Rick continues to weaken but still a major hurricane

posted Jul 11, 2012, 9:33 PM by Tom Kachelman   [ updated Jul 11, 2012, 9:33 PM ]
Rick continues to weaken but still a major hurricane. A Hurricane Watch remains in effect for southern Baja California from Santa Fe southward on the West Coast and from San Evaristo southward on the East Coast including Cabo San Lucas. A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area generally within 36 hours. At 8:00 am PDT/1500 UTC the center of Hurricane Rick was located near latitude 17.8 north/longitude 111.6 west or about 370 miles/595 km south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas Mexico and about 80 miles/130 km south-southwest of Socorro island.

Rick is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph/15 km/hr. A turn toward the north with a decrease in forward speed is expected in the next 24 hours. Rick is then forecast to accelerate toward the north-northeast and northeast by late Tuesday and early Wednesday. On the forecast track the center of the hurricane will be nearing Baja California Sur by late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 115 mph/185 km/hr with higher gusts. Rick is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Although additional weakening is forecast during the next couple of days Rick is still expected to be a hurricane as it approaches the southern Baja Peninsula. An Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft will be investigating Rick later today.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 40 miles/65 km from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 150 miles/240 km. An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is currently en Route to investigate Rick later today at arrival of the area and will provide valuable data to help determine the intensity and structure of the hurricane.