Hurricane Blanca Makes Landfall

Hurricane Blanca’s winds hit Loreto around 3am, easily waking me. Storm anticipation is a sure sleep-wrecker. The electricity went off / then on again. I pulled open the slider and shuddered at the power of the wind and the dark dark night. No stars nor moon could pierce the heavy cloud cover.

I walked out onto the beach – no rain yet, just strong winds and pelting sand. The seas were frothy in the muted light, a virtual blackened plane punctuated with surging waves and white caps. The sound of the wind, it’s force and the darkness, were unsettling. Already, the scent of mud-washed arroyos permeated the air.

At 4am, satellite imagery showed the now diminished hurricane bearing down on Puerto Cortez, the western tip of the peninsula before spreading into Bahia de Ulloa and Bahia San Juancio. The storm made landfall as a tropical storm around 8am Baja Sur time, with increasing winds and falling rain.

Blasting winds, steady at 25-34 mph with gusts clocked at 46 mph, bent trees and shrubs as morning spread her light, have kept birds fluttering for cover, and pelicans struggling to remain afloat in the storm driven seas.

Blanca still churns her energy slight south of Loreto – the lean of the palm  revealing the location of the heart of the storm. Most recent imagery indicates that the bulk of the rain has been deposited, and what remains is a wildly windier afternoon.

This display of nature’s force fuels a celebration in me – as witness the power of wind and sea and storm – while remaining grateful, that from a Category 4 hurricane just 3 days ago, Blanca’s presence here in Loreto has been that of a Tropical Storm.

The Thing About Hurricanes ….

The thing about hurricanes is that you wait.  You wait.  And you watch.  And you wait.

You watch the forecasts. You follow the track.  You read winds and rainfall predictions.  And you wait.

Increasingly accurate science guides minute by minute revised assessments.  Aircraft fly into the heart of the storm, measure the winds, the barometric pressure … Weather crew assess surrounding patterns – how point of high and low pressure will affect the movement of the storm.

And you wait.  A sunny morning grows cloudy. Then clears. Then darkens again.  The rises.  Then falls.  You watch the tides. Time landfall land with wind speed predictions.

This time, this early .. Hurricane Blanca ‘appears’ to bear wind and rain, and will approach land as tropical storm, her energy spent as she enters cooler waters.  A glancing blow.  A prayer or two.

And you wait ….