As Hurricane Jimena nears the coast of Baja California, Mexico is bracing for the onslaught. The National Hurricane Center in Miami described the storm as “extremely dangerous,” with maximum sustained winds near 155 mph, 250 km/hr, with higher gusts. “Jimena is a category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and very near the threshold of category five status,” said the latest NHC bulletin.
The NHC forecast indicates that Jimena’s strength may fluctuate, and will probably weaken on Wednesday as it passes over land. But it “is expected to remain a major hurricane until landfall.”
The Mexican government has extended the hurricane warning northward along the west coast of the Baja Peninsula to Puerto San Andresito and on the east coast to Loreto. A hurricane warning is now in effect for the southern portion of Baja California from Puerto San Andresito southward on the west coast, and from Loreto southward on the east coast, including Cabo San Lucas.
As of 2:00 a.m. PDT the center of hurricane Jimena was located about 185 miles, 300 kms, south of Cabo San Lucas, and about 345 miles, 560 kms, south-southeast of Cabo San Lazaro.
The hurricane is moving toward the north-northwest near 12 mph, 19 km/hr, and this general motion is expected to continue during the next day or two. “On the forecast track Jimena will be approaching the southern portion of the Baja California peninsula later today and tonight,” the NHC warned.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 45 miles, 75 kms, from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140miles, 220 kms. Estimated minimum central pressure is 931 mb – 27.49 inches.
Jimena is also “expected to produce total rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches over the southern half of the Baja California peninsula and portions of western Mexico during the next couple of days, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches,” as well as high tides and battering waves, the NHC added.
Source: National Hurricane Center – www.nhc.noaa.gov
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