Hurricane Hilary has Mexico and the United States on edge before the potential that its rains will be “catastrophic”, as described by the US National Hurricane Center this Saturday morning. The storm remains in category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale with winds of 205 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 250 kilometers per hour. Hilary is located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California Sur, in Mexico, but the weather forecast estimates that its strength will drive it north of the Baja California peninsula in the next few hours, where it will make landfall on Sunday as a tropical storm. .
Hilary is located 375 kilometers west of Cabo San Lucas and 630 kilometers south of Punta Eugenia, in Baja California Sur. Although this Saturday the storm will continue to advance parallel to the peninsula, its winds will cause waves between 8 and 10 meters high, according to estimates by the Meteorological Service of Mexico. The Mexican Navy has closed at least 15 ports in the region to prevent navigation from being affected by the phenomenon and the Government has sent some 18,000 soldiers to assist the population with possible damage from the heavy rains.
Forecasters estimate that throughout Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning Hilary will weaken as it approaches land. The forecast indicates that at noon on Sunday Hilary will arrive as a tropical storm in Baja California, near the port of Ensenada, to continue its path towards Rosarito and Tijuana. The phenomenon will continue its advance on land to the north until it crosses the border between Mexico and the United States. Hilary will continue to cause heavy rains in the south of the State of California, where the first tropical storm watch in history has already been issued for that region.
The population in the Baja California peninsula has begun to prepare the shelters and to collect food and water for the next few hours. The National Civil Protection Coordination of Mexico has opened shelters in various parts of the region, both in Baja California and Baja California Sur. “Evacuations have begun in areas susceptible to flooding, in addition to the fact that the road sections where there are fords have been closed,” the agency explained in a statement.
The hurricane season in the Pacific begins in the month of May each year—June 1, in the case of the Atlantic—and ends at the end of November. This year, it started with Cyclone Adrián and Tropical Storm Bret: the first approached Mexico through the Pacific area, and the second through the Atlantic. They were followed by other phenomena such as Hurricane Beatriz, which threatened the west Mexican coasts with 120-kilometer-per-hour winds and ended up dissipating off the coast of Jalisco.
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