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Tropical Storm threatens floods, slides in Mexico

Mexico Tropical Weather

Tropical Storm threatens floods, slides in Mexico

LOS CABOS, Mexico – Tropical Storm Rick threatens to trigger dangerous flash floods and mud slides when it makes landfall in western Mexico after sparing Baja California‘s glitzy resorts a direct blow.

In Sinaloa, where Rick is expected to make landfall Wednesday, authorities suspended classes for two days in cities along the state’s southern coast.

Gov. Jesus Aguilar asked residents in a radio message to pay close attention to civil protection advisories and said soldiers were ready to help with possible evacuations.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami put Rick on a projected path south of the tip of the Baja California Peninsula overnight, on course to hit the mainland near Mazatlan on Wednesday.

Forecasters said Rick could dump 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 centimeters) of rain in some areas in the states of Baja California, Sinaloa and Durango and warned of possible flash floods and mud slides.

Over the weekend, Rick’s winds were clocked at 180 mph (290 kph) — making it the strongest hurricane in the eastern North Pacific region since 1997 — and it kicked up high waves hundreds of miles (kilometers) away that killed at least two people. But the storm spent its force far out at sea and weakened over cooler waters.

Rick’s maximum sustained winds were down to 65 mph (105 kph) Tuesday night, the Hurricane Center said. It was centered about 135 miles (215 kilometers) south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas and moving to the north-northeast at 12 mph (19 kph).

Los Cabos Mayor Oscar Rene Nunez said officials would close schools there and urged residents living in makeshift homes and those in flood zones to seek shelter.

Caravans of police cars, military vehicles and buses fanned out to “high-risk neighborhoods” in low-lying areas across Los Cabos to evacuate residents.

Carlos Guevara, the Cabo San Lucas civil defense coordinator, said people became complacent as the afternoon rains dissipated and the sky began to clear.

“We have this storm in front of us. It has not passed,” he cautioned in a meeting of government officials.

Alejandro Flores, a 28-year-old waiter, said Tuesday night that he spent the last few days piling dirt around the side of his house to guard it from floodwaters. He and his wife were preparing to leave their neighborhood, where the pitted dirt roads are commonly inundated during hurricane season.

“I am very afraid of the flooding,” Flores said.

Meanwhile, far out in the Pacific Ocean, Hurricane Neki was centered about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu and about 270 miles (435 kilometers) east-southeast of Johnston Island. Maximum winds were at about 80 mph (129 kph).

Forecasters predicted Neki would brush by tiny Johnston Island on Wednesday.

The uninhabited island, which is part of the isolated Johnston Atoll, is under the primary jurisdiction and control of the U.S. Air Force. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a national wildlife refuge there.

___

Associated Press writer Ignacio Martinez in Cabo San Lucas contributed to this report.

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Barely a tropical storm, Erika expected to weaken

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Barely a tropical storm, Erika expected to weaken

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MIAMI, Florida — Tropical Storm Erika, poorly organized and barely clinging to tropical-storm status, spread wind and rain across the northeastern Caribbean early Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Erika’s winds were near 40 mph (65 kph), with higher gusts, forecasters said. If its winds drop below 39 mph, Erika will become a tropical depression.

“Gradual weakening is likely over the next day or so,” according to the hurricane center.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect for the islands of Dominica, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla, St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions, including winds of at least 39 mph, are possible within 24 hours.

A tropical storm watch, meaning tropical storm conditions are possible within 36 hours, was in effect for Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. The Dominican Republic and Haiti, meanwhile, were advised to monitor the storm’s progress.

As of 2 a.m. ET, Erika’s center was about 80 miles (130 km) west of Guadeloupe and about 275 miles (445 km) east-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, the hurricane center said. It was moving west-northwest at near 5 mph (7 km/hr).

“On the forecast track, the weather associated with Erika will continue to move through the Leeward Islands this morning and approach the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico later today,” the hurricane center said.

The storm, which formed Tuesday evening, briefly strengthened overnight Wednesday before losing much of its steam.

Rainfall is expected to total 2 to 4 inches in the Lesser Antilles over the next few days, with isolated amounts up to 6 inches. Between 3 to 5 inches of rain are forecast for Puerto Rico, with isolated amounts up to 8 inches.

Tropical storm-force winds extended outward about 230 miles (370 km) to the east of Erika’s center, the hurricane center said.

Tracking maps show Erika brushing the northern part of Hispaniola, the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, before nearing the Bahamas on Sunday.


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Tropical Storm Danny

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Tropical Storm Danny

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Tropical Storm Danny is the fourth named storm in the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. Danny formed a tropical wave interacting with an area of low pressure north of Puerto Rico on August 26.

The National Hurricane Center was a little uncertain whether Danny was a subtropical or tropical cyclone; however, they classified it as tropical because “it was marginally closer to tropical than subtropical.”

The storm’s current project paths forecasts a possible rare landfall in New England. Despite the upgrade, Danny is a very disorganised cyclone with most of the thunderstorms displaced into the east of the circulation.

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