Hurricane Blanca intensified off the Pacific Coast of Mexico on Saturday and has been upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane packing 130 mph winds, forecasters said.
A new Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the coast from La Paz to Santa Fe, including Cabo San Lucas, and a Hurricane Watch is in effect from Cabo San Lucas to Santa Fe, the National Hurricane Center said in an overnight update.
An earlier update said Blanca had become a “major hurricane” again.
The severe storm is expected to dump 6 to 10 inches of rain on much of Baja California Sur and the southern portion of Baja California when it hits late Sunday or early Monday, the NHC said.
Hurricane Blanca is expected to maintain its strength before a weakening trend begins late Saturday or early Sunday, The Weather Channel said.
The resort zone of Cabo San Lucas is still recovering from Category 3 Hurricane Odile which ravaged the area in September and was the strongest storm there in 25 years.
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SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Cabo San Lucas to Santa Fe
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* La Paz to Santa Fe, including Cabo San Lucas
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* North of La Paz to San Evaristo
* North of Santa Fe to Cabo San Lazaro
Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the warning area on Sunday, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch area Sunday and Sunday night. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the tropical storm watch area starting Sunday night.
RAINFALL: Blanca is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 6 to 10 inches over much of Baja California Sur and the southern portion of the state of Baja California, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches over Baja California Sur. These rains could produce life threatening flash floods and mudslides.
SURF: Swells generated by Blanca are affecting the coast of southwestern Mexico, the Pacific coast of the Baja California peninsula, and the southern Gulf of California. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. For additional information, please consult products from your local weather office.