The bulletin from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) told the population to be calm, and explained the natural reasons behind the extreme weather affecting the country.
Shredded publicity on the corner of Cuauhtémoc and Durango, in Mexico City. Video: CAPITAL MEDIA/Jesús Velázquez.
Fallen tree on the corner of Reforma and Chivatito, in Mexico City, being disposed of by authorities. Video: CAPITAL MEDIA/Jesás Velázquez.
Schools, however, were closed in Mexico City and the State of Mexico, and the Public Security Secretariat shared a long list of incidents spread across the first half of today: 67 seven fallen trees –600 in total since the winds started, according to mayor Mancera– and 20 fallen branches, 9 cables and 5 traffic lights affected, 16 vehicles damaged, 2 light poles down, a billboard falling to the street, and many more damages including short-circuits or broken windows, adding up to 139 incidents due to rain and wind.
This surprising winter storm is not a cause for concern, according to the UNAM, should move east of Mexico city by tomorrow and may even be useful to replenish water reserves. Its causes are the intensity of high and low pressure masses of air leading to the eleventh seasonal winter storm, and the natural phenomenon known as “El Niño”, which led to its downward movement form north to south.
“El Niño” is a natural oscillation that augments superficial temperature in the central equatorial Pacific, implying a 1 degree augmentation on average but having reached 2 or 3 degrees on this occasion.
This abnormality has led to an alteration of normal weather patterns in almost all parts of the atmosphere: it moved the low pressure system towards Ecuador, caused rain, low temperatures and intense winds naturally pertaining to intense winter storms.
The winter storm is the result of the cold front getting caught between air currents, while its cold nucleus is fueled by the humidity coming from the tropics, causing the extreme weather being experienced by the Mexican population.
Communications and Transportation Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza announced that highways were mostly unaffected, with federal personnel taking care of risks caused by fallen trees and snow.
Among the dangers the Secretariat is attending are illegal billboards, mostly present in the center of the country, whose frail metal structures can represent a danger to the population and are being removed by authorities.
DAMAGES ACROSS THE COUNTRY
The unusual weather has implies that today strong rain in many states, affecting Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Veracruz, Tabasco, Oaxaca, Yucatán, Chiapas and Campeche.
Snow could reach the mountaintops of states such as Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila, Zacatecas, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo, Aguascalientes, Oaxaca, Morelos, Estado de México,Guanajuato, Michoacán, Jalisco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala,Veracruz and Puebla.
Winds could reach up to 70 and 80 kilometers per hour in certain states.