Hurricane Nora to hit Baja Thursday morning
September 25, 1997
Web posted at: 5:55 a.m. EST (1055 GMT)
PUNTA EUGENIA, Mexico (CNN) -- Hurricane Nora, gaining speed and packing 85 mph
winds and heavy rains, is poised to hit the coast of Mexico's
Baja California Thursday morning.
Desert areas of Arizona and California were bracing for
possible flash flooding if the storm makes its expected
northward march across Baja, up the Gulf of California and
into the southwestern United States.
Wednesday evening, the eye of the storm was nearing Punta Eugenia, heading north at more than 15 miles
per hour (24 kph). Forecasters expect the hurricane's center
to make landfall between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. PDT Friday.
|Time||2 a.m. PDT (0900 GMT)|
|Location||About 50 miles (80 km) N of Punta Eugenia, on the West coast of Baja California|
|Lat./Lon.||28.4 N latitude, 114.8 W longitude|
A L S O :
Why deserts and heavy rain don't mix
Hurricane / Tropical Storm Warning Map
In Baja California Sur, the southern half of the peninsula
that has been waterlogged by storms from Nora since Monday,
emergency workers moved hundreds of Mexicans living in
exposed fishing communities into shelters.
Mexican officials posted hurricane warnings along much of the
northern two-thirds of Baja's Pacific coast. Tropical storm
warnings were posted for most of the southern two-thirds of
The storm is expected to weaken to a tropical storm as it
crosses the peninsula and heads north up the Gulf of
Storm warnings also have been posted along Baja's Gulf of
California coast and the west coast of the Mexican mainland.
Officials in Mexicali were warning people to stay in their
homes Thursday evening, when the storm is expected to reach
The biggest threat from Nora could be the up to five inches
of rain it might bring into these desert areas, where just
two inches can trigger destructive flash floods.
The center of the storm was expected to enter the United
States late Thursday between Yuma, Arizona, and El Centro,
Arizona Gov. Jane Hull met with state officials Wednesday to
activate an emergency response center.
"I don't want the people of Arizona frightened," Hull said.
"But on the other hand, we want people safe. We want people
to be prepared."
In Yuma, where tropical storms have triggered flooding four
times since 1954, "people are starting to get worried, edgy,"
said Cristina Herrera, the city's acting director of
"The biggest threat of course is flash flooding. This is a
very wet storm, it's going to drop a lot of rain," said Josh
McDowell of the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
In El Centro, inmates at the Imperial County jail filled
sandbags, preparing for possible flooding. Much of the
Imperial Valley lies below sea level, making it especially
susceptible to flooding.
The only good news Nora brought was for surfers, who were
enjoying big waves off the San Diego coast.
The Pacific coast of northern Mexico and California have been
hit by unusual hurricane activity this year because of the El
Nino phenomenon, which has warmed waters off Peru and Ecuador
and upset global weather patterns.
Correspondent Jennifer Auther and Reuters contributed to this