and stores are all open for business.
Hurricane Juliet - September 2001 (photo courtesy CIMSS)
Rarely does Todos Santos experience a direct hit from a chubasco (hurricane) and the chances of a storm severely affecting Todos Santos are minimal. The town is not in the Eastern Pacific hurricane alley. Storms normally form way to the south, off the coast of Acapulco, and drift to the northwest, missing the Baja by hundreds of miles. But in September of 1996, the eye of Hurricane Fausto passed right over town. A category 3 storm, with 105 mph winds, Fausto did remarkably little damage. Trees toppled, debris flew and roofs suffered. There was no major water or flood damage. Electricity and water service were interrupted for a few days, but there was no direct loss of life and remarkably, the telephones continued to work throughout the storm.
Hurricane Fausto - September 1996 (photo courtesy OSEI)
"A mature hurricane is by far the most powerful event on earth; the combined nuclear arsenals of the United States and the former Soviet Union don't contain enough energy to keep a hurricane going for one day. A typical hurricane encompasses a million cubic miles of atmosphere and could provide all the electric power needed by the United States for three or four years."
From The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, ©1997, published by W.W.Norton & Company
The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea, by Sebastian Junger
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Chubasco season, officially June 1 - October 31, brings life-giving rain to the Baja Peninsula. La Paz and Los Cabos are more susceptible than Todos Santos due to the warmer water surrounding them. The greatest danger in Todos Santos is from the high surf. The pounding waves cause serious erosion. It is not a good time for swimming in the ocean, although surfers just love the intense wave action. The chance of tropical storms affecting the weather in Todos Santos is highest in August and September. Warm moist air is driven northward from the south and it rains frequently in the mountains, in La Paz and sometimes in Todos Santos too.
Hurricane Adolph - May 2001 (photo courtesy OSEI)
Locals anticipate the tropical storm season with excitement for it brings much needed rain to the area. The lightening and thunder storms over the mountains can be remarkable. In the event of heavy rains, roads out of Todos Santos may become temporarily impassable and electricity or water service may be cut off. It is wise to have extra water, food and batteries for flashlights during the chubasco season.
Frequently Asked Questions: Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Tropical Cyclones
Weather Underground Active Tropical Storm Map
Weather Underground Eastern Pacific Visible Satellite Image
Weather Underground Eastern Pacific Infrared Satellite Image
NOAA Satellite Graphics
NOAA Current Storm Info
NOAA East Pacific Tropical Weather Outlook (great tool for advance warning)
Current La Paz Weather (from NOAA)
Current San Jose del Cabo Weather (from NOAA)
Current Cabo San Lucas Radar (subtract 6 hours for Todos Santos time - from SMN)
Current Guasave Radar From Mexican Mainland (subtract 6 hours for Todos Santos time - from SMN)
Hurricane and Storm Tracking for Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
University of Wisconsin - Madison Tropical Cyclone Page
AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center - East Pacific
Tropical Storm Risk (risk forecasting for tropical storms)
CFE Tropical Weather for Mexico (in Spanish)
Mexican National Weather Service (in Spanish)
Baja Insider Hurricane Watch
eebMike's Baja Hurricane Site (includes Mexican radar images)Unisys Hurricane Site (current and historical data)
Yahoo! Tropical Weather
USA Today Hurricanes
University of Hawaii Tropical Weather Index
University of Hawaii Current East Pacific Hurricane Tracks
University of Hawaii Strike Probabilities for Cabo San Lucas
Weather Channel Tropical Update
Todos Santos is located on the Tropic of Cancer in the southern portion of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico just one hour
north of Cabo San Lucas and one hour south of La Paz. Long known as a cultural, artistic and agricultural center, the
town is a desert oasis, 1 kilometer from the Pacific Ocean at the foothills of the Sierra de La Laguna mountains. Since
the mid 1980's, the area has become a tourist / retirement destination and home to numerous art galleries, artists,
fine restaurants, elegant hotels, unique vacation rentals and local festivals.
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