Norbert now a hurricane, strengthening in the Pacific

The Atlantic has witnessed a much quieter hurricane season than usual.
By Brooks Hays  |  Sept. 4, 2014 at 11:31 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The Pacific hurricane season continues to be livelier than its Atlantic counterpart as Norbert -- formerly a tropical storm -- was upgraded to hurricane status late Wednesday as it continues to strengthen off the southern tip of Baja California.

The National Hurricane Center reports the hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, with higher gusts. Just off the west coast of Mexico, Norbert is slowly making its way up the coast -- traveling northwest at 7 mph. Storm warnings were issued for the resort cities of Cabo San Lucas and La Paz, as dangerous rip currents, high winds and heavy surf is expected through the weekend.

As it moves the northwest, the hurricane will likely brush across the parts of Southern California, with the threat of heavy rains and flash flooding.

Meanwhile, in the Atlantic, Hurricane Dolly quickly dissipated over central Mexico as it exited the Gulf waters. But meteorologists are now monitoring a new wave and low pressure system off the coast of Africa near the Cape-Verde Islands. It has a 40 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next several days.

Overall, the Atlantic has witnessed a much quieter hurricane season than usual. The NOAA says that 2014 featured only 70 percent of an average season's activity so far. And even though hurricane season usually kicks into gear in September, officials say its still likely the season will remain less violent than usual into October.

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