The heat wave that hit Texas and other parts of the United States has also brought triple-digit temperatures across Mexico, especially in the country’s northern states.
The conditions have raised concerns about the possibility of a sharp increase in deaths and illnesses caused by rising temperatures, as well as the stress placed on the energy grid.
Mexico has signed up at least 112 heat-related deaths so far this year, with more than half of those occurring in one northern state, Nuevo León, according to the health ministry. This compares with just four recorded heat-related deaths same time last year across the country.
The arrival of rain in recent days has brought relief to some places in Mexico, while the « heat dome », formed by high pressure atmospheric conditions combined with climate patterns in the Pacific Ocean, it moved from Mexican territory into the southern United States.
However, boiling temperatures are searing parts of northern Mexico. Temperatures in the northwestern Mexico city of Hermosillo are expected to hover around 109 degrees over the weekend, after rising to 121 degrees on Sunday, among the highest temperatures recorded anywhere in the world that day.
Mexicali, across the border from Calexico, Calif., is expected to hit 117 degrees in the next few days.
Rafael Trejo Vázquez, deputy director of forecasts at Mexico’s national weather service, said a 22-day spell of abnormally warm weather that finally subsided last week was the first heatwave since 2017 to last that long. long.
« It’s not normal, » said Trejo Vázquez, explaining that this was the third heat wave to hit Mexico this year.
Sweltering conditions are fueling conflicting accounts of the impacts on heat-stricken communities, reflecting how even a blistering heatwave is a politically sensitive issue in Mexico. Local authorities in parts of the country have provided alarming estimates of heat-related casualties, only to have high-ranking officials discredit their assessments.
A civil registry official from the state of Nuevo León, a highly industrialized state in northeastern Mexico, said on Tuesday there had been 850 heat-related deaths in the state in recent weeks. But the state government he promptly issued a denial.
Subsequent reports of heat-related deaths have indicated much lower figures. In Nuevo León, health officials said Wednesday they had recorded 36 heat-related deaths, including 20 on June 11.
At the same time, rising temperatures resulted in record electricity consumption during the first three weeks of June. People across the country have complained of recurring blackouts and power outages, even as the federal government has tried to downplay those reports.
The authorities of the city of Chihuahua, in northern Mexico, said so increased demand for electricity resulted in power outages affecting dozens of wells that account for about 30% of the city’s water supply. The outages have left some residents without water this month during a heatwave.
Similarly, an association of hotels in the Mexican Caribbean, including Cancún, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres, complained last week that power outages had cut off the supply of drinking water to some of Mexico’s top tourist destinations.
In other parts of the country, however, power outages have caused increased demand on hotels. News shown that in parts of central Mexico’s San Luis Potosí state, families have booked hotel rooms in neighboring municipalities after disruptions made it unbearable to stay at home without fans or air conditioning.