A weakened Norma crosses Mexico, while Hurricane Tammy threatens Caribbean islands
Updated October 21, 2023 at 10:36 PM ET
In the Caribbean, Hurricane Tammy was nearing landfall on Barbuda late on Saturday, with forecasters warning of further strengthening in the coming days.
On the Pacific side, Hurricane Norma weakened to a tropical storm after arriving at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula on Saturday.
Tammy is expected to follow its northwest path into Sunday, threatening the Leeward Islands on Saturday night, the National Hurricane Center said in an update on Saturday evening. It will then hang north on Monday.
Life-threatening surf and storm surges of up to 3 feet could combine with 12 inches of rainfall on the islands, producing some isolated flash flooding, particularly in town centers, and even mudslides on higher terrain.
With hurricane-force winds near 85 mph and higher gusts on Saturday evening, forecasters left open the possibility of slow strengthening over the next few days.
Neither storm currently threatens U.S. coastlines, but the NHC warned the most serious impact from Tammy would be felt in Antigua, Barbuda and the Leeward Islands, and that residents there should rush to finish preparations to protect property and lives.
On the island of Guadeloupe, officials urged residents to be aware of shelter locations, while nearby Dominica closed schools on Friday.
Hurricanes so late in October are rare for the Atlantic basin, experts say, particularly so far to the southeast. Scientists warned earlier this month that an unusually warm Atlantic Ocean — linked to the El Niño weather pattern — could precipitate the formation of storms in less common locations.
Tropical Storm Norma, meanwhile, made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 80 mph near the popular Mexican tourist town of Cabo San Lucas on Saturday afternoon, later weakening to 70 mph winds in the evening.
A maximum rainfall of 18 inches could hit southern Baja California Sur and extend further south into Sinaloa on Monday — also possibly leading to mudslides and flash flooding, the hurricane center said. Forecasters say a dangerous storm surge will likely flood the coastline, thanks to the onshore direction of the anticipated winds.
The storm system is expected to move east to the mainland of Mexico by Monday.
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