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Hurricane Hilary: Status Update as of Midnight, August 20th

By Reginald Stanley. Posted August 20, 2023, 1:06 AM.



Hurricane Hilary is approaching the west coast of northern Baja California, and the storm's outer bands are currently crossing into San Diego and the deserts. Hurricane Hilary has weakened rapidly, however it currently remains at Category 1 intensity. The brunt of Hilary's impact on Southern California is expected to be made Sunday at Tropical Storm intensity. Tropical Storm-force winds (between 39 and 73 miles per hour) and torrential rains will impact virtually the entire southern third of California on Sunday, as well as parts of Arizona, southern Nevada and southwestern Utah going into Monday.

Hurricane Hilary's last reported position was approximately 175 miles south-southeast of Punta Eugenia, Mexico, and about 535 miles south-southeast of San Diego. Hilary's current movement is about 18 mph moving north-northwest. According to the National Hurricane Center, the current projected path of the center of Hurricane Hilary is shown making landfall in northern Baja California Sunday morning, and continuing a roughly north-northwest path along coastal San Diego County at Tropical Storm intensity, then travelling directly over western Riverside County and San Bernardino County, before moving over Inyo County and the Sierra Nevada Mountains as a post-Tropical Storm. Hurricane-force winds, which extend 45 miles from the center of the hurricane, are sustained at 90 mph, with maximum gusts of up to 115 mph. Tropical Storm-force winds extend outward up to 265 miles from the center. The hurricane-force winds are expected to weaken before impacting Southern California.

The Weather Prediction Center has released an updated Excessive Rainfall Outlook map for the southwestern United States. The western deserts (including the Mojave Desert and Imperial Valley), as well as the San Diego County mountains, San Jacinto Mountains and San Bernardino Mountains are at the highest risk of excessive rainfall, rated at 70 percent by the Weather Prediction Center. Flash floods in these areas are very likely to be catastrophic, much of this rainfall will also runoff into creeks, rivers and streams that drain into the Inland Empire and San Diego metro, stressing and overwhelming flood control networks. The Weather Prediction Center placed the majority of the rest of Southern California at a moderate risk (at least 40 percent) of deadly flash flooding. Flash floods, damaging winds and widespread power outages are all possible throughout Southern California on Sunday. Many roads, bridges, and highways may become damaged and impassible due to raging flood waters and debris. We at WeatherCurrents strongly advise avoiding all non-essential travel both Sunday and Monday.

Updates will be posted throughout Sunday if possible.

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