|Three tropical systems have triggered deadly floods in many parts of Central America over the last week [AFP]|
The arrival of three tropical systems in barely a week has brought flashfloods and mudslides into much of Central America. Hurricane Jova, Tropical Depression 12 and most recently, the remnants of Tropical Depression Irwin, have all caused widespread devastation to the region.
If that wasn’t enough, we are now we are faced with the possible formation of yet another tropical disturbance. However, unlike the other storms, this one did not develop in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
So far, Guatemala has been hit hardest in terms of fatalities. At least 23 people are known to have died here alone. The region as a whole has reported 70 deaths so far, with many people still missing.
That number is likely to rise further because much of the area is still enduring torrential downpours. On Sunday, Liberia in Costa Rica reported 121mm of rain in 24 hours. Coatzacoalcos in southern Mexico had 127mm of rain in the same period. In between, Guatemala airport received a further 80mm of rain, adding to the widespread flooding that was already in place.
It is likely that the rain along the spine of Central America will ease somewhat over the next few days. That is because much of the atmospheric energy will gradually shift its focus to the Gulf of Mexico.
Northern Cuba is already seeing very heavy rain. Cabo San Antonio, Pinar Del Rio had 141mm of rain on Sunday. This came from a large, slow moving area of low pressure which has now developed near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, between Cancun and the western tip of Cuba.
This area of low pressure is becoming better organized, and the National Hurricane Center currently gives a 60 per cent chance of this system developing into a named storm. If it does so, it will be called Rina.