Tropical Storm Norma made its presence known over the weekend as it pounded Baja California Sur, Mexico, with torrential rain and strong winds. While it may have weakened from a Category 1 hurricane, its impact on the southern regions of the state was significant. In this blog post, we will explore the events surrounding Tropical Storm Norma’s landfall and the precautions being taken to safeguard residents and tourists in the affected areas.
The Arrival of Norma:
Norma initially gathered strength, reaching Category 1 hurricane status with winds of 85 miles per hour, just before making landfall. The storm landed near the town of Todos Santos, approximately 47 miles north of Cabo San Lucas, unleashing its fury on the region. However, it weakened to a tropical storm as it continued its path over Baja California Sur, and it was forecasted to make a second landfall in the western state of Sinaloa on the mainland.
Anticipated Effects of the Storm:
Norma’s arrival brought with it the threat of mudslides, powerful winds, heavy rain, and flooding, especially in the southern part of Baja California Sur. This region was expected to bear the brunt of the storm’s impact throughout the weekend as it moved further inland. Additionally, northwestern Mexican states were warned to expect heavy rain over the weekend.
Víctor Manuel Castro Cosío, the governor of Baja California Sur, acknowledged that the peak of the storm had already passed over the municipality of Los Cabos. However, he cautioned the residents of La Paz, the state’s capital, to prepare for its potential effects. The emergency had not yet passed, and he urged residents to exercise caution.
Impacts and Preparations:
Despite the significant impact of the storm, Mexican officials reported no deaths at the time of the report. However, the storm had disrupted roadways, caused power outages, and damaged some buildings. Local authorities advised residents living in flood-prone areas to evacuate to shelters due to the challenging conditions expected as the storm passed through. Many residents had already heeded these warnings.
Preparations for the storm’s arrival had started on Friday. School was suspended in the municipality of Los Cabos, and the state government provided a list of over 40 temporary shelters on Facebook for residents to seek refuge in ahead of the storm. Ports in San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas were closed, and hotel and resort workers were mobilizing to ensure the safety of approximately 40,000 tourists in the area.
Although Norma made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, it had earlier reached Category 4 hurricane status, with wind speeds of up to 130 miles per hour. The storm was expected to bring five to ten inches of rain, with some areas possibly receiving up to 15 inches through Sunday. This rain had the potential to cause flooding and mudslides, even in urban areas. Swells along the coasts of Baja California Sur and southwestern Mexico could also create hazardous surfing conditions.
Tropical storm warnings were issued for various areas, including north of Los Barriles to La Paz, and north of Todos Santos to the Santa Fe neighborhood. Another warning was in effect for Mazatlán and communities along the Sinaloa coast.
Tropical Storm Norma’s arrival in Baja California Sur brought with it a series of challenges and concerns. The impact of this storm serves as a reminder of the unpredictability of weather patterns and the importance of being prepared for extreme conditions. As the storm continues its path, the safety and well-being of residents and visitors remain a top priority, with local authorities and emergency services working diligently to minimize the storm’s impact and protect those in harm’s way.