Category 1 Hurricane Norma makes landfall near Los Cabos while Puerto Vallarta continues to recover from Hurricane Lidia.
Hurricane Norma, initially predicted to hit Nayarit, made landfall near Los Cabos resorts instead. According to a Facebook post by Noticias de la Bahía on October 13th, "Meteorological models predict cyclone formation and Nayarit would again be on the trajectory. A tropical disturbance will begin to form in the Pacific Ocean starting this Sunday, October 15, and could reach hurricane status; Its trajectory points again to the State of Nayarit, according to interactive climate models. It is expected that on Friday the 20th, it will be off the coast of Colima, possibly still as a Tropical Storm, and on Saturday the 21st it will reach hurricane status off Jalisco, while continuing on its path towards Nayarit, where it would impact on Sunday the 22nd."
Thankfully, Puerto Vallarta locals are relieved to know that the impact of Hurricane Norma on our area have been minimal, with possible rain and abnormally large waves being the biggest concerns. As a precaution, authorities have temporarily removed the famous Puerto Vallarta sign from the malecon, and popular beachfront restaurants like El Barracuda have suspended their usual beachfront service.
An employee at Elektra in the 5 de Diciembre neighborhood expressed gratitude that Puerto Vallarta would be spared, while also sending well wishes to those in Baja California, saying "Hopefully they are safe and the hurricane isn't too strong for them."
According to CBS News, Hurricane Norma made landfall near Los Cabos on Saturday afternoon and was downgraded to a tropical storm by Saturday evening. The storm, once a Category 4 hurricane, hit as a Category 1 with winds of 80 mph near el Pozo de Cota, west-northwest of Cabo San Lucas. Norma is expected to continue weakening as it crosses into the Sea of Cortez. The National Hurricane Center reported that Norma was 30 miles northeast of Cabo San Lucas, moving northeast at 6 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. Heavy rains and flash flooding were predicted to continue over the weekend for Baja California Sur.
Noticias de la Bahía shared photos on Facebook showing flooding in Lo de Marcos, a small town about 30 minutes north of Sayulita. In the photos, a local could be seen navigating flooded streets in a kayak. The director of Municipal Civil Protection of Bahía de Banderas, Paola Maldonado, confirmed the flooding and stated, "Due to Hurricane Norma, we only have high waves on all coasts. A red flag and surveillance are maintained on all our beaches in Bahía de Banderas. In Marcos, there is a special street that every time there are high waves, the sea rises to the street, but so far we have no reports."
The extent of the damage in Baja California is still being assessed. However, Puerto Vallarta can be grateful that the hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical storm, and the community can continue to focus on the clean up and repairs from the damage caused by Hurricane Lidia and its remnants during the week of October 10th.
For those planning a trip to Vallarta, locals say, "bienvenidos," and eagerly await your visit as the community prepares for the much anticipated high season after an especially challenging low season. Please keep in mind that the city is still recovering from one of the strongest hurricanes Mexico has ever experienced. While the people in Puerto Vallarta are resilient, welcoming and friendly, extra patience (and extra tips) are greatly appreciated during this time.