MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane K moved north along the coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula Friday, and forecasters say it could bring gusty winds and two to four inches of rain to southernmost California this weekend.
Authorities in Baja opened shelters and closed schools in front of Cay, where winds peaked at 85 mph (140 km/h). As of Friday morning, maximum winds in Kea had fallen to 50 mph as of Friday morning after the hurricane rounded Baja’s shore and moved into cooler waters, according to the US National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Forecasters said there’s a chance the outer bands of a major storm could bring heavy rain and possibly flash flooding to parts of scorched Southern California and southwestern Arizona tonight and Saturday.
The Hurricane Center said Kay was about 165 miles south of San Diego at 8 a.m. PT Friday. Kay was moving north-northwest up and close to the coast of the Baha coast at a speed of 13 miles per hour (24 km/h).
According to Yale’s Climate Connections blog, tropical storms are rare in Southern California. Only seven tropical cyclones or their remnants have brought gale-force winds to the state. Pacific waters off the coast of Southern California and far north of Baja California are too cool to sustain a tropical storm or hurricane for very long due to the cold waters of the southward flowing California Current, the blog post said. Most tropical cyclones from the Pacific Northeast turn west when they reach the latitudes of San Diego or Los Angeles. Only two systems are known to have generated tropical storms off the coast of Southern California.
Heavy rain hit Los Cabos on the southern tip of the peninsula on Thursday. Mayor Oscar Leggs Castro said on Wednesday that there were more than 800 people in shelters at the twin resorts.
Non-essential businesses were closed and some airlines canceled flights.
Landslides reportedly cut some roads on the peninsula, but there were no reports of casualties.
The mayor of Mulege, in the Gulf of California, said Thursday morning that her city had been without water since Wednesday and demanded that the state send tankers.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Earl passed through the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean and is forecast to pass southeast of Bermuda on Thursday night as a severe Category 3 storm.
The island’s Minister of Homeland Security, Michael Wicks, told reporters public services and government offices would continue to operate, but warned residents to prepare for tropical storm conditions.
“Bermuda will certainly feel the effects of Earl, so we must beware of complacency,” he said.
Earl’s center was about 230 miles (365 km) south of Bermuda early Thursday morning. Maximum sustained winds increased to 105 mph (165 km/h) and he was moving north-northeast at 13 mph (20 km/h).
Farther east, Daniella weakened to a tropical storm far over the open waters of the Atlantic, about 715 miles (1,145 km) north-northwest of the Azores. It had a maximum sustained wind speed of 65 mph (100 km/h).
About the photo: This infrared satellite image shows Hurricane Kei off the coast of Baja California on Thursday afternoon.
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