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Hurricane Ignacio
(August 23 to 26th, 2003)

Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, México

August 26, 2003 - Recap

The Tropical Depression that was heading toward the Los Cabos region of Baja California Sur was upgrade to hurricane status early Saturday (August 23rd) morning. Hurricane Ignacio continued to gain strength as it proceeded north and only got as close as about 60 miles to Cabo San Lucas as it headed up the Sea of Cortez toward San José del Cabo, the East Cape and La Paz. The harbor was closed by the Port Captain early Saturday morning and re-opened on Sunday (August 25th) afternoon. The Cabo San Lucas area received light rains Saturday night and rather mild wind. On Sunday morning the eye was 45 miles east of San Jose del Cabo. The winds picked up later in the day and continued in the 20 to 25 MPH range with gusts to about 40 MPH throughout the night and into Monday but started to decrease in stength as the day progressed. It rained on and off Monday.

Tuesday morning Ignacio was downgraded to a Tropical Storm as it moves up the Sea of Cortez. Cabo San Lucas it is still partly cloudy tuesday morning but it looks like it will get much clearer as the day progresses. Life in Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo have pretty much returned to normal. We were very lucky that Hurricane Ignacio did not hit this area directly.

For a more detailed recap visit the Hurricane Ignacio update page on www.AllAboutCabo.com.

Hurricane Ignacio, was the one that wasn't for Cabo San Lucas and Los Cabos.
We were expecting huge amounts of rain and big seas.
It didn't happen - the hurricane came within 100 miles of us and then went into the Sea of Cortez, completely missing us here in Cabo San Lucas.

Saturday (August 23rd), a jittery Port Captain closed the Port, on a perfectly fishable day.

Sunday (August 24th) the Port remained closed, even though the seas were like glass. However by 2.00 pm Sunday the wind did pick up causing white caps, wind during Sunday evening peaked at around 50 mph.

By Monday morning seas were again calm and the Port was eventually opened amidst a smattering of rain. Total rain fall so far a little less than 2 inches!
Swells on Saturday afternoon no more than six feet.

Update provided by Tracy Ehrenberg - August 25, 2003
www.piscessportfishing.com <http://www.piscessportfishing.com>

Posted on Sun, Aug. 24, 2003
Hurricane Ignacio Sweeps Baja California
MARK STEVENSON - Associated Press

LA PAZ, Mexico - Hurricane Ignacio sideswiped the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula Sunday, battering the region with winds topping 105 mph as authorities closed the region's main airport and evacuated low-lying areas.

The hurricane gathered force as it pushed into the narrow Gulf of California and threatened to run across land along the tip of this desert peninsula sprinkled with golf courses and five-star hotels.

As the storm coasted north, the governor of Baja California Sur ordered the evacuation of low-lying areas in the state capital and fishing harbor of La Paz, 50 miles north of Cabo San Lucas.

"We are urgently asking all vessels to leave the harbor, as a safety measure," Gov. Leonel Cota said. "Everything indicates that we're going to feel the worst affects in La Paz. We know people don't really believe it yet, but there is a possibility that this could be a very risky hurricane."

While the hurricane's center remained over the gulf, tropical-storm force winds extended out 85 miles, buffeting the peninsula with wind and rain.

Ignacio, the first hurricane to form in the northeast Pacific this season, continued to gather strength over the warm waters of the gulf and could become a major hurricane before landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

It was expected to dump up to 15 inches of rain in its path, enough to trigger flash flooding and mud slides, the hurricane center warned.

By afternoon, the hurricane appeared to bypass the resort city Cabo San Lucas, known for its deep sea fishing, high-end golf courses and the arch-shaped rock formation off its main bay.

Los Cabos area authorities had closed the airport at San Jose del Cabo and evacuated as many as 500 people to inland shelters as winds off the coast accelerated.

People in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo stood in long lines to buy water, food and batteries. Police patrolled the streets and stores, guarding against price gouging.

But with winds fairly calm on shore, tourists came and went at the beach's luxury hotels.

"It's calm. There's no fear or anything like that here," said Ernesto Acosta, a receptionist at the Hotel Santa Fe in Cabo San Lucas.

For some tourists, the inconveniences began before dawn Sunday.

"We were supposed to go out fishing today," said Herb James, of Sierra Madre, Calif., and vacationing in La Paz. "But the captain called us at five in the morning to say the trip was canceled, the port was closed."

La Paz resident Cuauhtemoc Benitez said he welcomed the storm.

"The important thing here is that it rained," he said. "When it rains here, it is a party."

The hurricane took many by surprise, forming rapidly early Sunday from a relatively weak tropical storm.

Flo and Jim Rhodes, a retired couple from Scottsdale, Ariz., tied their motor yacht, Inspiration, to a dock as the wind picked up and rain started falling on the La Paz marina.

"We were out (at sea) when we heard the storm warnings," Jim Rhodes said. "So we decided to come back in."

Article from Bradenton Herald - www.bradenton.com

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Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico - Last Revision - 06 September, 2006 - jat