Hurricane Norma hits southern tip of Baja California Peninsulaas it made landfall near the resorts of Los Cabos on Saturday afternoon.
While it initially posed a considerable threat as a Category 4 hurricane, it weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 80 mph near el Pozo de Cota, west-northwest of Cabo San Lucas.
The hurricane has now been downgraded to a tropical storm as it continues to cross into the Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California.
In its latest advisory, the National Hurricane Center reported that Norma was 30 miles northeast of Cabo San Lucas, moving northeast at a speed of 6 mph with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
The forecast predicts heavy rains and flash flooding to continue throughout the weekend for Baja California Sur, emphasizing the need for caution and preparedness.
The hurricane's slow pace raises concerns about the potential for severe flooding. Norma is expected to dump six to 12 inches of rain across southern Baja California, with some areas possibly receiving up to 18 inches.
The vulnerability of the region to heavy rain is a significant concern due to its typically dry climate.
While there were early reports of downed trees and power poles, fortunately, no injuries or deaths have been reported.
However, rising water has isolated some informal settlements and neighborhoods, and some areas have lost access to electricity and internet services.
The local authorities and emergency workers have been proactive in their response, urging residents to stay indoors as winds and rainfall intensify. Residents from low-lying areas have been evacuated and moved to shelters.
The federal government has deployed 500 marines to assist with storm preparations, and approximately 40 emergency shelters could be opened if needed.
The hotel association estimated that around 40,000 tourists remained in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo when the hurricane approached.
Despite the storm's severity, most tourists have not made significant efforts to leave the area, as airports remained closed.
In this scenario, the slow-moving Hurricane Norma represents a significant threat to the region, highlighting the importance of preparedness, vigilance, and rapid response in the face of extreme weather events.
A man with his shoes off walks near an avenue flooded by the rains of Hurricane Norma in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.
Meanwhile, in the Atlantic, Hurricane Tammy poses a threat to the Lesser Antilles as it moved north-northwest near Antigua.
The storm's winds are already at 85 mph, and hurricane warnings have been issued for several islands in the region, including Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, St. Martin, and St. Barthelmy.
Tammy's movement is expected to bring heavy rainfall and flooding to the Lesser Antilles, where residents are still recovering from previous storms and hurricane damage.
As these two late-season storms threaten different regions, it emphasizes the need for constant vigilance and preparedness in the face of changing weather patterns and potential natural disasters.
Even though Norma and Tammy hit different ocean basins, their effects showed how unpredictable tropical storms and hurricanes can be. They can still cause problems in some places, even late in the hurricane season.
Norma brought significant challenges to Mexico's Baja California Sur, while Tammy threatened the Leeward Islands in the Atlantic.
The rarity of a late-October hurricane like Tammy also served as a stark reminder of the influence of warming oceans on hurricane formation.
While neither storm posed a direct threat to the US mainland, their effects highlighted the importance of preparedness and vigilance during the hurricane season, which can extend well into the latter part of the year.