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Tropical Storm Norbert Forms Off Southwest Mexico

Tropical Storm Norbert, the fourteenth named storm of a busy eastern Pacific hurricane season, has formed off the Mexican Pacific coast, and may strengthen into a hurricane.

Unlike the most recent trio of Karina, Lowell, and Marie, Tropical Storm Norbert will not simply be an “out-to-sea” wave generator.

While Norbert’s center may never make landfall, it is expected to creep very slowly to the northwest over the next several days, remaining close enough to parts of southwest Mexico and the southern Baja Peninsula to produce some high surf and rip currents and locally heavy rain.

Later this week into the weekend, Norbert should take a left turn and weaken into the open waters of the eastern Pacific west of Baja California.

Norbert is encountering some wind shear, or changing winds with height, which may put a lid on its intensification. However, there is still the potential for Norbert to attain hurricane status anytime in the next five days.

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The main concern with Norbert will be heavy rain, flash flooding and mudslides, as south to southwest winds on the eastern half of Norbert’s circulation funnel deep moisture into western Mexico and the Baja Peninsula.

Eventually, Norbert’s circulation and the background upper-level wind flow pattern may draw moisture northward, enhancing rainfall over parts of the Desert Southwest late this week into at least next weekend. This has the potential to evolve into a serious flash flood threat in parts of the Desert Southwest.

Incidentally, the eastern Pacific’s fourteenth named storm typically arrives by October 11, so the named storm pace is over five weeks ahead of average.