Home Headlines Mexico endures extreme heat wave just days before presidential election

Mexico endures extreme heat wave just days before presidential election

by Yucatan Times
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Mexico has been sweltering under extreme temperatures for weeks, as 98 million voters across the country prepare to elect a new president.

Mexico City posted new heat records for May 17 and 26, with highs above 90F (32C) and overnight lows in the 60s, said Paul Pastelok, a meteorologist with commercial forecaster AccuWeather Inc. Normally at this time of year the capital would have highs in the 70s and overnight lows in the 50s, he said.

Only one night all month has dropped into the 50s. “That is impressive,” Pastelok said. The city tied heat records on May 23, 24 and 25.

Mexico’s presidential candidates have been in the final week of campaigning, with former climate scientist Claudia Sheinbaum allegedly polling ahead of opposition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez to be the country’s next leader on June 2. The candidates have thanked supporters for turning out despite the heat. Both have promised to tackle the threats of climate change.

“Last year, we had the hottest summer ever and everything suggests that either we have to give up our addiction to fossil fuels, or the planet will die,” Gálvez said in a recent TikTok video.

Along with Mexicans, billions of people around the world are voting in elections at a time the planet has never been hotter. Summer has yet to begin in the Northern Hemisphere, and ongoing global heat waves have already pushed oceanic temperatures to new highs for the last 13 months. The first four months of 2024 were Earth’s warmest on record.

Across parts of India, which is in its final phase of general elections this week, temperatures have neared 50C (122F). Temperatures hit 47C on Monday in northwest India and at least one weather station reported 49.4C, according to the India Meteorological Department.

Summer’s first day will arrive June 20 in the north half of the planet, but by then new highs will have been set, taxing power grids and crops; adding to civil unrest across the hemisphere; and leading to the possibility that 2024 will see a return of the natural disasters that arrived with the worst of 2023’s heat.

This year Mexico has been plagued with not only heat, but also drought, which will continue for at least a few more weeks, according to AccuWeather’s Pastelok. The annual monsoon that usually starts in southwestern Mexico in May has been nonexistent this year, which has added to the extreme conditions. There is a chance that tropical moisture coming in off the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico will bring the country much-needed rains and cool temperatures.

At a campaign event in the Mexican state of Durango on May 21, Sheinbaum pledged to reform the national distribution of water to help ranchers and farmers crippled by the drought that’s hit agricultural communities. “Water will come to the state of Durango and the rest of the country,” she said.

TYT Newsroom

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