Hurricane Hilary continued to strengthen off Mexico’s southwestern coast Thursday and is expected to stay on a path that could bring it to Southern California. Across the Pacific, forecasters are still tracking Tropical Depression Greg while Fernanda became a post-tropical low.
Another disturbance could form off the coast of southern Mexico.
During an El Niño event, the Pacific Ocean is considered to be a hotbed of activity, so the increased rate of formation is not abnormal, especially with plenty of warm water.
Fernanda becomes post-tropical low
On Sunday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded Tropical Storm Fernanda in the Eastern Pacific to Hurricane Fernanda, which quickly became a major hurricane. Fernanda then began to weaken on Monday and Tuesday.
Weakening continued on Wednesday, and Fernanda was downgraded to a tropical storm.
The NHC issued its last advisory on Thursday morning as maximum sustained winds decreased to 35 mph. The weakening trend is expected to continue, and Fernanda will likely dissipate by the weekend, according to the NHC.
Tropical Depression Greg weakens
Tropical Depression Greg continues to spin south of Hawaii, and as of Thursday, it was located about 630 miles south of Honolulu.
Greg has maximum sustained winds of about 35 mph with some higher gusts, and it's moving to the west at 13 mph.
That general forward motion will continue through Thursday night before moving to the west-southwest on Friday.
Tropical Storm Greg is expected to continue to weaken and will soon become a post-tropical remnant low, according to the NHC.
The FOX Forecast Center will continue to closely monitor Tropical Storm Greg since recovery efforts are ongoing after more than 100 people were killed on Maui after devastating wildfires swept across the island.
Hurricane Hilary continues to rapidly intensify
Hurricane Hilary continued to rapidly intensify into a Category 3 storm Thursday evening after developing into a hurricane early Thursday morning, and forecasters said that the hurricane's path could bring "significant" impacts to Southern California and the Southwest by the end of the week and into the first part of next week.
Hurricane Hilary is located about 445 miles southof Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It is moving to the west-northwest at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph.
The NHC said Hurricane Hilary should continue to move to the west-northwest through Thursday night and will then take a turn to the north-northwest and then north on Saturday. Hurricane Hilary will approach the Baja California peninsula over the weekend.
The Mexican government has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the southern portions of Baja California Sur from Cabo San Lazaro south on the west coast and Los Barriles south on the east coast. A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued north of Cabo San Lazaro to Punta Abreojos on the west coast and Los Barriles to Loreto on the east coast.
Large swells generated by Hurricane Hilary will affect portions of the southwestern Mexico coast and the Baja California peninsula over the next few days, according to the NHC. The swells are also likely to cause life-threatening surf and potentially deadly rip currents.
As Hurricane Hilary spins closer to the U.S.-Mexico border, millions of people living in Southern California and the Southwest will need to keep an eye on a surge of tropical moisture expected to impact the region.
Forecast rainfall totals of 2-4 inches, with some amounts of up to 8 inches, will be possible across portions of Southern California and Southern Nevada. Between 2-3 inches of rain could also fall across portions of western Arizona.
A broad area of low pressure could form offshore the coast of southern Mexico at the start or during the middle of next week. The NHC said some gradual development is possible after that while it slowly moves off to the west-northwest or the northwest.