UPDATED TO REFLECT LATEST ADVISORY CHANGES AT 2 P.M. PACIFIC TIME MONDAY.
Hurricane Paul has continued to strengthen during this afternoon. According to latest satellite interpretations of the wind speed and looking at how the satellite presentation has changed, Paul has become much stronger. As of the latest advisory, Paul is now a major hurricane with 120-mph winds.
A well-defined eye is present along with a solid CDO around the eye. Paul is small, but powerful.
Our computer models are pretty tightly packed on its future track and also on how the character of the storm with regards to intensity changes over the next couple of days.
Saying that, this morning the runs of the models are a little to the right in their track of Paul than earlier forecast. A small additional adjustment to the right could bring the strongest portion of Paul right to the coast of the western Baja from later tomorrow through Wednesday.
Currently, the thinking is that Paul will track north-northeast tonight through tomorrow then more north on Wednesday before turning northwest Thursday. As for its intensity, Paul is reaching its peak strength right about now, and steady weakening is likely late tonight through Thursday. As the core of Paul nears the southwest Baja later Tuesday into Tuesday night, it will still be a hurricane but will then weaken to a tropical storm as it moves up just off, or perhaps even on, the coast of the Baja. By Thursday, I would expect Paul to have dropped below tropical storm strength and begin to separate the low-level center from the convection.
Tropical storm warnings are out for a good portion of central and southwest Baja, and hurricane conditions are possible for a time along the southwest coast and with the latest advisory tropical storm warnings have been raised to hurricane warnings.
These is the possibility that another surge of tropical moisture could move into Arizona and Southern California by the middle of next week.
I still believe the greatest amount of rain, at least partially relating to Norbert, occurs from southeast California to Arizona
The effects on Southern California are very much in question.
With low wind shear and warm water in its path for a while longer, it is likely that Norbert intensifies into at least a Category 2 storm.
For much of the last week the monsoon moisture flow into the Southwest has been completely shut down by dry westerly winds. This is about to change.
A big pattern change is underway, one that will completely shut down any chance of showers and thunderstorms for an extended time period.