Lorena Poses Flood Threat for Southwest Next Week
  • Hurricane Lorena is forecast to move near or over Mexico’s southwestern coast through Thursday.
  • Hurricane and tropical storm warnings are in effect along the southwestern Mexico coast.
  • Flash flooding and mudslides are the main threats from Lorena.
  • Moisture from Lorena could fuel an uptick in showers and thunderstorms in the Desert Southwest by this weekend.

Hurricane Lorena is tracking very close to the coast of southwestern Mexico, where it poses a dangerous threat of flash flooding and mudslides.

Lorena will brush Mexico’s southwestern coast through Thursday.

Hurricane Lorena is expected to intensify once it moves over water again late this week.

(MORE: Atlantic, Eastern Pacific Basins Tie Modern Record of Combined Active Storms)

Current Storm Status and Projected Path

(The red-shaded area denotes the potential path of the center of the system. It’s important to note that impacts – heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding and winds – with any tropical cyclone usually spread beyond its forecast path.)

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a hurricane warning from Manzanillo to Cabo Corrientes, Mexico. This means hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) are expected somewhere within the warning area – in this case, within the next 24 hours.

A tropical storm warning has also been posted from Cabo Corrientes to Punta Mita, Mexico. This means tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) are expected somewhere within the warning area – in this case, within the next 24 hours.

Tropical storm conditions are occurring with in the tropical storm warning area and hurricane conditions are expected today with the hurricane warning area.

A hurricane watch has been issued for the southern Baja California Peninsula from La Paz to Santa Fe. A hurricane watch is typically issued 48 hours before the first anticipated occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, which make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

Watches and Warnings

(A watch is issued when tropical storm or hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours. A warning is issued when those conditions are expected within 36 hours.)

Lorena is forecast to move near or over Mexico’s southwestern coast within the hurricane warning area through Thursday. It is then predicted to move west-northwestward away from the west-central coast of Mexico late Thursday and Friday and approach the southern Baja California Peninsula Friday night and Saturday.

The NHC says 5 to 10 inches of rain is expected from Lorena – with isolated amounts up to 15 inches possible – along coastal portions of the Mexican states of Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco. This rainfall could produce life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides.

Additional Rainfall Forecast

(Locally higher amounts are possible.)

This system will also generate dangerous swells that will affect parts of the southwestern Mexico coast over the next few days. Those swells will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Moisture Surge Into Southwest?

While Lorena won’t have any direct impacts on the United States, it will send a surge of moisture into the Desert Southwest beginning this weekend, continuing into early next week.

In addition, an upper-level low associated with a southward dip in the jet stream will dive into the West early next week, prompting showers and thunderstorms to develop.

Tropical moisture may reach the Southwest as an upper-level low moves into the region.

Moisture from Lorena, as well as from Tropical Storm Mario, will likely reach the Southwest late Saturday into early next week.

The combination of tropical moisture and the upper-level low will likely enhance rainfall in parts of the Southwest.

Precipitation may be widespread and locally heavy rainfall could result in flash flooding.