Category 1 Hurricane “Norma” hits Baja California Sur, weakens to tropical depression near Culiacan, Mexico

hurricane norma 2120z october 21 2023 f

Hurricane “Norma” made landfall in Baja California Sur at 20:15 UTC on October 21, 2023, with winds of 130 km/h (80 mph), later weakening into a tropical depression near Culiacan. The storm led to the evacuation of around 200 people in Cabo San Lucas and La Paz.

As of 06:00 UTC on October 23, the storm center was located 80 km (50 miles) west of Altata Town in central-northern Sinaloa State, with winds reduced to 75 km/h (45 mph).

Local media reports indicated that approximately 200 people had been evacuated and housed in shelters across Cabo San Lucas City and La Paz Town. The evacuations were conducted as a precautionary measure against the anticipated effects of the hurricane.

hurricane norma 2120z october 21 2023
Hurricane “Norma” at 21:20 UTC on October 21, 2023. Credit: NOAA/GOES-West, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

By 09:00 UTC on October 23, Norma further weakened into a tropical depression. The center of the storm was then approximately 95 km (59 miles) north of Culiacan, Sinaloa.

According to meteorological forecasts, the storm is expected to move inland along the coast of Sinaloa State later in the morning (LT), with little change in strength predicted before it reaches the Mexican coast. Once inland, further weakening and dissipation of the storm are anticipated.

tropical depression norma nhc fcst track october 23 2023

In terms of rainfall, the storm is expected to bring additional isolated totals of 25 to 50 mm (1 to 2 inches) across northern portions of Sinaloa, northern Durango, and southern Chihuahua. This could lead to isolated incidents of flash flooding and mudslides in areas with higher terrain.

Wind conditions are also expected to be affected, with gusty winds anticipated along the coast of mainland Mexico within the state of Sinaloa. No coastal watches or warnings are currently in effect.

Swells generated by Norma will continue to impact the coast of southwestern and west-central Mexico, as well as Baja California Sur, for the next day. These swells could potentially cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

For those in affected areas, it is advised to stay updated with information from local weather offices.

References:

1 Hurricane “Norma” bulletins – NWS/NHC – October 21 – 23, 2023

Featured image: Hurricane “Norma” at 21:20 UTC on October 21, 2023. Credit: NOAA/GOES-West, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

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