Hurricane Norma continued to rapidly intensify off Mexico’s Pacific coast Wednesday afternoon, transforming from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane with top winds of 80 mph.
Norma is heading toward Los Cabos, which is made up of the twin resorts of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. On Wednesday afternoon, the storm’s center was about 520 miles south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas and moving north at 8 mph.
The hurricane is expected to reach the area on the Baja California peninsula’s southern tip by Sunday. Until then, the hurricane is expected to slowly travel northeast, rapidly strengthening up to 115 mph by Thursday then gradually weakening later in the week.
Swells generated by Norma could cause strong surf and rip current conditions as well as heavy rain, flooding and mudslides.
In addition, forecasters say some of Norma’s tropical moisture could reach the U.S., hitting anywhere from Texas to Iowa.
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect for Norma as of Wednesday evening, but the U.S. National Hurricane Center says those in Baja California Sur should monitor the storm’s progress.
Norma is the 14th named storm to form this year in the Eastern Pacific. The El Niño weather pattern has complicated hurricane season this year, as it reduces wind shear, which typically helps prevent the formation of storms in the Pacific.
Last week, Hurricane Lidia hit Mexico’s mainland Pacific coast near the resort of Puerto Vallarta, bringing with it heavy rain and strong winds that led to a person’s death from a falling tree.