Friday, December 1, 2023

Heavy rain forecast in 3 states after Hurricane Bonnie forms in Pacific

Hurricane Bonnie, a Category 1 storm located off Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, will bring intense rain to parts of five states on Monday, the National Water Commission (Conagua) said.

In a statement issued at 7 a.m., Conagua said that Bonnie – which formed as a tropical storm in the Atlantic Ocean before moving across a narrow section of Central America into the Pacific – was 265 kilometers south-southwest of Puerto Ángel, Oaxaca, and moving west-northwest at 30 kph.

It said that the hurricane – which is not forecast to make landfall in Mexico – would advance parallel to the coasts of Oaxaca and Guerrero and that its extensive cloud bands would interact with two low pressure channels to bring intense rain of 75-150 millimeters to regions of Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán, Oaxaca and Veracruz.

Very heavy rain of 50-75 mm is forecast for parts of Puebla, while heavy 25-50 mm falls are predicted for areas of México state, Morelos and Tabasco.

Bonnie – which felled trees, caused widespread flooding and claimed the lives of at least three people in Nicaragua and El Salvador – had maximum sustained winds of 130 kph at 7 a.m. with gusts of up to 155 kph. Conagua forecast gusts of up to 90 kph and swells of 3-5 meters on the coasts of Oaxaca and Guerrero.

The United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) said early Monday that swells on the coasts of southern and southwestern Mexico are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip conditions. With regard to its forecast path, the NHC said that the center of Bonnie is expected to move parallel to, but remain south of, the coasts of southern and southwestern Mexico during the next couple of days.

Although the hurricane is not on track to make landfall, authorities along Mexico’s southern Pacific coast are on alert for risks generated by Bonnie’s proximity. In addition, authorities in Oaxaca are restricting maritime activity due to the dangerous conditions at sea, while those in Guerrero decided to close schools Monday in six of seven regions. More than 750,000 students have been told to stay at home.

Bonnie is the fourth named storm in the Pacific this hurricane season after Hurricane Agatha, Hurricane Blas and Tropical Storm Celia. It was given a name starting with B because it was the second major storm to develop in the Atlantic this hurricane season.

Agatha made landfall in Oaxaca May 30 as a Category 2 hurricane, causing significant damage and claiming at least nine lives. Neither Blas nor Celia made landfall in Mexico.

The National Meteorological Service is predicting more hurricanes than usual this hurricane season. It’s predicting 14-19 tropical storms and hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean and 16-21 in the Atlantic.

With reports from Milenio and Al Jazeera 

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