Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Thursday, September 3, 2009

UPDATE 4: Hurricane Jimena, Rocky Point, the Baja and San Carlos, Sonora

NEW UPDATE FOR ROCKY POINT: Weather officials in Arizona are expecting some stormy weather over the weekend, as the remnants of Jimena connect with a cold front off the Pacific Ocean to trigger showers and thundershowers. There is a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the Valley Thursday and Friday nights, jumping to 40 percent for the day on Saturday, but dropping to 30 percent by Sunday. There is a chance for Labor Day storms in southeast Arizona.

You can probably expect similar weather in Rocky Point over the weekend. They expect some clouds and rain at some point, maybe a thundershower or two, but negligible winds. As of early Thursday afternoon, the sky is blue with some wispy clouds far to the south and a light wind. If you are used to driving during Arizona's monsoon season, you should have no problem getting to Rocky Point during any part of the weekend. The road is good and well maintained. Keep an ear tuned to the local weather station for indications of flooding, but I wouldn't be overly concerned about driving down.

UPDATE 4: As of late Wednesday/early Thursday-- Part of Jimena, now a Tropical Storm, has crossed the Sea of Cortez and is currently pounding Guaymas/San Carlos on the Sonoran Coast. Information is hard to come by, as the San Carlos message boards seem pretty silent on Jimena, but the last reports I got indicated lots of rain, high surf, and some pretty strong winds moving in late on Wednesday. This storm should break up completely in the mountains of Sonora, with residual moisture moving north/northeast.

Meanwhile, the other part of Jimena remains stalled over central Baja. (That's what the officials say, though the 2:00AM updated image seems to show the whole thing moving over mainland Mexico. ???) No word has arrived from Mulege for several hours, and we assume conditions there are not good with the deluge of rain probably causing serious flooding, positioned as the town is on a river at the base of mountains. Keep the good people of that area in your thoughts and prayers.

The official update from the NHC/ NOAA as of Sept. 3 at 8:00PM PDT:

While there have been no recent microwave overpasses of Jimena, late afternoon visible satellite imagery suggest that the mid- and upper-level center of Jimena is decoupling from the low-level center. Recent surface observations show that the low-level center remains over the central Baja California peninsula. Moderate to strong west-southwesterly upper-level winds are expected to take the mid- and upper-level center east-northeastward toward Mainland Mexico, while the low-level center is forecast to turn north-northwest, then westward in the low-level flow. Most of the track guidance agrees with this scenario and the official forecast is similar to the previous advisory but lies along the northern side of the guidance after 24 hours.

As of 2:00AM PDT September 3:
The government of Mexico has extended the tropical storm warning northward on the east coast of the Baja Peninsula to Calamajue and northward on the coast of northwestern mainland Mexico from Huatabampito northward to Puerto Libertad.

The center of Tropical Storm Jimena at 2:00AM was located about 30 miles/45KM north-northwest of Santa Rosalia on the Baja Peninsula. Jimena is moving toward the north near 7mph/22 KM/hr. A turn toward the northwest then west with a decrease in forward speed is expected later today, followed by a turn toward the southwest on Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Jimena will be near the east coast of central Baja today, then move inland over Baja by tonight.

Additional weakening is forecast during the next couple of days and Jimena could weaken to a tropical depression by tonight.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 120 miles/195 KM from the center. Jimena is expected to produce additional rain accumulations of 3 to 5 inches over the central portion of the Baja Peninsula and portions of western Mexico during the next day or so. Isolated maximum storm-total amounts of 15 inches are possible in association with Jimena. These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

Higher than normal tide levels with large and dangerous battering waves along portions of the coast of the central Baja Peninsula and northwestern mainland Mexico will gradually subside during the next day or two.