MEXICO CITY – Tropical Storm Lidia will make landfall in the coming hours over Mexico’s Baja California peninsula and bring torrential rains as it moves northward, meteorologists said on Thursday.
The National Meteorological Service (SMN) said in its latest advisory at 7:00 am (1200 GMT) that Lidia would bring “rains, strong winds and elevated tide levels” to the west of the country and the northwestern state of Baja California Sur in particular.
Emergency management officials have issued an orange alert (high danger) for the southern part of Baja California Sur and a yellow alert (moderate danger) for the central and northern parts of that state and coastal areas of Sinaloa and Nayarit states.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto took to Twitter to urge people in the states of Baja California Sur, Colima, Durango, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit and Sinaloa to exercise caution and be attentive to Civil Protection’s indications relating to the storm’s development.
Lidia is located 145 kilometers (90 miles) to the south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, and 420 kilometers to the west-northwest of Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, and is moving to the north-northwest at 13 km/h (8 mph).
The tropical storm, which formed Wednesday in the Mexican Pacific, is packing maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour, with gusts of up to 95 km/h.
The SMN is forecasting more than 250 millimeters (10 inches) of rain in parts of Baja California Sur and the western state of Jalisco.
Torrential rains of up to 250 millimeters also are expected in parts of Sinaloa and Nayarit states.
Experts say the storm will move parallel to Baja California Sur’s coast on Thursday and make landfall in the wee hours of Friday at a spot 75 kilometers to the west-northwest of the hamlet of San Evaristo.
Lidia is forecast to traverse half of the peninsula from south to north until Saturday afternoon, when it is expected to move back out into the Pacific – still as a tropical storm – and hug the coastline.
Lidia is the 12th named storm of the Mexican Pacific’s hurricane season after Adrian, Beatriz, Calvin, Dora, Eugene, Fernanda, Greg, Hilary, Irwin, Jova and Kenneth.