Tropical Storm Hilary swirls northward packing deadly rainfall along Mexico’s Baja coast

by Gabriel Martinez
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fokus keyword Tropical Storm Hilary

Tropical Storm Hilary made its way northward Sunday, near Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Though it has been downgraded from a hurricane, the storm continues to bring heavy rainfall that meteorologists predict could lead to “catastrophic and life-threateningflooding across a wide area of the southwestern U.S.

Situated around 220 miles (350 kilometers) south-southeast of San Diego as of 8 a.m. Pacific time, Hilary has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph), moving northwest at 25 mph (41 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center.

Despite weakening, the storm remains a serious threat to the Mexican cities of Ensenada and Tijuana. In the town of Santa Rosalia, one individual drowned on Saturday when their vehicle was caught in a flooded stream; four others were rescued.

The storm’s impact has already led to the rescheduling of MLB games in California and caused California Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency. Many officials urged residents to make preparations before it was too late.

As it already brought heavy rain and flooding to parts of Mexico and the southwestern U.S., forecasters expect up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain in southern California and southern Nevada. Despite its downgraded status, Jamie Rhome, the U.S. National Hurricane Center’s deputy director, emphasized that the weakening storm shouldn’t lower people’s guard, especially against the flood threat.

Along Mexico’s Pacific coast, the storm has also created “life-threatening” surf and rip currents. Emergency shelters have been established in various locations, and Mexico’s navy has evacuated people and deployed troops.

The hurricane’s approach to the U.S. led to stockpiling of supplies, and Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve were closed to prevent visitor strandings. Major League Baseball and SpaceX also adjusted their schedules in anticipation of the storm.

President Joe Biden urged caution and attention to official guidance, while FEMA announced that they are prepared with necessary assistance.

Hilary, which had grown into a Category 4 major hurricane before weakening, was expected to make landfall south of Ensenada. Meanwhile, another storm system in the Atlantic Ocean has developed into Tropical Storm Emily.

This story was originally published on August 19 and 20, 2023, with reporting contributed by Ignacio Martinez in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Stefanie Dazio and John Antczak in Los Angeles; Seth Borenstein in Washington; Maria Verza and Mark Stevenson in Mexico City; Julie Watson in San Diego; and Eugene Garcia in Newport Beach, California. An update was made on August 20, 2023, to correct storm updates’ attribution to the National Hurricane Center.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Tropical Storm Hilary

What is the current status of Tropical Storm Hilary?

Tropical Storm Hilary is moving northward near Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. As of the last report, it has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph) and is moving northwest at 25 mph (41 kph). Though downgraded from a hurricane, it continues to bring heavy rain, with threats of catastrophic flooding across parts of the southwestern U.S.

Which areas are directly in the path of Tropical Storm Hilary?

The Mexican cities of Ensenada and Tijuana are directly in the path of the storm. Forecasters have also warned of heavy rainfall in southern California and southern Nevada.

Has Tropical Storm Hilary caused any fatalities or injuries?

Yes, one person drowned in the Mexican town of Santa Rosalia when a vehicle was swept away in a flood. Four other individuals were rescued from the same incident.

What precautions have been taken in anticipation of Tropical Storm Hilary?

Various precautions have been taken, including the rescheduling of MLB games, the declaration of a state of emergency in California, and evacuation advisories. Residents have been urged to prepare, and shelters have been set up in Mexico. The U.S. National Park Service has also closed certain areas.

How has the storm affected the Pacific coast of Mexico?

The storm has created “life-threatening” surf and rip currents along Mexico’s Pacific coast, including waves up to 40 feet (12 meters) high. Emergency measures have been taken, including evacuations and the establishment of storm shelters.

Is Hilary the only active storm at this time?

No, another storm system in the Atlantic Ocean has developed into Tropical Storm Emily, but it was located far from land at the time of the report.

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