Hurricane Norma Strengthens to Category 4, Heading for Mexico
Hurricane Norma strengthens to Category 4 storm with winds exceeding 209 km/h, heading towards Mexico's Pacific coast.
Hurricane Norma has rapidly intensified and is now classified as a Category 4 storm, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). With maximum sustained winds exceeding 209 kilometers per hour, Norma poses a significant threat to Mexico's Pacific coast. The NHC uses the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to categorize storms, and Norma is currently at the second-highest level. The storm is expected to weaken gradually over the weekend, but small intensity fluctuations are still possible. Norma is moving northward at a speed of 11 kilometers per hour and is projected to approach the Baja California peninsula by Friday night and Saturday.
The NHC predicts that Norma will bring heavy rainfall to the southern portion of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, with rainfall totals ranging from 5 to 10 inches and localized maximums of up to 15 inches. These excessive amounts of rain could lead to flash flooding, urban flooding, and potential mudslides in areas with higher terrain. The government has activated a national emergency plan and placed over 6,600 soldiers on alert to respond to the storm.
Mexico has been experiencing a series of severe weather events in recent weeks. Hurricane Lidia struck the western part of the country as a Category 4 storm, resulting in flooding and claiming at least two lives. Prior to Lidia, Tropical Storm Max caused two fatalities and extensive flooding in the southern state of Guerrero. These events highlight the vulnerability of Mexico to hurricanes, which occur annually on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts between May and November.
Scientists have warned that storms like Norma are becoming more powerful due to climate change and rising global temperatures. As the world continues to warm, it is crucial to prioritize efforts to mitigate the impacts of severe weather events and adapt to the changing climate.