The National Weather Service (NWS) says Tropical Storm Hilary may impact parts of Southern California as soon as this weekend.
While Southern California is typically absent from the effects of tropical storms, the NWS Los Angeles said there is up to a 30% chance strong winds reach landfall Sunday night.
Hilary formed off the Southwest coast of Mexico Thursday and is expected to become a “major” hurricane Friday. Its strength is expected to decrease by the time it moves into the Southern California region, but could still bring tropical storm-level rain and winds.
“Confidence continues to increase on a heavy rainfall, potentially high impact, event unfolding across parts of the Southwest and California Saturday to Monday,” NWS said Thursday.
Here is the latest forecast info for Tropical Storm Hilary from @NWSNHC:
– Hilary forecast to become a major hurricane Fri night
– Hilary is forecast to impact #SoCal as a tropical storm on Mon
– 20-30% chance tropical storm-force winds, beginning as early as Sun evening#CAwx pic.twitter.com/mf6xU1OkDL
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) August 16, 2023
A tropical storm can reach wind speeds between 39 mph to 73 mph, although the NWS has not projected the speeds for Hilary’s time in California. A hurricane is a windstorm that hits speeds upward of 74 mph.
In September 2022, remnants of Tropical Storm Kay made its way through Southern California, with the rainfall providing relief to brushfire-stricken areas of Riverside County that were having trouble with fire containment.
Only two storms at tropical storm speeds have ever been recorded in California, with eight remnants recorded since 1858.
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