Paul Unwinds Near Baja California

By Courtney Spamer, Meteorologist
October 17, 2012; 4:19 AM ET
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Paul was breaking up over Baja California in Mexico during the middle of the week.

As of 8 a.m. PDT Wednesday, Paul had weakened into a tropical depression.

As the center of the storm meanders along the coast, the storm will be thrust into conditions that will rip the storm apart. High up in the atmosphere, strong upper-level winds will create a disconnect between the top and bottom of the storm, weakening it.

Conditions at the surface have also added to weakening. By both moving northward and reaching land, Paul has lost the warm tropical water that had been fueling the system.

Despite its weakening nature, this storm will still impact parts of western Mexico. Along with rain and thunderstorms, wind gusts up to 40 mph are expected along Baja coastal areas.

In the United States, impacts are expected to be less significant. In Southern California and Arizona, the only evidence of the storm will be increased clouds from the outer bands of the storm.

The remnants of Paul will drift off to the northwest and diminish into Thursday.

Paul strengthened to a hurricane early on Monday morning. The storm reached its peak strength of a Category 3 hurricane on Monday afternoon, becoming a major hurricane. But the system began to weaken just a few hours later, and continued to degrade through the present.

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