Hurricane Hilary is rapidly approaching Mexico's Baja California peninsula, with the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warning of catastrophic and life-threatening flooding in the region and the US Southwest. The hurricane has already caused disruption to flights and baseball games in the United States. According to the NHC, Hurricane Hilary is weakening as it moves towards the west-central coast of the Baja California peninsula but is expected to turn into a tropical storm as it approaches southern California on Sunday. Despite the weakening winds, the NHC is concerned about the potential for dangerous rains, with up to 10 inches of rainfall predicted in some areas of Baja California and California.
The Miami-based agency has issued a strong warning, stating that flash and urban flooding, which could be locally catastrophic, is anticipated, particularly in the northern regions of the peninsula. Southern California and southern Nevada are also expected to experience heavy rainfall, with 3 to 6 inches of rain and isolated amounts of up to 10 inches. The NHC has emphasized that dangerous to catastrophic flooding is expected in these areas.
Authorities in Mexico have taken precautionary measures, canceling some school and non-essential activities in the Baja California peninsula until Monday. Residents in high-risk zones in Tijuana, Mexico's second-largest city, have been urged to move to temporary shelters. As Hurricane Hilary continues to move north northwest at a speed of 17 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, heavy rains have already started affecting portions of Baja California.
The US authorities have also advised citizens and businesses to be prepared for the incoming storm. San Diego International Airport has already experienced significant flight cancellations, with nearly 200 flights scheduled for Sunday and another 184 flights canceled for Monday. Major League Baseball's Los Angeles-based teams, the Dodgers and Angels, have rescheduled their Sunday games to Saturday, creating split doubleheaders due to the threat of heavy rains and flooding. Likewise, Los Angeles FC and LA Galaxy, the city's soccer teams, have postponed their Sunday matches.
The NHC has issued several warnings and watches to alert residents to the impending danger. A hurricane watch is in effect for the Baja California peninsula north of Cabo San Quintin to Ensenada, indicating that hurricane-force winds are expected along the west-central coast of the peninsula. Storm warnings have been issued for Punta Abreojos southwards along the entire east coast of the Baja California peninsula, as well as for the Baja California peninsula north of Cabo San Quint to the California-Mexico border, mainland Mexico north of Guaymas, the California-Mexico border to Point Mugu, and Catalina Island. A hurricane watch is typically issued 48 hours before anticipated weather conditions, while a hurricane warning is typically issued 36 hours ahead.
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