Extremely dangerous hurricane Rick still strengthening

posted Jul 11, 2012, 9:13 PM by Tom Kachelman   [ updated Jul 11, 2012, 9:14 PM ]
Extremely dangerous Rick still strengthening, may become a category five hurricane tonight. At 200 PM PDT/2100 UTC the center of Hurricane Rick was located near latitude 14.8 north/longitude 104.5 west or about 290 miles/470 km south of Manzanillo Mexico and about 660 miles/1065 km South-southeast of Cabo San Lucas Mexico. Rick is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph/24 km/hr and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track the core of Rick is expected to remain offshore of the southern coast of Mexico over the weekend as the hurricane moves generally parallel to the coast.
The 12z dynamical models forecast Rick to move faster and more toward the northeast after recurvature than their earlier runs with the ECMWF GDFL and HWRF models now forecasting Rick to pass near or over southern Baja California and make landfall in northwestern Mexico by 96 hrs. See image below.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 150 mph/240 km/hr with higher gusts. This makes Rick an extremely dangerous category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Additional strengthening is forecast and Rick could become a category five hurricane tonight or Sunday. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 45 miles/75 km from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 155 miles/250 km. Estimated minimum central pressure is 934 mb/27.58 inches. Large swells generated by Rick may affect portions of the southern coast of Mexico during the next couple of days...causing potentially dangerous surf conditions. Outer rainbands associated with Rick will continue to affect the southern coast of Mexico through tonight. The new forecast track is shifted eastward from and is a little faster than the previous track calling for Rick to be near southern Baja California in about 96 hr and then make landfall in northwestern Mexico in about 120 hr. If current model trends continue additional adjustments to the forecast track may be necessary in subsequent advisories. Interests on the southwestern coast of Mexico and Baja California should closely monitor the progress of this extremely dangerous hurricane during the next several days.