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Hurricane Hilary could dump over a year’s worth of rain on parts of the Southwest

(Qnnflash) – The threat posed by Hurricane Hilary is raising concerns over potential flooding and rainfall in the southwestern United States, including parts of California. The hurricane’s rare trajectory over the region has led to a tropical storm warning being issued for parts of Southern California. Experts predict that Hilary could potentially bring an extraordinary amount of rainfall, equivalent to more than a year’s worth of rain, to California, Nevada, and Arizona. Consequently, parts of California are facing an unprecedented high risk of excessive rainfall, marked as a Level 4 threat, the first of its kind in this region.

As of now, Hurricane Hilary stands as a powerful Category 4 hurricane located approximately 325 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The National Hurricane Center reports sustained winds of 130 mph, with even stronger gusts. Remarkably, the hurricane underwent rapid intensification in just 24 hours, escalating from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane. The forecast suggests Hilary will retain its Category 4 status as it approaches Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.

Various warnings and watches have been issued in anticipation of Hilary’s movement, covering regions from Baja California to northwest Mexico. The hurricane’s unpredictable path underscores the significance of small shifts in its trajectory, which could ultimately influence the intensity of rain and wind experienced in the United States.

The potential impacts extend beyond the hurricane’s center, with strong winds and heavy rain anticipated in areas even before the hurricane itself arrives. Although Hilary is expected to weaken before reaching parts of the Southwest, the storm is still poised to magnify the risk of heavy rainfall and flooding.

The extreme level of threat associated with excessive rainfall cannot be underestimated. These high-risk scenarios account for only a small percentage of days each year, yet they contribute significantly to flood-related damage and fatalities. In California and Nevada, rainfall amounts ranging from 3 to 10 inches are expected, with isolated areas potentially receiving up to 10 inches. Even regions like Death Valley, known for its arid conditions, could experience significant rainfall, potentially equivalent to a year’s worth in a single day.

The looming threat of flooding has prompted precautionary measures and preparations. Mojave National Preserve has been closed due to concerns about possible flooding, and flood watches have been issued across Southern California, accompanied by warnings of high surf and coastal flooding. Authorities are particularly concerned about the homeless population, with outreach efforts underway to provide temporary housing and ensure the safety of vulnerable individuals during the storm.

While the hope is that the storm won’t cause extensive damage or loss of life, authorities are readying for a worst-case scenario and are prepared to assist neighboring counties if needed. The potential impact of Hurricane Hilary serves as a reminder of the unpredictability and power of natural phenomena, prompting communities to come together to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents.

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