Sancti Spíritus: An In-Depth Analysis of the Recent Storm Phenomenon in Cuba
The Storm’s Arrival and Its Impact
The city of Sancti Spíritus in Cuba recently witnessed significant and intense rainfall, accompanied by thunderstorms, which lasted approximately four to five hours. This inclement weather event was due to the presence of a trough and a low in the upper troposphere, which significantly destabilized the region’s weather conditions. The resultant conditions led to numerous rains and thunderstorms, particularly in the inland and southern areas, which were strong and even locally intense.
The storm was characterized by the great intensity and persistence of its electrical discharges, a phenomenon associated with an upper low, which often results in thunderstorms. The most significant precipitation was recorded at La Felicidad dam in Jatibonico, which received 110.2 millimeters of rain, followed by Taguasco with 86.5 millimeters, and Jatibonico with 75.0 millimeters. Other areas such as Higuanojo dam, Siguaney dam of Taguasco, the meteorological station of Trinidad, and the city of Sancti Spíritus also experienced substantial rainfall.
Sancti Spíritus: More than Just a Drop in the Ocean
In the case of Sancti Spíritus, it received a total of 80 millimeters of rain between dawn and sunrise, including an additional 20 millimeters that fell in the morning after the closure of the report. This rainfall was not included in the initial statistics. Experts predicted that the current weather conditions would continue to be favorable for showers, rain, and thunderstorms, mainly in the southern half of the province in the afternoon and evening. They also forecasted rainfall activity for the following Tuesday, but perhaps not with the same characteristics as the recent occurrences.
Cuba’s Weather History: A Look Back
Cuba, an island country located to the east of the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, has experienced the effects of at least 54 Atlantic hurricanes or storms that were once tropical or subtropical cyclones, including 37 since 2000. These storms have collectively claimed the lives of 5,613 people, most of them related to a powerful hurricane in 1932. A powerful hurricane, potentially a Category 5, moved across Cuba on October 10, 1846. The high winds destroyed crops, houses, and nearly every boat in Havana harbor, killing dozens to hundreds of people across Cuba.
Recent Storms and Their Impact
In recent years, Cuba has been frequently impacted by storms. For instance, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Cuba on September 27, 2022. As of June 2023, severe flooding in the eastern parts of Cuba resulted in at least one fatality and displaced thousands of residents. These floods occurred in the provinces of Granma, Las Tunas, Santiago de Cuba, and Camagüey after heavy rain from June 8-9. The Instituto de Meteorología de Cuba (INSMET) reported 360 mm of rain in 24 hours to June 9 in Bartolomé Masó and 280.3 mm in Jiguani, both in Granma Province. Contramaestre in Santiago de Cuba Province recorded 248 mm and Vertientes in Camagüey Province experienced 237 mm during the same period.
Preparation for Future Storms
Given the frequency and intensity of storms in the region, preparedness measures are crucial. It is essential to monitor weather conditions closely, especially during the hurricane season, and heed warnings issued by meteorological agencies. Additionally, infrastructure improvements and investments in early warning systems can help minimize the impact of these weather events. As climate change continues to intensify, such measures become increasingly important in ensuring the safety and well-being of Cuba’s inhabitants.
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