Rick weakens slightly

posted Jul 11, 2012, 9:26 PM by Tom Kachelman   [ updated Jul 11, 2012, 9:27 PM ]
Rick weakens slightly but is still a dangerous hurricane At 2:00 PM PDT/21:00 UTC the eye of Hurricane Rick was located near latitude 16.4 north/longitude 109.4 west or about 450 miles/725 km south of Cabo San Lucas Mexico. Rick is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph/22 km/hr. A turn toward the northwest and then toward the north with a gradual decrease in forward speed is expected in the next 24 to 36 hours. A turn toward the north-northeast is expected by Monday.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 160 mph/260 km/hr with higher gusts Rick remains a dangerous category five hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. While gradual weakening is expected in the next 24 to 48 hours Rick is expected to remain a dangerous hurricane for the next couple of days.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 60 miles/95 km from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175miles/280 km.
Infrared satellite imagery shows that the cloud structure of Rick continues to slowly deteriorate. While the environment around Rick remains favorable for the next day or so most of the intensity guidance shows a downward trend in the short term. Rick is expected to still be a hurricane as it approaches Baja and will weaken rapidly after landfall in Mainland Mexico.

Although weakening is forecast Rick is expected to still be a dangerous hurricane as it approaches the southern Baja Peninsula in two or three days. A Hurricane Watch may be required for portions of southern Baja tonight or early Monday. Interests throughout southern Baja California and along the west-central coast of Mainland Mexico should closely monitor the progress of Rick.