AIR Describes Hurricane Norbert’s Passage over Baja California, Mexico

October 13, 2008

AIR Worldwide’s latest bulletin on Pacific Ocean Hurricane Norbert traces the storm’s passage over the southern Baja Peninsula, the Gulf of California, and its eventual landfall on the west coast of Mexico. Fortunately Norbert’s track took it over sparsely populated areas, and it caused minimal damage.

AIR noted that Norbert “gained strength and arrived on the southwest coast of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula at 9:30 a.m. local time (PDT) Saturday near Puerto Charley as a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds at landfall of 105 mph [168 km/hr]. Norbert maintained hurricane status as it crossed the Baja Peninsula and Gulf of California, making a second landfall in Mexico’s Sonora state at around 8:00 p.m. local time as a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of near 85 mph [136 km/hr]. Given both of Norbert’s landfalls were along sparsely populated rural areas with only a small percentage of properties carrying insurance, AIR does not expect significant insured losses.”

After tracing the storm’s fluctuations, Dr. Tim Doggett Senior Research Scientist at AIR, stated: “Fortunately, Norbert’s landfall location was along a sparsely populated stretch of the coast about 145 miles [232 kms] northwest of the resort destination of Cabo San Lucas.

“Nevertheless, Norbert was a large system at landfall and homes in Puerto San Carlos, some 40 miles west-northwest of Puerto Charley, were reportedly knee-deep in water from the system’s torrential rains. Roofs were blown off of homes and trees were downed in towns and villages across the region. Authorities evacuated hundreds of people from poorly constructed wood and sheet metal homes.

“As Norbert continued its path inland, the Sierra Nevada mountain range quickly impacted the organization of the system, decoupling the surface-level circulation from the mid- and upper-level circulations. Norbert is now a tropical storm moving to the northeast at near 20 mph. After further weakening, the remnants of Norbert will be over northwest Mexico later this morning and over western Texas and New Mexico later today, areas of which may receive up to 2 inches of rainfall.”

Source AIR Worldwide –

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