MEXICO CITY –
Tropical Storm Kay has dumped heavy rain on a sparsely populated peninsula on Mexico’s Pacific coast as it weakens as it moves out to sea and is expected to bring rain to southernmost California over the weekend.
Kay’s eye made landfall as a hurricane near Mexico’s Bahia Asuncion in the state of Baja California Sur on Thursday afternoon, but by evening it was a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 km/h h (70 mph).
Kay then moves back into the cooler and fresher waters and is predicted to continue to weaken. The storm’s center was about 65 kilometers (40 mi) from Punta Eugenia late Thursday and was moving north-northwest at 22 km/h (14 mph).
The US National Hurricane Center in Miami said it was likely that the outer bands of the major storm could bring heavy rain – and possibly flash flooding – to arid regions of Southern California and southwestern Arizona on Thursday night. Friday and Saturday.
Ivory Small, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego, said the storm is expected to affect the San Diego County area with slightly less strength than a tropical storm. . While the eye remains offshore, he says the wind will equate to a moderate Santa Ana and could be strong enough to topple tree branches.
Rainfall is forecast to be about 1 inch on the coast and up to 4 inches in the mountains, “a lot of rain in September,” he said. The storm could also begin to cool down around San Diego, where extreme heat warnings have been issued.
Small said the last time a hurricane or tropical storm came near San Diego was Nora in 1997.
The Baja California Sur state government said more than 1,600 people had evacuated to shelters before Kay arrived. It said some creeks have risen and some roads have been closed. The landslides were reported to have cut some roads on the peninsula, but there were no reports of injuries.
The mayor of the town of Mulege on the Gulf of California Thursday morning said her town has been without water since Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Earl swirled over the open sea in the Atlantic and passed southeast of Bermuda late Thursday after weakening from a major Category 3 storm.
Earl was in the center about 150 kilometers (95 miles) southeast of Bermuda late on Thursday. It had maximum sustained winds of 150 km/h (90 mph) and was moving north-northeast at 24 km/h (15 mph).
The island’s minister of national security, Michael Weeks, earlier said that public services and government offices would continue to operate but warned residents to prepare for tropical storm conditions.
“Bermuda will definitely feel the effects of Earl, so we have to watch out for complacency,” he said.
The week also warned of flooding in low-lying areas and noted that officials had opened a government shelter.