Tropical Storm Cristobal over the Yucatán Peninsula Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features a map of rainfall accumulation in Central America from May 27 to June 5, 2020.
Tropical Storm Cristobal lingered over the Yucatán Peninsula for several days, dumping enormous amounts of rainfall.
The storm first developed in the Pacific as Tropical Storm Amanda, which made landfall in Guatemala and caused devastation in El Salvador.
The storm weakened as it crossed Central America, and then began to strengthen as it reached the Atlantic Ocean where it was named Cristobal.
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, the storm dumped up to 25 inches of rain in parts of Mexico, and as much as 35 inches of rain in parts of Guatemala and El Salvador.
Flash flooding and landslides killed 17 people and swamped hundreds of homes in El Salvador.
Tropical Storm Cristobal is now headed toward the U.S. Gulf Coast, where coastal states from Louisiana to Florida are preparing for dangerous storm surges, heavy rainfall, and flooding.
—The proper derivation of the word Yucatán is widely debated. 17th century Franciscan historian Diego López de Cogolludo offers two theories in particular. In the first one, Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, having first arrived to the peninsula in 1517, inquired the name of a certain settlement and the response in Yucatec Mayan was “I don’t understand”, which sounded like yucatán to the Spaniards. There are many possibilities of what the natives could have actually said, among which “mathan cauyi athán“, “tectecán“, “ma’anaatik ka t’ann” and “ci u t’ann“. This origin story was first told by Hernán Cortés in his letters to Charles V. Later 16th century historians Motolinia and Francisco López de Gómara also repeat this version. In some versions the expedition isn’t the one captained by Córdoba but instead the one a year later captained by Juan de Grijalva. The second major theory is that the name is in some way related to the yuca crop, as written by Bernal Díaz del Castillo. Others theories claim that it is a derivative of Chontal Tabascan word yokat’an meaning speaker of the Yoko ochoco language, or an incorrect Nahuatl term yokatlan as supposedly “place of richness”
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer
Image Credit: NASA