Hurricane Blanca Bears Down on Mexico, U.S. Impacts Next Week?
Just nine months after Hurricane Odile smashed through Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, another potent hurricane is threatening the tourist haven, potentially threatening hard-hit Cabo San Lucas over the next 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Warnings and Hurricane Watches are in place for the Cabo San Lucas area and much of the southwestern tip of the Baja California coastline as Blanca re-strengthened into a Category 4 storm early on Saturday morning, packing maximum sustained winds of 130 miles-per-hour (MPH) as of early Saturday afternoon Cabo San Lucas time (MDT).
The good news for the Cabo San Lucas area is Blanca is expected to weaken before making landfall, and the storm is expected to pass to the city’s northwest, unlike Odile, which made a direct landfall on the city of nearly 70,000 people. The National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) official forecast calls for Blanca to make landfall late Sunday night or early Monday morning on a more remote part of the peninsula. The NHC also calls for the storm to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained wind speeds between 75 and 95 MPH.
The water temperatures off of Baja California drop significantly, which should weaken Blanca quickly as it moves up the Gulf of California and eventually crosses into the U.S.
The remnants of the storm will impact the southwestern United States early-to-mid next week. Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Las Vegas, Nevada and even Denver, Colorado could all see tropical moisture. Blanca is expected to be nothing more than a remnant low as it moves into the southwest, with the primary hazards being heavy rainfall.
A list of emergency shelters in Cabo San Lucas and La Paz can be found here.
Stay with WeatherNation and www.WeatherNationTV.com for continued coverage of Blanca and through the tropical season.
Meteorologist Chris Bianchi