SATURDAY UPDATE: A Rare Tropical Hit on Southern California

Saturday 8/19 – NO major changes to the original forecast. The main impacts from Hilary will be the massive flooding that will extend all the way into Nevada. It’s now just a waiting game for Hilary to arrive Sunday afternoon and night. I guess the main change is that Hilary will remain a tropical storm when it hits and could maintain that into Nevada although the Sierra’s should chew -up Hilary.

Friday 8/18 – Hilary is a major Cat 4 hurricane that could briefly reach cat 5 today. Hilary will begin to weaken tomorrow and by the time the storm hits southern California, it should be a tropical storm. Flooding is going to be the main issue with 2-8 inches of rain across southern Cal into Nevada. This will lead to massive flooding problems. Winds will be gusty with gusts 50-70 mph in some areas. A few severe storms and tornadoes may also occur.

Thursday 8/17 – I adjusted the map to reflect the track going toward San Diego. While this is a rare event to happen, it has happened before. Many storms or remnants of storms have hit southern California. No the danger is flooding since we are coming off a rainy and snowy winter and Hilary will bring heavy rains. There is still some snow over the mountains so I expect that the tropical air will melt the remaining snow pack down causing additional snow issues. On a good note. Fires will be doused by Hilary all the way up to the Pac NW.

Wed 8/16 – A tropical system developing in the eastern Pacific will become Hurricane Hilary today. That hurricane is predicted to move north-northwest and may impact southern California by Monday. If that hurricane hits southern California, it will be a rare event that happens about every 10 years or so. Typically, the hurricanes will come north then turn to the northwest and just weaken over the colder ocean waters off southern California. Many of the tropical models are showing that Hilary will skim along the southern California coast which means heavy rains and gusty winds for San Diego through the the LA Basin. I expect the system will move in that direction but take a slight jog northwest and weaken over the Pacific. Showers and thunderstorms will still impact southern California next week and the monsoon storms in the Southwest will be enhanced.