November 30 has marked the end of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Earlier in the year, forecasters had predicted between 16 and 20 named storms for the Atlantic.
Mexico’s National Meteorological Service reported that as of November 30, the season was over with a total of 21 named storms. Although it has been recorded as the third busiest, the season was extremely quiet for the state of Quintana Roo compared to the 2020 season that generated 31 systems.
The only system to affect the Cancun, Riviera Maya region this year was Hurricane Grace on August 19. The storm landed south of Tulum as a Category 1, leaving behind only minor damage.
Adrián Martínez Ortega, general director of the State Coordination for Civil Protection explained that on August 19, Grace made landfall south of Tulum as a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, but its broad cloud bands also reached the neighboring states of Yucatán and Campeche.
“This year, we had a very calm season compared to last year, where 31 cyclonic systems were formed and a new record was set, in addition to using the Greek alphabet. In 2021, there were 21 tropical systems in the Atlantic,” said Martínez Ortega.
“Tropical Storm Grace evolved into hurricane 1 on August 18, east-southeast of Cancun,” he said which lead to the evacuation of the coastal communities of Punta Herrero and María Elena in Felipe Carrillo Puerto as well as Banco el Chinchorro in Othón P. Blanco and Punta Allen in Tulum.
He said due to Grace’s trajectory, those communities were considered high risk. “The system entered through Tulum at 4:45 in the morning of August 19,” he detailed.
“At the time, it brought sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour and had gusts of up to 175 kilometers per hour, but it only left minor effects for Quintana Roo.”
While the 2021 hurricane season ended quietly, cold air masses began arriving from the U.S. somewhat earlier than usual. On September 23, Mexico had its first cold front arrive. The country has already seen 11 cold fronts, five of which, have affected temperatures along the Yucatan Peninsula.