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Hot and wet for visitors from June through October...
plus seven milder months of frequent and sometimes mighty winds from the North !
 
present weather at the port of Veracruz


Centro de Prevision del Golfo de Mexico
 

Who cares about the weather ?

Weather records are invaluable for the planning and construction of industrial developments, agriculture, cattle, farming and urban, tourism and harbor developments as well.

In a world weather map one can only appreciate the general characteristics of a region but, when it comes to a region, local weather may vary considerable according to certain minor topographic characteristics like the slop of a mountain or the proximity of woods. Depressed portions of land may trap pockets of  cool dense air creating a local phenomenon or as in wooden lands where vegetation slow winds down creating mild temperatures and increased humidity.

Among others, the above mentioned reasons support the establishment of weather stations in certain regions.

First meteorology station on the continent

The Gulf of Mexico Forecasting Center (Centro de Prevision del Golfo de Mexico) is one of those and most likely the first meteorology station on the continent.

Its increasing importance paralleled the increase of maritime commerce between Europe and the "new world". Right after the conquer of Mexico the loss of fragile vessels had the spaniards to reckon the dangers of the strong winds from the North that regularly blew over the Gulf of Mexico during fall, winter and  spring. Thus, during the colonial era a meteorology post was established with what was available at the time in the San Juan de Ulua island in front of Veracruz, this post served on until 1916.

From 1790 to 1803, Veracruz Harbor Master Don Bernardo de Orta recorded valuable data that was to be included later on in a book containing an investigation of the weather in the "Nueva España" by its author Baron Alejandro de Humboldt, because he considered those thirteen years of recorded data, the largest register he found in America.

At the end of 1916, the meteorology station was transfer to an area in the building of the former lighthouse Venustiano Carranza.

From 1931 and supported by telegraphy, more general information was gathered and the station started to forecast under the name of "Centro de Prevision del Golfo" from then on the Center was reckoned by its good performance mainly due to the man in charge Mr. Ernesto Dominguez Aguirre.

In need of more space, the center was transfer on July 31st, 1952 to the then newly built nautical school "Fernando Siliceo" where it remained until April 3rd, 1974 when it was moved to its own premises on the eight floor of the Harbor Services building.

Weather forecasting takes experience... 
the Center acquired prestige probably through the steady and prolonged direction of  several of its men in charge.
Ing. Daniel Larraga
1916
Ing. Rafael Lucio
1917
Ing. Octavio Fernandez de Castro
1918 to 1921
Ing. Ernesto Dominguez Aguirre
1922 to 1969
Prof.. Cesar Luna Bauza
1970 to 1997
LCA Federico Acevedo Rosas
1997 to date 

The Center was moved once again in 1992 to a part of what used to be the Hacienda de Ylang Ylang, near to the Mocambo area in Boca del Rio, where it is still to date.

To produce its weather forecast three times a day through radio, television and other media, the Center gathers information mainly as a result of two of its most important activities:
Meteorology Station:
At this department, meteorology local variables at ground level are measured and recorded 24 hours a day, among others: temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, rain, evaporation, sun light and wind speed and direction.
Sampling of upper atmosphere:
Twice a day, every day, a balloon with instruments is released to gather information and learn and forecast the stability conditions of the local atmosphere up to 15 kilometers of altitude above the Veracruz region. Dew point, temperature, humidity and wind speed and direction are among the variables recorded.

Strong winds from the North

The state of Veracruz has two weather seasons, rain and hurricane season from June to October and "Nortes" (Strong winds from the North) that run from September to May.

During the rain season, the northern half of the Veracruz State is also exposed to hurricanes, not so the port of Veracruz located on the southern half of the state, where very few hurricanes have hit the harbor in this century. North winds however, originating in the Arctic, swept down past Canada and the USA to the south of the Gulf of Mexico altering weather all along the east shoreline of the country, North winds may last from 24 to 48 hours or even longer, reaching 150 kilometers an hour occasionally so that during the annual North wind season, this phenomena strikes the Veracruz harbor some 30 times a year in average.

The risk of damage caused by these North winds on the western half of the Gulf of Mexico have made mariners and sea side population somehow dependent on the Center's weather forecasting ability, to closely follow weather changes in the region.

Hurricanes

Not very often, as in other lattitudes, but hurricanes have hit the State of Veracruz.

In September 2nd, 1552 the first hurricane recorded hit La Antigua, from then and until the year of 1993 a total of 41 hurricanes has hit the State.

Out of those 41 hurricanes during the last 441 years, only 7 have come directly into the Port of Veracruz:
 

The Port of Veracruz has been right in the path
of only 7 hurricanes: 
Nr.
Name
Date
1
Unnamed
September 2nd, 1552
2
Unnamed
September 8th, 1888
3
Unnamed
 September 26th, 1926
4
Unnamed
September 16th, 1931
5
Unnamed
October 3rd, 1932
6
Janet
September 29th, 1955
7
Tropical depression
June 15th, 1961

Interested in hurricanes in the area? find out more at:
http://www.hurricanecity.com/

main page
El Radar Meteorológico se emplea para la medición y seguimiento de fenómenos atmosféricos constituidos por agua,
en forma de lluvia, granizo y nieve principalmente. La ventaja de un radar meteorológico es equivalente al empleo de
cientos de pluviometros distribuidos a lo largo de la zona de cobertura del radar, que transmiten la información en
tiempo real. El radar tiene ademas la posibilidad de realizar estudios de volumen de la nube, a diferentes cortes o
secciones, así como de dar seguimiento y estudio de fenómenos severos como huracanes. El Radar meteorológico es
sin duda una valiosa herramienta con tecnología de punta con que cuentan los Meteorológos para realizar los
pronósticos del clima.

La Red Nacional de Radares Meteorológicos esta formada por 12 radares, 7 de estos son nuevos con tecnología
completamente digital marca ERICSSON con la facilidad de controlarlos remotamente por medio de software que lo
automatiza totalmente, los 5 restantes fueron adaptados de tecnología analógica a digital marca EEC, todos están
provistos con el sistema Doppler, lo que permite conocer la velocidad y la dirección del blanco.

Todas las estaciones de Radar cuentan con un sistema ininterrumpible de energía, sistema de protección contra
incendios y un sistema de comunicaciones vía satélite con el centro colector de datos que se encuentra ubicado en las
instalaciones del Servicio Meteorológico Nacional en la ciudad de México, en donde se analiza, se procesa y se
almacena toda la información. La red proporciona una cobertura aproximada del 70% del Territorio Nacional, las
coordenadas geográficas, su altitud sobre el nivel del mar así como FOTOS de las Estaciones de Radar.