Hurricane Norma Strikes Near Mexico’s Los Cabos, While Hurricane Tammy Looms Over Atlantic Islands

by Madison Thomas
Hurricane Impacts

On Saturday afternoon, Hurricane Norma touched down near the tourist destinations of Los Cabos on the southern extremity of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, later diminishing to a tropical storm as it moved inland.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Tammy was in proximity to Barbuda and posed a significant threat to the islands constituting the Lesser Antilles in the Atlantic Ocean.

According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Norma, originally a Category 4 system, made its landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, exhibiting wind speeds of 80 mph (130 kph) close to El Pozo de Cota, situated to the west-northwest of Cabo San Lucas.

Subsequent to its landfall, Norma was downgraded to a tropical storm, sustaining winds of 70 mph (110 kph), as it traversed the Baja California Peninsula en route to the Sea of Cortez, also referred to as the Gulf of California.

Local businesses in Cabo San Lucas had fortified their windows with plywood, while governmental authorities displayed cautionary banners advising residents against crossing flooded areas, particularly after Norma had regained its potency on Friday.

As of late Saturday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center located the storm’s center approximately 30 miles (45 kilometers) north-northeast of Cabo San Lucas, with a north-northeastward movement at 6 mph (9 kph). A sharper eastward turn was anticipated on Sunday.

Post-storm, tourists in Cabo San Lucas cautiously explored the beaches, which were now littered with debris.

The slow progress of the storm heightened the risk of severe flooding. Predictions estimated rainfall amounts of six to twelve inches, peaking at 18 inches in some locations across southern Baja California and much of the Sinaloa state.

John Cangialosi, a senior specialist with the National Hurricane Center, highlighted the region’s particular susceptibility to rainfall due to its generally arid climate. He remarked that the principal impact would likely involve flash and urban flooding as well as mudslides.

Baja California Sur Governor Victor Castro, communicating through platform X, warned that the slow movement of the storm could lead to more extensive damages. Despite these concerns, initial reports indicated minimal destruction—downed trees and power poles, but no casualties or injuries.

In San Jose del Cabo, 24 emergency shelters accommodated approximately 1,700 individuals. The Los Cabos Civil Defense advised residents to remain indoors as low-lying areas were evacuated.

Federal forces deployed 500 marines to assist in storm preparation efforts. By late morning, the area was largely deserted except for occasional military patrols, with streets covered in debris including fallen palm fronds.

Despite the circumstances, Los Cabos’ hotels, popular among international tourists, remained around 75% occupied, with no substantial departures reported. Local airport authorities expected operations to resume by Sunday midday.

In a separate development, Hurricane Tammy in the Atlantic boasted winds of 85 mph (140 kph), prompting hurricane warnings for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Martin, and St. Barthelmy. The system was moving at a speed of 10 mph (17 kph) towards the north-northwest.

By early evening, the storm was located roughly 15 miles (25 kilometers) east-southeast of Barbuda and 30 miles (50 kilometers) north-northeast of Antigua. The hurricane center forecasted heavy rainfall and potential flooding across the Lesser Antilles.

Coming just two weeks after Tropical Storm Philippe, residents of Antigua and Barbuda are particularly on edge. Prime Minister Gaston Browne urged his citizens to take every precaution to protect life and property.

Commercial establishments and public offices shut down early to facilitate storm preparation, causing widespread congestion in St. John’s and near shopping hubs. Local disaster management planned to establish around 40 shelters nationwide.

Contributions to this report were made by Anika Kentish of Big Big News in St. John’s, Antigua.

For continued coverage on climate events, visit: https://bigbignews.net/climate-and-environment

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hurricane Impacts

What was the status of Hurricane Norma when it made landfall in Mexico near Los Cabos?

Hurricane Norma, originally a Category 4 hurricane, weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 80 mph (130 kph) when it made landfall near El Pozo de Cota, west-northwest of Cabo San Lucas.

What was the subsequent status of Hurricane Norma as it crossed the Baja California Peninsula?

After making landfall, Hurricane Norma further weakened to a tropical storm with sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph) as it moved across the Baja California Peninsula toward the Sea of Cortez.

What potential impact did Hurricane Norma pose due to its slow pace?

Norma’s slow movement raised the risk of severe flooding. It was predicted to dump six to twelve inches of rain, with some areas potentially receiving up to 18 inches of rainfall, particularly across southern Baja California and much of Sinaloa state.

Were there any reported damages or casualties from Hurricane Norma?

Initially, there were reports of downed trees and power poles, but no injuries or deaths were reported. Some neighborhoods experienced power outages and lost internet service.

What measures were taken to prepare for Hurricane Norma’s arrival in Mexico?

Governmental authorities in Cabo San Lucas advised residents to stay indoors and evacuated people from low-lying areas to shelters. Additionally, 500 marines were deployed to assist in storm preparations.

What were the conditions in the tourist areas of Los Cabos during and after Hurricane Norma?

Tourist areas in Los Cabos saw businesses fortifying windows with plywood. After the storm passed, curious tourists began exploring debris-strewn beaches. Hotels in the region remained around 75% occupied, with no major exodus reported.

What were the projected impacts of Hurricane Tammy in the Atlantic?

Hurricane Tammy, with winds of 85 mph (140 kph), prompted hurricane warnings for several islands in the Lesser Antilles. The storm was forecasted to bring heavy rainfall and flooding to the region, raising concerns due to recent rainfall from Tropical Storm Philippe.

How did residents of Antigua and Barbuda prepare for Hurricane Tammy, given recent weather events?

Residents of Antigua and Barbuda were on alert, with government offices, banks, and most non-retail businesses closing early to allow staff to prepare. Local disaster management officials announced plans to open approximately 40 shelters in communities throughout the country.

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BeachLover October 22, 2023 - 4:16 am

tourists, u better b careful on those debris-strewn beaches, yikes!

WeatherNerd42 October 23, 2023 - 12:11 am

norma went from a 4 to a 1, those storms can be real sneaky, watch out peeps!


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