Hurricane Blanca sets records, will bring unusual moisture to the West

Hurricane Blanca became the earliest second major hurricane to form in the eastern Pacific since 1971 with a category 4 status reached late last week. With 130 mph sustained winds she is still a monster of a storm. Sitting well off the coast of Mexico, Blanca has been no threat to land… until now. She is beginning to pick up steam heading northwest around 10 mph and heading for the Baja of California. The resort town of Cabo San Lucas could see another big hit from another hurricane. Last year, the city took a direct hit from a major hurricane with a 20 foot storm surge and winds well over 100 mph. Still in recovery mode, it's not good news for the tourist destination. Current forecasts push Blanca a solid 50 miles off the coast, but a 4 to 8 foot storm surge, several inches of rain, and 75 mph winds are still expected to batter the city.

 

Once passed there though, it continues its northerly trek on an unseasonably early appearance in the Gulf of California and then the remnants heading into the southwest US. This is wonderful news for drought stricken areas of the four corners with added moisture and at least some scattered thunderstorms expected for a couple of days midweek. EXCEEDINGLY unusual for this part of the country to receive rain in June. In fact, more often than not, the entire state of Arizona doesn't get a drop of rain all month! Already the wettest June in a couple of decades in the city of Phoenix with just 2 tenths of an inch of rain falling Friday into early Saturday… here's a snapshot of some of the moisture…

 

It isn't much, but unusual nonetheless. The current rainfall was moisture from the first eastern Pacific hurricane Andres. The moisture from Blanca is expected to be far more robust. Check out the forecast dewpoints over the southwest the next few days…

 

Leftover moisture Saturday has dewpoints in the 50's in some spots. Then the more typical dry air moves back in for early in the week…

 

By Wednesday though, moisture levels skyrocket regionwide with dewpoints climbing into the 50's and 60's…