Andres has now strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane, and is moving towards Baja California from far out in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This advancing storm cell will most likely cause severe swells that will produce dangerously high surf and strong rip currents on the shores of Baja.
On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that then-tropical storm Andres would be moving towards Baja California from the Pacific, gaining enough energy to form into a Category 1 Hurricane. When the storm cell began to form at around 8:00 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on Thursday, it already had sustained winds over 39 mph, making it a tropical storm that would strengthen into a hurricane.
As of Sunday afternoon, hurricane Andres had maximum sustained winds of at least 125 mph. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami has forecast that the storm will most likely weaken over the next 48 hours, possibly dipping below sustained winds of 72 mph. Currently, hurricane Andres is almost 800 miles off the southwest tip of Baja California, moving west at eight mph. Moreover, the center stated coastal areas should not be threatened.
By Alex Lemieux
AP: Hurricane Andres strengthens to Cat 3 over eastern Pacific
Photo Courtesy of NASA’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons Licence