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Wintry weather disrupts flights, festivities but reduces smog

January 4, 2013

A steady downpour dampened New Year’s celebrations in Guadalajara, with 2013 beginning just as 2012 had ended – in cold and wet conditions.

The rainfall – which caused the emergence of hundreds of potholes across the city, as well as fallen trees, flooding and power outages – is forecast to continue through the weekend. The National Weather Service (SMN) predicts that a cold front from northern Mexico will bring heavy rain, hail and temperatures as low as five degrees Celsius to Jalisco.

January is typically the coldest month in Jalisco and the University of Guadalajara’s Astronomy and Meteorology Institute (IAM) predicts minimum temperatures of eight to nine degrees Celsius in the metropolitan zone on Friday and Saturday, with a maximum of 23 to 25 degrees. Elsewhere in the state, temperatures will drop to a minimum of five to six degrees in Colotlan, six to seven in Ciudad Guzman and seven to eight in Lagos de Moreno.

After three days of solid rainfall, Guadalajara awoke to a thick shroud of fog on Thursday, January 3, which led to at least 26 delayed flights at the city’s international airport.

However, the wintry conditions have also brought some good news. Local emergency services received fewer calls than normal over the New Year, with the rain causing people to stay indoors and celebrate with their families.

The damp climate also led to a much needed improvement in air quality across the metropolitan zone, the State Environmental Agency (Semades) reported. Air contamination had been particularly bad in the industrial Las Pintas neighbourhood on the southern outskirts of the city in recent weeks, but the rain that began on Monday dissipated pollutants in the air and dissuaded residents from celebrating New Year by lighting bonfires or setting off fireworks.

The Nevado de Colima received its first snow fall of the year on Wednesday night, leading the State Civil Protection Unit to strengthen surveillance at the national park on the border of Jalisco and Colima. Visitors attracted by the snow are advised to be wary of slippery surfaces and low temperatures, which plummeted to minus four degrees on Wednesday night.

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