Monday, September 15, 2014

México: Baja California on Alert Sunday as Odile Approaches Category 4

According to The Latin American TribuneMéxico declared the northwestern Baja California peninsula to be on maximum alert on September 14 due to the passage of Hurricane Odile, which intensified early Sunday into a Category 4 storm, dumping torrential rain in the region, the weather service said.

Odile’s storm bands are bringing intense rain of 75 to 150 mm (3 to 6 inches) to Baja California Sur and very heavy rain 50 to 75 mm (2 to 3 inches) to the mountainous parts of Colima, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco states, the weather service said.

The storm is expected to bring heavy rain to Durango, Michoacan and Guerrero states and more moderate precipitation to Guanajuato and Morelos states.

At 1200 GMT, the storm was located 360 kilometers (223 miles) west of Manzanillo, Colima, and 224 km (139 miles) southwest of Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, and was packing maximum sustained winds of 215 kph (133 mph) with gusts of up to 260 kph (161 mph), as it moves north-northwest at 24 kph (15 mph).

The hurricane alert extends from Punta Eugenia to Los Cabos, in Baja California Sur, on the west coast of the peninsula and from Los Cabos to Mulege, on the peninsula’s east coast.

COMMENT: A tropical storm alert remains in effect from Manzanillo, Colima, to Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, and from Mulege to Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur.

Forecasts are that the hurricane will intensify in the coming hours within Category 4 and that it will pass close to the Mexican coast although it is not predicted to make landfall.

So far, the Pacific hurricane season has seen the formation of Hurricanes Amanda, Cristina, Genevieve, Hernan, Iselle, Julio, Karina, Lowell, Marie, Norbert and Odile, as well as Tropical Storms Boris, Douglas, Elida, Fausto and Wali.

To date, the only storm to make landfall in México was Boris, which did so on the coast of the southern state of Chiapas.