Blanca Expected to be Earliest Category-5 Hurricane on Record

While Andres has now weakened into a tropical storm, Blanca continues to strengthen and is now a major hurricane centered well southwest of Mexico.

This is the earliest on record, since 1971, that two major hurricanes have formed in the Eastern Pacific. There have been four other seasons that have had two major hurricanes develop before the end of June.

“Blanca is also expected to become the earliest Category 5 hurricane in the eastern Pacific, a record that is currently being held by Hurricane Ava from 1973. Ava reached that threshold on June 6 of that year,” stated AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

While Andres brought only rough surf and rip currents to Mexico, Blanca will bring more direct impacts as it continues to strengthen over the next few days and eventually approaches Baja California.

The expected track will take this tropical system closer to the Mexico coastline as it moves northward, but the worst conditions will remain well offshore. Even through Blanca will remain over the open ocean through Saturday, large surf and dangerous rip currents will increase along the coast of Mexico from Acapulco to near Puerto Vallarta.

While the heaviest rain will also remain offshore, the increase in moisture will lead to enhanced showers and thunderstorms across parts of Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco. Flooding is expected to be localized.

This weekend, a track toward Baja California is expected; however, moving over cooler waters would result in significant weakening prior to a potential landfall in southern Baja California. Even though Blanca will be weakening as it approaches Baja California, the storm will bring the threat of damaging winds and flooding rainfall this weekend with landfall either Saturday night or Sunday.

Landfall is possible between Cabo San Lucas and Puerto San Carlos. These areas suffered widespread damaging after Hurricane Odile made landfall across the region last year. While Blanca is not expected to be as strong as Odile at landfall, it will still be capable of producing life-threatening conditions such as damaging winds, flash flooding and mudslides.

Puerto Vallarta News

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