MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hilary strengthened into a hurricane off Mexico’s Pacific coast Thursday, and it could bring heavy rain to the U.S. southwest by the weekend.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center is reporting that Hilary had maximum winds of 85 mph (140 kph) and was expected to strengthen into a major hurricane and perhaps skim the coast of the Baja California peninsula by the weekend.
Hilary was located 365 miles (590 kilometers) from Cabo Corrientes in Mexico. While it was still far from land, the hurricane was moving west-northwest at 14 mph (22 kph) and was expected to take a more northward turn, toward the U.S. border.
It was expected to become a major hurricane by Friday and perhaps skim the sparsely populated western edge of the Baja coast. The hurricane center said it could survive briefly as a tropical storm and cross the U.S. border.
“Rainfall impacts from Hilary within the Southwestern United States are expected to peak this weekend into Monday,” the hurricane center wrote in a report. “Flash, urban, and arroyo flooding is possible with the potential for significant impacts.”
The area affected by heavy rainfall may include the stretch between San Diego, California and Yuma, Arizona. An area between Bakersfield, California and Tucson, Arizona could also see rain.
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