(Updates with forecaster comments in third, fifth paragraphs.)
Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Hurricane Norbert is moving toward Mexico’s Baja California Sur, one of the country’s leading tourist areas, after strengthening in the Pacific Ocean, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
Norbert had top winds of 80 miles an hour (130 kilometers an hour) as it moved northwest at 6 miles an hour, with that general motion expected to continue during the next couple of days, the center said on its website at 2 a.m. Pacific time. The storm was 165 miles south of Baja California’s southern tip.
The hurricane, now a Category 1 storm, “will weaken this weekend as it moves over cooler water and should eventually dissipate by early next week,” Kyle Tapley, a forecaster at MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said by e-mail today. “The storm is not expected to make landfall, but will spread some heavy rains into northwestern Mexico and the southwestern U.S., which may lead to some flooding.”
Norbert is the 14th named storm of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, which began May 15. Its center is expected to approach the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula today and move almost parallel to the Pacific coast of the peninsula tonight and tomorrow, the hurricane center said.
While the center says maximum sustained winds may strengthen in the next 24 hours, they will slow to about 30 miles an hour by early next week, David Streit, a meteorologist at commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said by e- mail today. Norbert will move northwest over the next several days, MDA’s Tapley said.
Tropical storm warnings were posted from La Paz to Cabo San Lazaro, Mexico, with storm conditions expected in the area in the next 24 hours, according to the center. A storm watch stretched from Cabo San Lazaro to Puerto San Andresito and from La Paz to San Evaristo.
Norbert will bring 3 inches (8 centimeters) to 5 inches of rain to the southern part of the Baja California peninsula through tomorrow, the center said. “Large” swells will affect parts of Mexico’s southern coast today and will spread into the southern Gulf of California and along the coast of southern Baja California Sur through tomorrow, it said.
“These swells will produce dangerous surf conditions and rip currents,” the center said.