Norma made landfall on Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane off the coast of Baja California in Mexico, bringing with it large waves, flooding, and wind gusts higher than 75 mph.
The former Category 4 storm weakened significantly before it made landfall south of Cabo San Lucas, helping to spare some communities surrounding the popular tourist destination from wider damage.
Flooding from the rain has been reported around the Baja California Peninsula, with at least 4 inches of rain falling in the past few days.
A weather station high in the hills overlooking Cabo San Lucas reported multiple wind gusts above 90 mph, with peak gusts of 107 mph.
Many retail centers near the beach were closed due to the dangerous weather.
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Palapas lie on the windblown ground of a boardwalk on October 21, 2023, in La Paz, Mexico. Norma made landfall as a category 2 storm in the area of Los Cabos in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur causing large waves and heavy rains in Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco. (Photo by Alfredo Martinez/Getty Images)
Norma has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, and forecasters say Norma will continue to weaken as it continues to push closer to the west coast of mainland Mexico before a second landfall on Sunday.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued by the Mexican government for coastal communities from Santa Fe to San Evaristo and from Huatabambito to Mazatlan.
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Rainfall totals of 6 to 12 inches, with localized amounts of up to 18 inches, are expected across southern Baja California Sur through Sunday and through Sinaloa through Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
Heavy rains can cause flash floods and urban flooding, with mudslides at higher elevations.
Videos from the region as Norma neared landfall on Saturday showed heavy rain and strong winds lashing coastal communities, with palm trees bent over during stronger gusts. Besides the rain and wind, big waves hit the beach.
Coastal flooding was reported during the storm, but the NHC said it should gradually subside Sunday along the coast of Baja California Sur. Coastal flooding is possible on the west coast of mainland Mexico within the Tropical Storm Warning area. Near the coast, flooding will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.
The heavy rain prompted local authorities to move pumps to low-lying areas to help protect infrastructure and minimize road closures.
The government is urging those in Norma’s path to stay sheltered as the worst effects continue.
Norma’s remains will eventually soak in the Desert Southwest and southern Plains
Norma will lose its tropical characteristics Monday after pushing the coast of the mountainous terrain of Sinaloa, but the deep influx of moisture will continue. It will push into the Desert Southwest early this week and give the southern Plains a dose or two of tropical moisture.
“If there’s any small silver lining in all of this, it’s that the remnants of Norma should produce some good rain for the Lone Star State of Texas,” said FOX Weather meteorologist Michael Esteem.
Rain is expected to begin Monday in Texas before spreading north Tuesday.
The FOX Forecast Center also tracks Invest 91E
Meanwhile, a second tropical disturbance several hundred miles southeast of Norma will become the next tropical storm in the Eastern Pacific.
The NHC has assigned an area of disturbed weather with a high chance of improvement over the next few days.
Recent satellite wind data show that the circulation associated with the system has become better defined, but the associated rain and thunderstorm activity has shifted northwest and west of the center.
Conditions will improve for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form in the next few days.
If the disturbance becomes a tropical storm, it will be called Otis.
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Invest 91E swirls in the Eastern Pacific. (FOX Weather)