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Sandra to Bring Flooding Risk to Northern Mexico

By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
November 26, 2015, 2:34:41 AM EST

Hurricane Sandra, located hundreds of miles southwest of Mexico, is becoming better organized and will impact Mexico later this week.

A continued track toward the west-northwest is expected through Wednesday before a large storm moving across the western United States pulls the tropical system northward during the second half of the week.


This sharp turn northward will bring a potent hurricane toward the southern Baja California Peninsula on Friday and Saturday.

The storm tracking over the western half of the United States will pull tropical moisture northward, resulting in downpours across southern Baja California and northern Mexico from Friday into Saturday.

Additional strengthening is expected to occur through Thursday and Sandra could become a major hurricane on Thanksgiving Day. However, the tropical cyclone will encounter strong wind shear as it approaches Mexico which will lead to rapid weakening through the rest of the week.

While Sandra will likely be weakening as it approaches the southern tip of Baja California Friday night and Saturday, locally damaging winds are a concern from La Paz and Cabo San Lucas to Culiacan and Mazatlan.

Mexico Weather Center
East Pacific Hurricane Center
Detailed Forecast for Cabo San Lucas

The biggest concern will be heavy rainfall that can cause flash flooding and mudslides. Areas at greatest risk for flooding include southern Baja California, Sinaloa, northern Durango and Chihuahua states.

Rainfall amounts of 75-150 mm (3-6 inches) are possible in these areas with local amounts up to 250 mm (10 inches).

After reaching the Mexico coastline, the weakening tropical cyclone will dissipate over the higher terrain of northern Mexico, while the heaviest rainfall shifts into the southern Plains of the United States where there will be a high threat for flooding early next week.

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