Hurricane Hilary could be first tropical storm to hit California in 84 years – Digital Journal

GOES-West – Latest Full Disk Images as of August 17, 2023 at7:39 p.m. EDT
Source – NOAA/GOES West

Hilary strengthened into a hurricane Thursday, and could potentially bring heavy rainfall and high winds to Southern California this weekend.

As of 3 p.m. EDT, Hilary was a Category 2 hurricane – just 1 mph shy of bein g a Category 3 – or Major Hurricane.

“Rainfall impacts from Hilary within the Southwestern United States are expected to peak this weekend into Monday,” the NHC said in an advisory. “Flash, urban and arroyo flooding is possible with the potential for significant impacts.”

At the 3 p.m. advisory, the center of Hurricane Hilary was located about 475 miles (765 KM) South of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph).

The storm is moving to the west-northwest at 14 mph (22 kph) and has a minimum central pressure of 960 MB….28.35 inches. There is currently a tropical storm watch in effect for parts of Mexico before it approaches the Baja California peninsula this weekend.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the
center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 275 miles
(445 km).

Ocean water off the coast of California is cool, so that should diminish the intensity of Hurricane Hilary if the forecast track brings the storm to the Golden State. What forecasters are keeping an eye on will be the abundant tropical moisture that could be flowing into California, Nevada and Arizona.

“Hilary has the potential to bring significant impacts to the Baja California Peninsula and portions of the southwestern United States this weekend and early next week, including after it becomes post-tropical,” the center said, according to The Hill.

Data last updated on August 17, 2023. Source – National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center. Graphic: John Keefe, CNN

“Although it is too soon to determine the location and magnitude of wind impacts, interests in these areas should monitor the progress of Hilary and updates to the forecast.”

On a historical note: The last tropical storm landed around San Diego in 1939 and brought with it 50 mph winds and heavy flooding. The only known hurricane to make contact with the state was near San Diego in 1858, which brought up to 73 mph winds, The Washington Post reported.

Hurricane Hilary could be first tropical storm to hit California in 84 years – Digital Journal
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