Bay of Campeche

The Bay of Campeche (Spanish: Bahía de Campeche), or Campeche Sound, is a bight in the southern area of the Gulf of Mexico. It is surrounded on three sides by the Mexican states of Campeche, Tabasco and Veracruz. The area of the bay is 6,000 square miles (16,000 km2) and maximum depth of the bay is approximately 180 feet (55 m). It was named by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba and Antón de Alaminos during their expedition in 1517.

Bay of Campeche
Bay of Campeche

Oil Resources

The Cantarell Complex of five oil fields lies beneath the Bay of Campeche. In 2003 it was the second most productive oil field in the world, then supplying about two thirds of Mexico's crude oil output, but it went into a steep decline soon thereafter.

On June 3, 1979, Ixtoc I, an exploratory oil well located in the bay, suffered a blowout that caused a catastrophic explosion, resulting in what has been ranked as the third largest unintentional oil spill in history.


Malecon campechano 2
Bay of Campeche

During the months of June and July, the Bay of Campeche is considered one of the "hot" breeding spots for Atlantic hurricanes.[1] On the other hand, the bay is also known for being a hurricane "graveyard", with unusually weak steering currents in the area causing hurricanes to slow down and meander, starving themselves (for example, Hurricane Roxanne in 1995). The bay is also considered the eastern border on the main migration routes for birds in the Americas.[2]


Coordinates: 20°00′N 94°00′W / 20.000°N 94.000°W

Campeche catshark

The Campeche catshark (Parmaturus campechiensis) is a catshark of the family Schyliorhinidae. It is known only from the holotype, a 15.7 cm immature female found in the northwestern Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico. The specimen was collected at 1,057 m, a depth beyond current and probably future fishing pressure in the region. The reproduction of this catshark is oviparous.

Grijalva River

Grijalva River, formerly known as Tabasco River. (Spanish: Río Grijalva, known locally also as Río Chiapa and Mezcalapa River) is a 480 km (300 mi) long river in southeastern Mexico. It is named after Juan de Grijalva who visited the area in 1518. The river rises in Chiapas highlands and flows from Chiapas to the state of Tabasco through the Sumidero Canyon into the Bay of Campeche. The river's drainage basin is

134,400 km2 (51,900 sq mi) in size. Because of the close connection to the Usumacinta River (the two combine, flowing into the Gulf of Mexico in a single delta), they are often regarded as a single river basin, the Grijalva-Usumacinta River.

After flowing from Nezahualcoyotl Lake, an artificial lake created by the hydroelectric Malpaso Dam, Grijalva River turns northward and eastward, roughly paralleling the Chiapas-Tabasco state border. It flows through Villahermosa (where, in 2001, a new cable-stayed bridge was constructed to cross the river) and empties into the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) northwest of Frontera. The river is navigable by shallow-draft boats for approximately 100 mi (160 km) upstream.

Guatemalan Highlands

The Guatemalan Highlands is an upland region in southern Guatemala, lying between the Sierra Madre de Chiapas to the south and the Petén lowlands to the north.

The highlands are made up of a series of high valleys enclosed by mountains. The local name for the region is Altos, meaning "highlands", which includes the northern declivity of the Sierra Madre. The mean elevation is greatest in the west (Altos of Quezaltenango) and least in the east (Altos of Guatemala). A few of the streams of the Pacific slope actually rise in the highlands, and force a way through the Sierra Madre at the bottom of deep ravines. One large river, the Chixoy or Salinas River, escapes northwards towards the Gulf of Mexico. The relief of the mountainous country which lies north of the Highlands and drains into the Atlantic is varied by innumerable terraces, ridges and underfalls; but its general configuration is compared by E. Reclus with the appearance of "a stormy sea breaking into parallel billows". The parallel ranges extend east and west with a slight southerly curve towards their centres. A range called the Sierra de Chamá, which, however, changes its name frequently from place to place, strikes eastward towards Belize, and is connected by low hills with the Cockscomb Mountains; another similar range, the Sierra de Santa Cruz, continues east to Cape Cocoli between the Polochic and the Sarstoon; and a third, the Sierra de las Minas or, in its eastern portion, Sierra del Mico, stretches between the Polochic and the Motagua rivers. Between Honduras and Guatemala, the frontier is formed by the Sierra de Merendón.

In addition to the streams which break through to the Pacific, a number of larger streams which drain to the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Sea have their sources in the highlands. The Motagua River, whose principal head stream is called the Rio Grande, has a course of about 250 miles, and is navigable to within 90 miles of Guatemala City, which is situated on one of its confluents, the Rio de las Vacas. It empties in the Gulf of Honduras, an arm of the Caribbean. Of similar importance is the Polochic River, which is about 180 miles in length, and navigable about 20 miles above the river-port of Telemán. A vast number of streams, among which are the Chixoy, Lacantún, and Ixcán, unite to form the Usumacinta River, which passes along the Mexican frontier, and flowing on through Chiapas and Tabasco, falls into the Bay of Campeche. The Grijalva and its tributaries the Cuilco and San Miguel rivers drain west into the Chiapas Depression, and from there into the Gulf of Mexico. Lake Atitlan is a land-locked basin encompassed with lofty mountains. About 9 miles south of Guatemala City lies Lake Amatitlan with the town Amatitlán.

The highlands have a long occupational history, with many Maya archaeological sites that include Zaculeu, Kaminaljuyu, Iximché, Mixco Viejo, Q'umarkaj, San Mateo Ixtatán, Chitinamit and many more.

Gulf Coast of Mexico

The Gulf Coast of Mexico or East Coast of Mexico stretches along the Gulf of Mexico from the border between Mexico and the United States at Matamoros, Tamaulipas all the way to the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula at Cancún. It includes the coastal regions along the Bay of Campeche. Major cities include Veracruz, Tampico, and Coatzacoalcos.

Hurricane Bret

Hurricane Bret was the first of five Category 4 hurricanes that developed during the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season and the first tropical cyclone since Hurricane Jerry in 1989 to make landfall in Texas at hurricane intensity. Forming from a tropical wave on August 18, Bret slowly organized within weak steering currents in the Bay of Campeche. By August 20, the storm began to track northward and underwent rapid intensification on August 21. After this period of strengthening, Bret attained its peak intensity with winds of 145 miles per hour (233 km/h) and a barometric pressure of 944 mbar (hPa; 27.9 inHg). Later that day, the storm weakened to a Category 3 hurricane and made landfall on Padre Island, Texas. Shortly thereafter, the storm weakened further, becoming a tropical depression 24 hours after moving inland. The remnants of the storm eventually dissipated early on August 26 over northern Mexico.

Along the Texas coastline, Bret threatened several cities, prompting 180,000 residents to evacuate. Numerous shelters were opened throughout the region and prisons were evacuated. Several days prior to the storm's arrival, the NHC issued hurricane watches, and later warnings for areas near the Texas–Mexico border. Several major roads leading to barrier island towns were shut down to prevent residents from crossing bridges during the hurricane. In nearby Mexico, roughly 7,000 people left coastal areas in advance of the storm. Officials also set up hundreds of shelters in northern regions of the country in case of major flooding.

Bret made landfall in a sparsely populated region, resulting in relatively little damage in comparison to its intensity. Nevertheless, seven people were killed in relation to the storm, four in Texas and three in Mexico. Most of the deaths were due to car accidents caused by slippery roads. Upon making landfall, the hurricane produced a maximum storm surge of 8.8 ft (2.7 m) at Matagorda Island, Texas. Heavy rains produced by Bret peaked at 13.18 in (335 mm) in Texas and were estimated over 14 in (360 mm) in Mexico. Numerous homes in the affected regions were damaged or destroyed, leaving roughly 150 people homeless. In all, the storm caused $15 million (1999 USD) in damage.

Hurricane Franklin

Hurricane Franklin was the first hurricane to make landfall in the Mexican state of Veracruz since Hurricane Karl in 2010. The sixth named storm, first hurricane and the first of ten consecutive hurricanes of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Franklin formed on August 7 out of a tropical wave that was first tracked in the southeastern Caribbean Sea on August 3. The storm strengthened within a favorable environment and made landfall on the Yucatán Peninsula as a moderate tropical storm early on August 8 north of Belize. Weakening occurred as it crossed the peninsula, but Franklin re-emerged into the Bay of Campeche later that day, restrengthening quickly to become the season's first hurricane. It made landfall near Lechuguillas, Veracruz, on August 10 as a Category 1 hurricane, before rapidly weakening over the mountainous terrain of Mexico and dissipating shortly afterwards. On August 12, the storm's remnant mid-level circulation combined with a developing low in the Eastern Pacific to form Tropical Storm Jova.

Franklin's main impacts were located in Eastern Mexico, specifically in the state of Veracruz where Franklin made landfall as a hurricane. Strong winds downed trees and power lines, in addition to damaging homes and crops. Heavy rains flooded some rivers and caused a few landslides. Damages in that area totaled US$15 million. Other areas that Franklin affected, primarily by bringing heavy rain, included the Yucatán Peninsula and Belize. No deaths were reported to have occurred due to Franklin.

Hurricane Karl

Hurricane Karl was the most destructive tropical cyclone on record to strike the Mexican state of Veracruz. The eleventh tropical storm, sixth hurricane, and fifth and final major hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, Karl formed from an area of low pressure which had formed off of the northern coast Venezuela on September 11. It crossed the Caribbean and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Karl on September 14. The cyclone made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico as a strong tropical storm, and then rapidly strengthened in the Bay of Campeche before it made landfall near the city of Veracruz, on the central Mexican Gulf coast, as a major hurricane. This marked the first known time that a major hurricane existed in the Bay of Campeche. Afterwards, the storm rapidly weakened over the mountains of Mexico and dissipated on September 18.

As of September 23, 22 people have been confirmed killed, most of which were in the state of Veracruz. Insured losses from the storm are estimated at US$206 million as of January 2011, while total damaged equated to approximately $3.9 billion.

Hurricane Katia (2017)

Hurricane Katia was the most intense hurricane in the Bay of Campeche since Hurricane Karl in 2010. The eleventh named storm and sixth hurricane of the unusually active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Katia originated on September 5, out of a broad low-pressure area that formed in the Bay of Campeche. Located in an area of weak steering currents, Katia meandered around in the region, eventually intensifying into a hurricane on September 6. The nascent storm eventually peaked as a 105 mph (165 km/h) Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson scale while it began to move southwestward. However, land interaction began to weaken the hurricane as it approached the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Early on September 9, Katia made landfall near Tecolutla at minimal hurricane intensity. The storm quickly dissipated several hours later, although its mid-level circulation remained intact and later spawned what would become Hurricane Otis in the Eastern Pacific.

At least 53 municipalities in Mexico were affected by Katia. Heavy rainfall left flooding and numerous mudslides, with 65 mudslides in the city of Xalapa alone. Although damage estimates were unknown, preliminary reports indicated that 370 homes were flooded. Three deaths were confirmed to have been related to the hurricane, with two from mudslides and one from being swept away in floodwaters. Approximately 77,000 people were left without power at the height of the storm. Coincidentally, the storm struck Mexico just days after a major earthquake struck the country, worsening the aftermath and recovery. Hurricane Katia marked the first instance of three simultaneously active hurricanes since 2010. Katia's peak marked the second known time in Atlantic history and the first time since 1893 that three simultaneously active storms were at least of Category 2 strength.

Hurricane Nate (2011)

Hurricane Nate caused minor damage in southeastern Mexico in mid-September 2011. The sixteenth named storm and fourth hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, Nate originated from a frontal trough in the Bay of Campeche on September 7. Within a weak steering environment, the storm meandered southwestward while gradually gaining strength. Though classified as a tropical storm operationally, data during a post-season review indicated that Nate briefly attained Category 1 hurricane status on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale on September 8. As a result of its slow motion, the storm caused significant upwelling, leading to a marked decrease in convection, and weakening accordingly. On September 11, Nate moved ashore Mexico as a tropical storm, producing several inches of rainfall and damaging several hundred structures. Ten oil rig workers went missing; seven were rescued, but one died of an unknown cause, and three other bodies were later recovered. In Veracruz, a boy was killed after being struck by lightning.

Hurricane Roxanne

Hurricane Roxanne was a rare and erratic tropical cyclone that caused extensive flooding in Mexico, due to its unusual movement. The seventeenth storm, tenth hurricane, and the fifth and final major hurricane of the very active 1995 Atlantic hurricane season, Roxanne developed in the southwestern Caribbean Sea from an area of low pressure on October 7. The depression curved northward, causing it to avoid landfall in Central America. By October 9, the depression intensified enough to be upgraded to Tropical Storm Roxanne. On the following day, Roxanne turned west-northward, where it promptly intensified into a hurricane. As Roxanne headed generally westward, it began to rapidly deepen, and reached Category 3 intensity less than 24 hours after becoming a hurricane. Shortly thereafter, Roxanne made landfall near Cozumel, Mexico at its peak intensity, which caused severe damage.

Roxanne rapidly weakened while traversing the Yucatan Peninsula, and when it emerged into the Bay of Campeche on October 12, the storm was a Category 1 hurricane. Further weakening occurred, and Roxanne was downgraded to a tropical storm later that day. Roxanne tracked northwestward and eventually re-intensified into a hurricane on October 14. Thereafter, Roxanne began to meander erratically in the Gulf of Mexico; the storm turned abruptly southeastward, and remained nearly stationary offshore of the Yucatan Peninsula. Following day, Roxanne curved back northwestward and weakened back to a tropical storm on October 17. Roxanne completed a cyclonic loop across the Gulf of Mexico on October 18. Further weakening occurred, and Roxanne was downgraded to a tropical depression on October 19. A cold front in the Gulf of Mexico turned Roxanne abruptly southward, and the storm dissipated just offshore of Veracruz on October 21.

Roxanne was the first October hurricane that formed and reached Category 3 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (SSHS) in the western Caribbean Sea since Hurricane Hattie in October 1961. Due to its slow and erratic movement, Roxanne dropped heavy rainfall in many areas of southern Mexico, and some areas reported over 25 inches (640 mm) of precipitation. Heavy rainfall, in turn, led to extensive flooding, which destroyed crop, washed out roads, and damaged at least 40,000 homes. In addition, significant coastal flooding also occurred, as storm surge for nearly a week caused water to travel inland for hundreds of yards. High winds also occurred over the Yucatan Peninsula, with one station reporting hurricane-force winds on October 11. Overall, it is estimated that Roxanne caused $1.5 billion (1995 USD) in damage, although not all damage could be distinguished from Hurricane Opal. In addition, 29 fatalities were reported.

Hurricane Stan

Hurricane Stan was a rather weak but deadly tropical cyclone that affected areas of Central America in early October 2005. The eighteenth named storm and eleventh hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, Stan formed from a tropical wave on October 1 after it had moved into the western Caribbean Sea. The depression slowly intensified, and reached tropical storm intensity the following day, before subsequently making its first landfall on the Yucatán Peninsula. Traversing the peninsula, the tropical storm weakened, but was able to re-intensify once it entered the Bay of Campeche. Under favorable conditions for tropical development, Stan attained hurricane strength on October 4, and later reached peak intensity with winds of 80 mph (130 km/h) and a minimum barometric pressure of 977 mbar (hPa; 28.85 inHg). The hurricane maintained this intensity until landfall near Punta Roca Partida, Mexico later the same day. Once over the mountainous terrain of Mexico, however, Stan quickly weakened, and dissipated on October 5.

Due to Stan's position within a large area of convective activity and thunderstorms, the hurricane's effects were far-reaching and widespread across Central America. Flash floods generated by the hurricane caused severe crop losses, particularly to coffee crops. Overall, Stan caused at least 1,668 deaths across six countries, with many others unaccounted for. Most of these fatalities occurred in Guatemala, and were mostly caused by mudslides triggered by torrential rainfall. The floods in Guatemala destroyed entire towns and disrupted exportation of petroleum. In Mexico, the heavy rains triggered additional mudslides and caused rivers to overflow, flooding nearby villages. Despite being relatively far from Stan as opposed to other countries, El Salvador was also severely affected by the hurricane. The Santa Ana Volcano erupted while Stan was producing heavy rains in the country, which contributed to the damage already wrought by mudslides. Transportation in the country was disrupted. Across the region, Stan caused $3.9 billion in damages, primarily due to torrential rainfall.

James Allison

James Allison or Jim Allison may refer to:

James Allison (pirate) (fl. 1689-1691), pirate active near Cape Verde and the Bay of Campeche

James Allison Jr. (1772–1854), member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania

James Whidden Allison (1795–1867), Nova Scotia politician

James Allison (theatre) (1831–1890), Australian theatre manager

James Allison (Assemblyman) (1858–?), Wisconsin politician

James Edward Allison (1870–1955), American architect with Allison & Allison

James A. Allison (1872–1928), American inventor and businessman

James Barnett Allison (1880–1907), Irish rugby union player

Jim Allison (American football) (born 1943), American football player

James P. Allison (born 1948), American immunologist. Nobel laureate

James Allison (motorsport) (born 1968), English engineer

Tropical Storm Beryl (2000)

Tropical Storm Beryl made landfall just south of the United States–Mexico border in mid-August 2000, causing minimal damage. The second named storm of the 2000 Atlantic hurricane season, Beryl originated from a tropical wave near the African coastline. Tracking westward, the wave failed to organize substantially until entering the Bay of Campeche, at which time it developed into a tropical storm. Beryl rapidly deepened while in the Gulf of Mexico, and it initially was forecast to strengthen to a hurricane under favorable conditions for development. Instead, Beryl remained at moderate tropical storm intensity and failed to intensify any further. It made landfall in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas as a weak tropical storm with winds of 50 mph (85 km/h) on August 15 and dissipated over mountainous terrain shortly thereafter. One death was reported in Mexico due to drowning. Otherwise, no significant damage was reported associated with Beryl, as it affected a sparsely populated area of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Bret (2005)

Tropical Storm Bret was a short-lived tropical storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season that made landfall in the Mexican state of Veracruz, the first of four during the season. The second named storm of the season, Bret developed along a tropical wave on June 28 in the Bay of Campeche, and quickly intensified. Tracking to the west-northwest, Bret moved ashore within 24 hours of forming, and dissipated shortly thereafter.

Bret was the first of six tropical cyclones (three hurricanes, two of them major, and three tropical storms) to make landfall in Mexico during the season. With the formation of the tropical storm on June 28, the 2005 season became the first since 1986 with two storms in the month of June. The storm dropped heavy rainfall along its path, peaking at 266 mm (10.67 inches), which caused flooding and one drowning death. About 7,500 people were affected, and damage totaled over 100 million pesos (2005 MXN, $9.3 million 2005 US$, $10.3 million 2008 US$).

Tropical Storm Fernand

Tropical Storm Fernand was a short-lived but deadly tropical cyclone that struck parts of Veracruz state, Mexico, causing flash flooding and landslides. The sixth tropical storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, Fernand developed from the merger of two tropical waves that had moved off the coast of Africa in the Bay of Campeche on August 25. Quickly organizing, the cyclone strengthened into a tropical storm and eventually made landfall on the coast of Mexico as a moderate to strong tropical storm. Fernand persisted for another day inland before dissipating over the mountainous terrain of the country. During its relatively short lifespan, Fernand caused numerous flash floods in its wake which resulted in the deaths of 14 people in and around the areas of Veracruz.

Tropical Storm Gert (2005)

Tropical Storm Gert was the fourth of seven tropical cyclones (4 hurricanes, two major hurricanes, and four tropical storms) to make landfall in Mexico during 2005. It formed in July in the Bay of Campeche, becoming the seventh named storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.

As a tropical wave, Gert crossed Honduras and the Yucatán peninsula before organizing into Tropical Depression Seven on the afternoon of July 23 in the Bay of Campeche. It was upgraded to Tropical Storm Gert early the next day, gaining the record for the earliest formation of a seventh named storm in an Atlantic hurricane season. Gert strengthened little before making landfall south of Tampico, Tamaulipas, late on July 24, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (70 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 1005 mbar (29.68 inHg). It moved inland over central Mexico before dissipating on the next day. Gert struck in approximately the same area as Hurricane Emily just four days earlier, causing fear of flooding and landslides due to saturated lands. As a precaution, some 1,000 people were evacuated from low-lying residences and businesses near the towns of Naranjos Amatlán and Tamiahua.

Tropical Storm Jose (2005)

Tropical Storm Jose was a short-lived tropical storm which made landfall in central Mexico during August 2005. Jose was the tenth named storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and the fourth of six tropical cyclones (three hurricanes and three tropical storms) to make landfall in Mexico in that year.

Tropical Storm Jose formed in the Bay of Campeche on August 22 and made landfall in the Mexican state of Veracruz the next day. It retained tropical characteristics for less than one day before dissipating, but still brought heavy levels of rainfall to the region. Mudslides caused by the rainfall killed eight people, six of those directly, and caused $45 million (2005 USD) in damage.

Tropical Storm Larry

Tropical Storm Larry was the twelfth tropical storm in the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season. It was one of eight storms to impact Mexico from either the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans in the season, a near-record. Larry formed in early October from an extratropical storm in the Bay of Campeche, and reached a peak intensity of 65 mph (100 km/h). Due to weak steering currents, the storm moved southward, which resulted in the storm hitting the Tabasco coastline. The storm was the first Tabascan landfall since Tropical Storm Brenda in 1973.Larry drifted across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, dropping heavy rainfall of over 9 in (229 mm) in places. The rainfall led to flooding and mudslides, causing damage to thousands of houses. The flooding killed five people and resulted in $53.6 million (2003 USD) in damage. Larry was one of three tropical cyclones to hit Mexico in a short period of time, including Tropical Depression Nora and Tropical Storm Olaf in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Tropical Storm Marco (2008)

Tropical Storm Marco was the smallest tropical cyclone on record. The thirteenth named storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, Marco developed out of a broad area of low pressure over the northwestern Caribbean during late September 2008. Influenced by a tropical wave on October 4, a small low-level circulation center developed over Belize. After crossing the southern end of the Yucatán Peninsula and emerging into the Bay of Campeche, the low was declared Tropical Depression Thirteen early on October 6. The depression quickly intensified into a tropical storm and was given the name Marco later that day. Marco reached its peak intensity with winds of 65 mph (100 km/h) early on October 7. Around this time, tropical storm force winds extended 11.5 miles (18.5 km) from the center of the storm, making Marco the smallest tropical cyclone on record. Around 1200 UTC, Marco made landfall near Misantla, Veracruz. The storm rapidly weakened after landfall, dissipating later that day. Due to its small size, Marco caused minimal damage; however, the storm's heavy rains led to floods up to 10 feet (3.05 m) deep that covered highways and damaged homes.

Campeche State of Campeche
(municipal seats)
Marginal seas of the Atlantic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
Indian Ocean
Pacific Ocean
Southern Ocean
Endorheic basins

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