Hurricane Norbert Will Bring Heavy Rains to Southwest


Hurricane Norbert drenched towns and prompted evacuations as it stormed over Mexico’s Baja California peninsula on Friday. Forecasters believe the storm will bring much-needed rain to the dry U.S. Southwest in the coming days.

According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami, Norbert had strengthened Friday evening with maximum sustained winds near 100 mph. The storm was centered about 60 miles south of Cabo San Lucas as it marched north towards the U.S. Southwest on Friday.

Currently a Category 2 hurricane, Norbert is positioned over an area with above average water temperatures and a mix of different wind speeds that vary with altitude and shear. As a result, the storm is expected to maintain its strength through at least Friday night. However, Norbert will eventually move over cooler water and more stable air, which will weaken the storm.

In addition to its own moisture, Norbert will combine precipitation with ex-Tropical Storm Dolly, which will amplify any possible flooding scenario in the U.S. Southwest in the upcoming days.

Flooding is a serious possibility in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, far-west Texas, southeast California, southern Nevada, and possibly southwest Colorado.

Hurricane Norbert will create high surf and dangerous rip currents up the California coast, with waves expecting to top off at anywhere between 4-7 feet. The possibility has prompted local officials to send out surf and rip current warnings to beach-goers.

Minor flooding caused by the high-surf may also be in the works for California towns along the Pacific Coast, according to forecasters.

Hurricane Norbert’s outer-edges may bring thunderstorms and rain to the high deserts and mountains of California’s severely dry Orange and Los Angeles counties. However, some forecasters remain skeptical that this will happen.

Almost all of California is presently in a historical drought, therefore any rain would be much welcomed.

Hurricane Norbert is the ninth hurricane in an already busy eastern-Pacific hurricane season.



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