Hurricane warnings continue for southern Baja California as Hurricane Jimena approaches from the south.
Thanks to data gathered by one of NOAA’s “Hurricane Hunter” aircraft JImena appears to be slightly stronger than satellite imagery had suggested. Jimena’s sustained winds midday Monday approached 155 mph, just shy of going to category five on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
While Jimena is expected to weaken slightly as it nears the Baja peninsula, the forecast still projects Jimena to be at least a category three hurricane as it move just to the west of Cabo San Lucas and maintain hurricane intensity for 24-36 hours as it moves over Baja California. The potential for storm surge, wind and flooding rains may be enhanced due to the slow movement with the storm. Jimena is still nudging northwestward at only 10 mph.
Tropical storm force winds may begin arriving early Tuesday, followed by hurricane force winds by the evening on Tuesday on the southern coast. The storm should weaken to a tropical storm by Thursday due to interaction with the baja landmass, and is expected to possibly emerge over the Gulf of California as a weak tropical storm.
Jimena may continue drifting northward and bring locally heavy rains as a tropical depression into northwestern Mexico, southeastern California and southern Arizona.