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Tropical Storm Kiko expected to weaken as it approaches Central Pacific

  • COURTESY NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER

    COURTESY NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER

Tropical Storm Kiko continued its zigzag course in the East Pacific today and forecasters expect it to weaken into a post-tropical remnant low by the time it reaches the Central Pacific on Wednesday or Thursday.

As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Kiko had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was centered about 1,510 miles west of the southern tip of Southern California and 1,530 miles southeast of Hilo, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was moving west-southwest at 8 mph and its tropical storm-force winds extended up to 60 miles from the center.

Forecasters expect the storm by midweek when it enters the Central Pacific with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph.

Kiko is one of three East Pacific tropical storms that the hurricane center’s forecasters are monitoring.

Tropical Storm Lorena was headed up the east coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center downgraded Lorena to a tropical storm Saturday afternoon, saying it has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph), and its center was about 50 miles north-northeast of Loreto, Mexico. It was heading to the north at 12 mph on a forecast track parallel to the coast, through the Sea of Cortez.

The core of Lorena “did not survive the high terrain of the southern Baja California peninsula,” the center said.

The Mexican government has discontinued the tropical storm warning for the Baja peninsula and the hurricane watch for portions of mainland Mexico.

The storm brought intense rain and strong waves to Los Cabos, but minimal damage.

Clouds began to clear Friday evening. Electric service was spotty in some communities.

For days, forecasts had predicted likely landfall in or a near miss with Los Cabos, but the storm took a path well east of the glitzy resort area.

On Friday, residents and tourists in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo hunkered down in homes, shelters and hotels amid extreme weather warnings.

Police and soldiers went through low-lying, low-income neighborhoods in Los Cabos urging people to evacuate. Locals who have been through past hurricanes pulled boats from the water and boarded up windows and doors.

Authorities in Los Cabos said 787 people had taken refuge at 18 storm shelters. Officials had closed the port and suspended school classes for Friday.

Lorena came onshore a day earlier as a hurricane in the western Mexican state of Colima. It flooded streets, washed out roads and touched off minor slides in 10 municipalities. Dozens of trees were downed, and power was knocked out in some areas.

Colima state Gov. Jose Ignacio Peralta said more than 7,400 acres of crops such as bananas and papayas were damaged statewide, but there were no deaths or significant damage to infrastructure.

On Saturday afternoon, Lorena’s tropical force winds extended outward up to 10 miles to the north and east of its center. Baja California Sur Gov. Carlos Mendoza urged residents to still exercise caution.

Tropical Storm Mario, meanwhile, was weakening as it hovered several hundred miles south of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. Mario was expected to disperse by Monday.

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