Rick continues to rapidly intensify

posted Jul 11, 2012, 9:04 PM by Tom Kachelman   [ updated Jul 11, 2012, 9:05 PM ]
Rick continues to rapidly intensify further strengthening is forecast at 200 PM PDT/2100 UTC the center of Hurricane Rick was located near latitude 13.0 north longitude 100.0 west or about 270 miles/435 km south of Acapulco Mexico. Rick is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph/15 km/hr and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track the center of Rick should remain several hundred miles south of the southern coast of Mexico. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph/140 km/hr with higher gusts.

Continued rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 24 to 48 hours and Rick is expected to become a major hurricane on Saturday. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 25 miles/35 km from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 85 miles/140 km. According to the National Hurricane Center Rick it is forecast to reach Category 4 status as early as Saturday. Low wind shear and warm waters will help to feed the storm as it tracks toward the west. By Monday the storm is expected to turn toward the northwest and eventually north by the middle of next week. Where it goes after that is uncertain but it could turn back east toward Baja California.