SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The cold water in the Pacific Ocean in Southern California usually acts as a deterrent for hurricanes and big storms that surge from the south, but it looks like it won’t be enough to fend off Hurricane Kay in the coming days.
The Category 1 storm is now making its way through along the Baja California Peninsula and is expected to reach the San Diego-Tijuana region by Friday.
While meteorologists expect Kay to lose its hurricane status, they believe the storm will create widespread flooding in California, Northern Baja California and Arizona.
The National Hurricane Service is predicting that the storm will dump “several months to a year’s worth of rain to a normally arid landscape” on Friday in Southern California.
The storm is also generating higher-than-normal temperatures and humidity in cities such as San Diego.
Since 1950, only four storms have gotten this close to Southern California, according to the National Weather Service, which expects the main body of the storm to turn westward and away from the coast as it nears the U.S.- Mexico border.
Kay’s remnants are expected to deliver winds gusts of more than 60 miles per hour as the system collides with the mountains in Southern California.
It is also expected to drive up temperatures in the region, says Brandt Maxwell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego.
“This happened in 1984 as a Category 1 Hurricane Marie pushed southwest of San Diego County forcing temperatures to reach 100 in San Diego,” he said. “The heat will end abruptly and unusually late Friday.”
While the San Diego region is expecting heavy rains and flooding, officials in Baja California are bracing for torrential downpours in cities like San Quintin, San Felipe and Ensenada.
Salvador Cervantes Hernández, the state coordinator for Civil Protection for Baja California, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the state is preparing 80 temporary shelters to house potential storm victims.
“All the people who live on hillsides, in the canyons, we have to be very alert,” said Cervantes. “If they have the slightest sign that there is any cracking, they should evacuate and report it to the authorities.”
Baja’s Governor Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda has ordered all schools throughout the state be closed for the rest of the week.