The once dangerous Category 5 Hurricane Rick has weakened to a Tropical Storm with maximum sustained winds of 65mph and is on track to brush past the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula within the next 24 hours, but it is no threat at all to Rocky Point.
For those of you who are concerned about the storm's effect in Mexico to the south of us, here is the situation as of 8:00am PDT, Oct. 20, 2009.
The center of the storm is located about 200 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas. Rick is moving to the northeast at about 7mph, and this motion, with an increase in forward speed, is expected to continue later today and Wednesday.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the southern Baja Peninsula from Agua Blanca southward on the west coast and from north of Buena Vista southward to La Paz on the east coast, including Los Cabos.
Across the Sea of Cortez on Mainland Mexico, a tropical storm watch is in effect from El Roblito northward to Altata. A tropical storm watch means that storm conditions are expected within 36 hours; Rick will be approaching the western coast of Mainland Mexico tomorrow.
If Rick continues on its expected track it should hit Mainland Mexico between Mazatlan and Culiacan on Wednesday. Of interest is the fact that the cruise ship Norwegian Star has bypassed its scheduled stop in Cabo San Lucas but is expected to port in Mazatlan as scheduled on Wednesday.
Important to note is that tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 160 miles from the center, so just because Rick may not hit southern Baja directly does not mean that the area will not sustain damage. Along with dangerous surf conditions, which Baja Sur is already experiencing, the storm is expected to drop a lot of rain over Baja and northwestern Mexico, from the Sinaloa coast to the southern end of Sonora. As much as 10 inches of rain could fall in isolated amounts over extreme southern Baja as well as the states of Sinaloa and Durango in West-Central Mexico during the next few days. This is very dangerous, as they could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.
For updates and the very best view of the storm, go to Stormpulse.com Be sure to "turn o" the clouds by clicking on the little round button at the top right where it says "Clouds". You'll get an amazing view.
Rick is the 17th named storm of the eastern Pacific hurricane season, which runs from May 15 to Nov. 30. The eastern Pacific usually produces on average about 15 storms, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.