Mexico expands watches and warnings for potential Tropical Cyclone

At 900 AM MDT (1500 UTC), the disturbance was centered near latitude 19.3 North, longitude 108.6 West. The system is moving toward the north-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h). A slower north-northwestward motion is expected over the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of the disturbance will be near the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula by late Thursday, and near or west of Baja California Sur on Friday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. The system is expected to strengthen to a tropical storm by tonight, and it could become a hurricane by late Thursday or early Friday.

The disturbance continues to show signs of organization, and only a small increase in the definition of the circulation would lead to the formation of a tropical cyclone.

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area by early Thursday, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area late Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area in mainland Mexico starting late on Thursday, and in the watch area in Baja California Sur on Friday.

RAINFALL: The system is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 8 to 12 inches (20-25 cm) across the Mexican states of Baja California Sur and western Jalisco, with isolated maximum totals of 20 inches. In the Mexican states of Sinaloa, Nayarit, Colima, southern Michoacan, southern Sonora and central Jalisco, rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches are expected. This rain could cause life- threatening flash floods and mudslides.

STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and east of the center over the southern portion of Baja California Sur. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

SURF: Swells generated by the disturbance are affecting portions of the coast of southwestern and western Mexico. These swells will likely reach the southern portions of Baja California Sur later today, and could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

The government of Mexico has extended the Hurricane Watch northward along the east coast of Baja California Sur to east of La Paz.

The government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm Warning in Baja California Sur from north of Todos Santos to Santa Fe and from north of Los Barriles to La Paz.

The government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm Watch from west of La Paz to Loreto on the east coast of Baja California Sur and on the mainland from Bahia Tempehuaya to Huatabampito.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Baja California Sur from Puerto Cortes to east of La Paz

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Baja California Sur from Santa Fe to La Paz

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* west of La Paz to Loreto
* mainland Mexico from Bahia Tempehuaya to Huatabampito

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Interests elsewhere in western Mexico and Baja California Sur should monitor the progress of this system.

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