MEXICO CITY (AP) — A rapidly strengthening Tropical Storm Nora is rolling toward a brush at possible hurricane strength along Mexico’s Pacific Coast and the Baja California Peninsula over the weekend.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Nora could bring dangerous flash floods and mudslides through the weekend.
Nora may head up into the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez. But before reaching that, it’s likely to stay offshore while grazing the region around Puerto Vallarta Saturday and the Los Cabos resort region on Monday.
The Hurricane Center said the storm could bring dangerous flash floods and mudslides through the weekend as it runs parallel along the coast, likely coming closest at point below the Puerto Vallarta region on Saturday.
Models suggest it may avoid a direct hit on the twin resorts of Los Cabos and steam northward into the Gulf.
But the center noted “That will be a small needle to thread, however, and any future shifts in the models could increase the risk of impacts to either the Baja California Peninsula or the northwestern coast of mainland Mexico through the middle of next week.”
On Friday, Nora was centered about 285 miles (460 kilometers) south of Cabo Corrientes and it was heading to the northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).
Nora had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) and it was expected to reach hurricane force on Saturday. It was a big system, with tropical storm-force winds extending as far as 275 miles (445 kilometers) from the center.
The hurricane center said the storm could dump 8-12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) of rain over the central Mexican coast, with isolated maximums of up to 20 inches (50 centimeters).