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Marni Pazos and Blanca Mendoza

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.

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Blanca Mendoza, Victor Velasco, and Ernesto Jáuregui

Abstract

A catalog containing an unprecedented amount of historical data in the southeastern part of Mexico covering almost four centuries (1502–1899) is used to construct a drought time series. The catalog records information of agricultural disasters and includes events associated with hydrometeorological phenomena or hazards whose effects were mainly felt in the agricultural sector, such as droughts. An analysis of the historical series of droughts in southeastern Mexico for the period 1502–1899 is performed. The highest drought frequency occurred around the years 1650, 1782, and 1884; no droughts were reported around 1540, between 1630 and 1640, along the largest time lapse of 1672–1714, and between 1740 and 1760. From 1760 until the end of the period of study droughts definitively occur more often than they did from ∼1550 to 1760. In addition, most droughts lasted for 1–2 yr. Analyzing the frequencies of the drought time series it is found that the most conspicuous cycles are ∼3–4 and 7 yr, although cycles of ∼12, 20, 43, and 70 yr are also evident. The relation between droughts and El Niño events indicates that 38% of droughts are associated with El Niño. Sea surface temperature changes, the Southern Oscillation index, and solar activity leave their signals in the southeastern part of Mexico, with the signs in Oaxaca clearer than in the Yucatan Peninsula. However, the dominance of some phenomena over others depends on the time scales considered.

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Blanca Mendoza, Ernesto Jáuregui, Rosa Diaz-Sandoval, Virginia García-Acosta, Victor Velasco, and Guadalupe Cordero

Abstract

A catalog containing an unprecedented amount of historical data in central Mexico, covering almost six centuries (1450–1900), is used. This is a catalog of agricultural disasters that includes events associated with hydrometeorological phenomena, or hazards, whose effects were mainly felt in the agricultural sector, such as droughts. An analysis of the historical series of droughts in central Mexico for the period of 1450–1900 is performed. Periods of frequent drought centered at the years 1483, 1533, 1571, 1601, 1650, 1691, 1730, 1783, 1818, and 1860 have been identified. In particular, droughts in Mexico City and northwest Mexico that were identified through poor tree-ring growth are included in the frequent drought periods obtained in this work. Moreover, it was found that droughts occurred in El Niño years mainly for events of very strong and strong strengths, at a significant level. Also, most droughts lasted for 1 or 2 yr. Last, by analyzing the periodicities of the drought time series it was found that those that are the most conspicuous are the quasi-bidecadal frequencies of 18.9 and 21 yr.

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