Hurricane Dolores passing Mexico, heading to US

Hurricane Dolores wasted no time in intensifying to a Category 4 hurricane overnight Tuesday, but has since weakened to a Category 3 hurricane as of Thursday morning.

The tropical storm-turned hurricane continues to make her way up the Pacific coast of Mexico. Currently, the storm is north-northwest of Socorro Island, about 250 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas and continues to head west northwest at 5 to 10 mph.

On Socorro Island Wednesday night, sustained winds of 80 mph with gusts of up to 114 mph were measured and as of Thursday, tropical storm-force winds were still present. Forecasters expect Dolores to continue on her path well away from land as she continues on south of Los Cabos and the southern Baja Peninsula.

Although Dolores is expected to remain away from Mexico’s coast, there will be some peripheral impacts, even for parts of the US. Dangerous rip currents and high surf are expected with occasional showers from an outer rainband. According to Mexico’s National Meteorological Service (SMN), waves of 6 to 13 feet (2 to 4 meters) are expected along the Baja California Pacific coast through the rest of the week.

A moisture surge triggered by Dolores may produce heavy rain for parts of the Desert Southwest this weekend.

Dolores is about to reach stable air and cooler waters, thus, weakening throughout the weekend and into early next week. This weekend, however, the storm is expected to draw rich tropical moisture through the Gulf of California and into parts of Arizona and southern California. This will enhance the chance of thunderstorms in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Southern California.

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