| 29 November 2023, Wednesday |

‘Erratic’ Hurricane Norma on track to hit Mexico’s Baja California

On Friday afternoon, Hurricane Norma became stronger as it churned toward the southernmost point of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, threatening the region’s well-liked tourist resorts with heavy rainfall starting on Saturday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Norma had regained Category 3 status after earlier in the day’s moderate weakening, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (193 km/h) as it moved north.

Norma is located some 195 miles (314 km) south of Cabo San Lucas, a popular resort city known for its golden sand beaches, night life and whale watching. The “major hurricane,” according to air force hurricane hunters, is advancing to the north at a speed of 8 mph (13 km/h), the NHC said.

“It’s a very strong storm,” state Governor Victor Manuel Castro told reporters at a press conference, describing it as “erratic.”

Castro called on all bars, clubs and other businesses to close on Friday evening, and for people to stay indoors. He added that public transport will close from 9 p.m. to allow local hotel workers to get home.

Shelters have been set up with a total capacity for 10,000 people, he added.

The NHC warned of dangerous winds, heavy rainfall and possible flooding across southern Baja California through Saturday. It forecast tropical storm conditions could extend as far as Sinaloa state on Mexico’s mainland Pacific coast once Norma makes an expected turn to the west on Sunday.

Between 5-10 inches of rain is expected, and up to 15 inches (38 cm) in the hardest-hit areas around southern Baja through Sunday and then across parts of Sinaloa by Monday, according to the NHC. It warned of likely flooding and possible mudslides.

“Life comes first, we don’t want any surprises,” added Castro.

“Everything indicates this hurricane will come early morning, attacking like a bandit in the night.”

  • Reuters