Comparative Look at Yucatan Peninsula over Past Year – February 17th, 2009
These images portray the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, at various times over the past year.
The peninsula separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel.
As a whole, its land is extremely flat with little or no topographic variation. The exception is the Puuc hills, located in the southern portion.
In all of the images, an algal bloom is present along the coastline, particularly the southwestern portion. This bloom appears more intense in the later months.
There is a “jump” from June to November as the area was mostly obscured by clouds or hurricanes in all images taken during that period.
The average percentage of days with rain per month ranges from a monthly low of 7% in April to a high of 25% in October. Reflecting this low, the main image, taken in April, has the least cloud cover.
Like much of the Caribbean, the peninsula lies within the Atlantic Hurricane Belt, and with its almost uniformly flat terrain it is vulnerable to these large storms coming from the East.
In addition, strong storms called nortes can quickly descend on the Yucatan Peninsula any time of year. Although these storms pummel the area with heavy rains and high winds, they tend to be short-lived, clearing after about an hour.