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Landfalling Tropical Cyclones along the Eastern Pacific Coast between the Sixteenth and Twentieth Centuries

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  • 1 Graduate Program in Earth Sciences, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
  • | 2 Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
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Abstract

Numerous studies have been conducted to document long-term trends in tropical cyclone (TC) activity. However, the eastern Pacific has not received as much attention as other basins. Here the authors attempt the identification of TC formation in the Mexican eastern Pacific Ocean before 1950. Using bibliographical and historical file consultation, they constructed a catalog of events related to intense storms and possible TCs that made landfall on the Mexican Pacific coasts. Between 1536 and 1948 they found a total of 119 events related to TCs. Then, using the Saffir–Simpson scale and the climatology of the region as the criteria to evaluate each event, they found 85 TCs. Furthermore, they constructed a historical time series of TCs between 1701 and 2010. The spectral analysis showed periodicities of ~2.6, 4, 5, 12, 16, 39, and 105 years that coincide with some large-scale climatic phenomena and also with solar activity. In particular, the ~12-yr cycle is the most persistent periodicity in this study.

Corresponding author address: Marni Pazos, Departamento de Ciencias Espaciales, Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City 04510, Mexico. E-mail: marni@geofisica.unam.mx

Abstract

Numerous studies have been conducted to document long-term trends in tropical cyclone (TC) activity. However, the eastern Pacific has not received as much attention as other basins. Here the authors attempt the identification of TC formation in the Mexican eastern Pacific Ocean before 1950. Using bibliographical and historical file consultation, they constructed a catalog of events related to intense storms and possible TCs that made landfall on the Mexican Pacific coasts. Between 1536 and 1948 they found a total of 119 events related to TCs. Then, using the Saffir–Simpson scale and the climatology of the region as the criteria to evaluate each event, they found 85 TCs. Furthermore, they constructed a historical time series of TCs between 1701 and 2010. The spectral analysis showed periodicities of ~2.6, 4, 5, 12, 16, 39, and 105 years that coincide with some large-scale climatic phenomena and also with solar activity. In particular, the ~12-yr cycle is the most persistent periodicity in this study.

Corresponding author address: Marni Pazos, Departamento de Ciencias Espaciales, Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City 04510, Mexico. E-mail: marni@geofisica.unam.mx
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