Tropical Storm Newton nears Mexico as hurricane warnings issued

By Allen Cone  |  Updated Sept. 5, 2016 at 4:38 PM
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MIAMI, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Newton is forecast to make landfall over the southern portion of Baja California on Tuesday morning, likely as a Category 1 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday.

Then, it will make second landfall over northwest Mexico's mainland late Tuesday into early Wednesday then dump rainfall on the parched Southwest United States later in the week, the center said.

Newton was located about 220 miles west-northwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, as of midday Monday and was traveling 15 mph with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph.

A hurricane warning was issued for Baja California Sur, from Puerto Cortes to San Evaristo, including Cabo San Lucas. That means hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within 24 hours.

A tropical storm warning is in effect from Manzanillo to Cabo Corrientes, north of Puerto Cortes to Punta Abreojos, north of San Evaristo to Mulege, and from Bahia Tempehuaya to Bahia Kino.

Newton is expected to produce rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches for coastal portions of the Mexican states of Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa and the state of Baja California Surr.

"These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain," the center said.

And "dangerous storm surge" is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the center makes landfall, the center said, adding the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves near the coast.

In the United States, up to 2 inches are expected across portions of southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico from late Wednesday into Thursday. Flash flooding is possible, the center said.

This rain should provide some drought relief to the the desert areas of the Southwest. About 72 percent of Arizona is classified in the "moderate drought" category, according to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor.

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