MEXICO CITY – Tropical Storm Lorena has regained strength to become a Category-1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale as it nears the Baja California peninsula with probable torrential rains, Mexico’s National Meteorological Service (SMN) warned this Friday.
“The eye of Hurricane Lorena, Category-1 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, is approaching the coasts of Baja California Sur. For that reason torrential-to-extraordinary rains are forecast that could cause mudslides, raise the levels of rivers and streams, and flood the lower areas of the region,” the organization said in its latest bulletin.
At 7:00 am, the weather phenomenon was centered 95 kilometers east of Cabo San Lucas in the northwestern state of Baja California Sur, and was moving west-northwest at 15 kph (9 mph) with gusts of up to 150 kph.
Hurricane Lorena formed last Sept. 17 and has developed in a somewhat erratic manner.
For two days it advanced as a tropical storm along the west coast of Mexico and made landfall this Thursday as a Category-1 hurricane in the state of Jalisco with heavy rains and some flooding that forced the evacuation of people from their homes to keep them safe.
Lorena’s strength ebbed and it returned to sea, but in the last few hours it gathered strength once more and continued on its Pacific Ocean path to close in on Baja California, though it now seems to have somewhat changed its route and is no longer expected to make landfall.
Nonetheless, the state of Baja California Sur is on the alert, since “extraordinary” rains are expected there, as well as in southern Sinaloa and Nayarit states.
At the same time, winds with gusts of over 80 kph and waves of 3 to 5 meters (10 to 16 feet) high are forecast on the coasts of Baja California Sur, Sinaloa and Nayarit states, while winds with gusts of more than 50 kph and waves 1 to 3 meters high are expected on the coasts of Jalisco and Colima states.
For all that, people living in those areas have been told they should attend to the recommendations of Civil Protection, which has decreed the maximum danger red alert in the southern region of Baja California Sur.
Meanwhile Tropical Storm Mario is also moving in the Mexican Pacific, and though it is far off the coastline, its “cloudiness interacts with the cloud bands” of Lorena, the SMN reported.
With Lorena and Mario, 13 of the 19 major storms forecast by the SMN for the current hurricane season in the Pacific have occurred, specifically eight hurricanes and five tropical storms.