Tropical Storm Hilary strengthened into a hurricane Thursday, with forecasters warning it could potentially bring devastating rainfall and high winds to Southern California this weekend.
The last tropical storm to impact the state was 84 years ago, according to official records.
The National Hurricane Center said Hilary was about 475 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, as of 5 p.m. Thursday ET, with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph. While Hilary is likely to weaken as it travels northward, it could bring heavy rainfall to the southwestern United States, along with large swells and high surf along the coast.
There is a tropical storm warning in effect for Baja California Sur, Mexico, for Cabo San Lazaro southward and Los Barriles southward. There’s a tropical storm watch in effect north of those locations.
The National Hurricane Center is warning that the storm could produce 3-6 inches of rain — with up to 10 inches of rain in isolated spots — on the peninsula through Sunday night, with the potential for flash flooding.
“Hilary has the potential to bring significant impacts to the Baja California Peninsula and portions of the southwestern United States this weekend and early next week, including after it becomes post-tropical,” the center said. “Although it is too soon to determine the location and magnitude of wind impacts, interests in these areas should monitor the progress of Hilary and updates to the forecast.”