Tropical Storm Simon curves toward land. A tropical storm watch has been issued for parts of Baja California.
However, Simon’s most significant impact may be well inland and several days in the future.
As for Phanfone in Japan, tropical Storm Simon is weakening rapidly after earlier becoming the eighth major hurricane and sixth Category 4 hurricane of the 2014 Eastern Pacific hurricane season. However, the main threat to other land interests is now increasing even as Simon’s demise as a tropical cyclone is near.
Simon continues to churn northeastward less than 200 miles off the central Baja California coast and will spin down over colder water, likely becoming a remnant low before it ever makes landfall by Tuesday.
As a precaution, the government of Mexico issued a tropical storm watch from Punta Abreojos to Punta Eugenia, Baja California. Tropical storm-force winds are possible in the next 12 to 24 hours if Simon does not weaken as rapidly as forecast. The area in the watch is sparsely populated, with three fishing villages totaling roughly 5,000 residents.
Background Tropical Storm Simon Alerts
Large swells, high surf and rip currents will continue along the Baja coast, as well as some beaches of Southern California (for at least the third time this season) through Tuesday before subsiding. Simon poses no further threat to storm-weary Los Cabos, Mexico, but to bad and unexperienced surfers:
Another Southwest U.S. Flood Threat
First, heavy rainfall will spread into the central Baja peninsula, then into northwest Mexico’s Sonora state. Rainfall amounts of 3-6 inches may trigger flash flooding and mudslides. Moisture from Simon, as well as lift from its leftover mid-level circulation, will spread clusters of slow-moving thunderstorms into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado from late Tuesday through Friday. In fact, the remnant mid-level impulse and moisture from Simon may also give a boost to locally heavy rainfall in parts of the Southern Plains, Ozarks, even Tennessee Valley late this week.
This is actually what happened three weeks ago as Hurricane Norbert contributed to flash flooding in southwest US:
First designated Tropical Depression Nineteen-E on Oct. 1, the system strengthened to Tropical Storm Simon early the following morning. By late on Oct. 3, Simon became the eastern Pacific season’s 13th hurricane. By the afternoon of Oct. 4, Simon had maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, making it a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. At 8 pm the same day, Simon was upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane (maximum sustained winds of 130 mph).