Cortes-Ramos, J; Farfan, LM; Herrera-Cervantes, H (2020). Assessment of tropical cyclone damage on dry forests using multispectral remote sensing: The case of Baja California Sur, Mexico. JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS, 178, 104171.

Tropical cyclones (TCs) are extreme weather events that frequently occur along the coast of northwestern Mexico, but an assessment of dry forest damage on this area after their impact had not been investigated yet. Thus, the effect of strong winds and high precipitation rates were analyzed for the first time on the dry forests of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. An analysis was performed on the development of the TC Odile (2014) with winds above 200 km/h and TC Lidia (2017) with high precipitation rates in excess of 400 mm/day. The study used remote sensing tools to calculate changes in land areas from the vegetation indices and the non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV). The results showed a noticeable drop in the enhanced vegetation index (Delta EVI = 0.15) few days after Odile's landfall; after Lidia, the EVI values rose while the spatial distribution of changes on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and NPV showed the effect of large precipitation rates on vegetation damage. Intense winds from Odile triggered large changes in NDV-I with an increase of NPV. This study provides insight into the sensitivity of this ecosystem to strong winds and heavy rainfall on the magnitude of vegetation damage.