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Saturday, July 13, 2024 6:36 PM PDT

Tropical Storm Warning in effect as Hurricane Hilary approaches from the south

By Reginald Stanley. Posted August 19, 2023, 3:44 AM.

An active tropical cyclone in the eastern Pacific Ocean, currently at Category 4 Hurricane strength at the time of this writing, is approaching the Baja California peninsula and the southwestern United States, where it is expected to bring potentially devastating flash flooding. This also marks the first time in recorded history that a Tropical Storm Watch/Warning has ever been issued to any part of the West Coast of the United States.

Hurricane Hilary will weaken greatly as it enters colder waters near northern Baja California, however it is expected to maintain Tropical Storm intensity as it makes landfall in northern Baja California or near San Diego. Excessive rainfall is predicted for virtually all of Southern California up to Point Mugu, with rain beginning late Saturday, intensifying Sunday evening into Monday morning. Thunderstorms and very strong winds are possible across the region during this period. Due to the still uncertain nature of Hilary's predicted storm track, there is still a possibility of much stronger winds if Hilary takes a more westerly track, staying over the Pacific Ocean for longer. Current projections by the National Weather Service predict widespread heavy rainfall over the entire region, particularly Sunday night and Monday morning, with up to three inches of rain possible through Monday. Mountains could see double these amounts. Mountains and parts of the deserts are currently predicted to see the highest wind gusts, ranging from 50-100 MPH. Valley locations aren't expected to see winds quite as strong, but 40 MPH gusts are possible and some areas could see sustained winds at this strength or greater for periods of time.

Updates on Hurricane Hilary, as well as information regarding local emergency shelters, the status of flooded areas, closed or impassible roads, and wind-related damage will be posted as information becomes available. Travel is strongly not advised on Sunday and Monday. Links to more information here: National Weather Service - San Diego, National Hurricane Center - Hurricane Hilary, NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center

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