Strong Hurricane Miriam is swirling south-southwest of the southern tip of the Baja and moving northwest. Miriam's signature on satellite pictures this afternoon is not quite as impressive as earlier in the day as the eye just is not quite as sharp. Still it is a formidable storm but out to sea, for now.
Miriam has about another 12 to 18 hours for any further intensification, but after that, it will start to move over cooler sea surface temperatures and weakening will begin. These Eastern Pacific storms tend to increase quicker than models can handle but also can weaken faster, too. Since Miriam is so strong now, it will take some time for winds to come down. After continuing northwest into tomorrow, a more northerly course is expected midweek then a turn to the northeast. Most of the hurricane models are in agreement with this and so to is the European, though the European is about 18 to 24 hours quicker moving it into the central Baja on Friday.
These models would take the moisture from Miriam and send it into western Texas and New Mexico and perhaps parts of southeastern Arizona.
However, the operational GFS uses a closed upper-level low west of Southern California in the late week to help turn what is left of Miriam more north and brings increasing moisture toward Southern California.
While this scenario seems to be the far less likely one, the chance today is not zero either. Remember as of last Thursday, the GFS was forecasting moisture to come north into Southern California. For now, I am putting many of my eggs in the farther east solution, but I am withholding an egg or two. One never knows when you might just need that egg when it comes to weather forecasting.
The amount of water in the snowpack in the Sierra is far below normal for even this time of year.
Flooding will be a given, most widespread in the northern half of the state.
This storm will endanger life and property both on the seas and over land in a large area.
A huge storm is expected it impact much of the Bering Sea beginning Friday night
This will be the first significant statewide rain and snow event of the season.