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Hurricane Hilary grows off Mexico and could reach California as a very rare tropical storm

by Michael Nguyen
5 comments
Hurricane Hilary

Hurricane Hilary intensified to a Category 4 storm off the Pacific coast of Mexico on Friday, and it’s projected to reach Southern California as the area’s first tropical storm in 84 years, potentially causing significant and uncommon consequences such as widespread flooding.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported that Hilary’s winds reached nearly 145 mph (230 kph) as of 6 a.m. on Friday. It’s expected to strengthen further before starting to weaken, although it will remain a hurricane as it nears Mexico’s Baja California peninsula on Saturday night. By Sunday, it’s forecasted to approach Southern California as a tropical storm.

The last time a tropical storm made landfall in Southern California was on September 25, 1939, as per the records of the National Weather Service.

As of early Friday, Hilary’s center was roughly 400 miles (640 kilometers) south of Los Cabos at the southernmost point of the Baja peninsula, moving west-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph). It’s expected to gradually shift northward through Saturday.

Mexico extended its hurricane watch and tropical storm warnings for areas of Baja California Sur, and also initiated a tropical storm watch for parts of mainland Mexico.

The hurricane center warned of substantial danger of flash flooding from heavy rainfall tied to Hilary, impacting the Southwestern United States till next Wednesday, particularly on Sunday and Monday. It forecasts rainfall between 3 to 6 inches, and up to 10 inches in isolated areas, across southern California and southern Nevada, leading to unusual and substantial effects. Other areas of the Western United States can expect rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches.

SpaceX postponed a rocket launch carrying a satellite from California’s central coast until at least Monday, citing difficult recovery conditions in the Pacific for the rocket booster.

The Mexican government indicated that a weakened Hilary might strike the coast Sunday night between the cities of Playas de Rosarito and Ensenada, in Baja California state.

In preparation for the storm, the city of Yuma has set up a self-serve sandbag filling station, stocked with sand and empty bags for residents to fill. Supplies will be available as long as they last, with a limit of five sandbags per vehicle.

RELATED STORIES include the growth of Hilary into a major hurricane in the Pacific, potential impacts on the U.S. Southwest, strong tropical storms affecting parts of Japan and disrupting holiday travel, and heavy rain and landslides causing at least 72 deaths this week in an Indian Himalayan state.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hurricane Hilary

What category has Hurricane Hilary reached and where is it located?

Hurricane Hilary has reached Category 4 strength and is located off Mexico’s Pacific coast, with its center about 400 miles (640 kilometers) south of Los Cabos on the Baja peninsula.

When is Hurricane Hilary expected to approach Southern California and in what form?

Hurricane Hilary is forecasted to approach Southern California on Sunday as a tropical storm, marking the first tropical storm in the region in 84 years.

What areas are under hurricane watch and tropical storm warnings?

The Mexican government extended its hurricane watch and tropical storm warning northward for parts of Baja California Sur state, and also issued a tropical storm watch for parts of mainland Mexico.

What are the expected impacts of Hurricane Hilary in the Southwestern United States?

Heavy rainfall associated with Hilary is expected to impact the Southwestern United States through next Wednesday, with substantial danger of flash flooding. Rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches are expected across parts of southern California and southern Nevada, leading to significant and rare impacts.

How has Hurricane Hilary affected SpaceX’s operations?

SpaceX delayed the launch of a satellite-carrying rocket from a base on California’s central coast until at least Monday, as conditions in the Pacific could make it difficult to recover the rocket booster.

What preparations are being made in the city of Yuma for Hurricane Hilary?

The city of Yuma is preparing by providing residents with a self-serve sandbag filling station, stocked with sand and empty bags for self-filling, with a limit of five sandbags per vehicle.

More about Hurricane Hilary

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5 comments

TechGeek87 August 18, 2023 - 7:04 pm

So even SpaceX has to bow to mother nature. Interesting how something so technologically advancd can still be impacted by weather.

Reply
Robert. K August 18, 2023 - 10:01 pm

I was supposed to fly out to Los Cabos this weekend. Guess thats not happening. Hilary ruining vacation plans 🙁

Reply
Mike Jenson August 18, 2023 - 10:41 pm

This is crazy, haven’t seen a storm like this in years. Stay safe everyone in SoCal!!

Reply
EmmaLouise August 19, 2023 - 8:37 am

Does anyone know how to properly fill a sandbag? Never done it bfore, but I guess now’s a good time to learn, huh.

Reply
Sara_tropics August 19, 2023 - 9:20 am

wow, never thought i’d see a tropical storm in California in my lifetime. Very concerned about flooding. fingers crossed.

Reply

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