Tropical Storm Blanca hits Mexico’s Baja California

Tropical Storm Blanca off the coast of Baja California on June 7.
Tropical Storm Blanca off the coast of Baja California on June 7. NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico – Tropical Storm Blanca rolled into the Baja California Peninsula on Monday, with rains and high winds expected to lash a wide area even as the system continued to lose strength.

Only recently a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 215 km/h, Blanca was a tropical storm with winds of 65 km/h. It was expected to fade to a tropical depression later in the day and a mnant low by Tuesday.

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The U.S. National Hurricane Center forecast that rain associated with the storm would begin to fall in the U.S. Southwest later Monday.

A tropical storm warning was lifted for the southern portion of the peninsula including Los Cabos, an area that was battered by Hurricane Odile last September. Local media said there were some flooded streets and scattered power outages in Los Cabos, but there were no immediate reports of major damage.

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The Saffiir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
The Saffir-Simpson scale.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect from La Paz to Loreto on the peninsula’s east coast, and Santa Fe to Punta Abreojos on the west.

Mexico’s National Water Commission warned that strong winds, high surf and heavy rains were still possible in parts of Baja California Sur state.

Blanca is the earliest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall on the peninsula, according to the Hurricane Center. It hit near Puerto Cortes and was located about 30 miles (45 kilometres) northeast of Cabo San Lazaro on Monday morning. It was moving to the north-northwest at 24 km/h.