Hurricane Kay remained in the Pacific on Wednesday as it began to make landfall on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, where authorities were prepared by opening shelters and closing some roads.

Forecasters said there was a chance the major storm’s outer path could bring heavy rain – and possibly flash flooding – to scorched parts of Southern California and southwestern Arizona on Friday night and Saturday.

Kay’s maximum sustained winds were 100 mph (155 kph) in the afternoon, with forecasters saying it could sweep the central part of the Baja peninsula Thursday or Friday.

The US National Hurricane Center in Miami said Kay was centered about 200 miles (320 kilometers) west-southwest of the southern tip of the Baja peninsula. Kay was moving north-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph).

A hurricane warning was issued for the stretch of sparsely populated peninsula around Bahia Asuncion and the state government of Baja California Sur announced it would open shelters for people who needed to evacuate. It said some creeks had gone up and blocked some roads.

Forecasters predict Kay will remain offshore as it moves further north, roughly parallel to the coast. It was an expansive storm, with tropical storm wind strength extending up to 230 miles (370 kilometers) from the center.

Heavy rain fell in Los Cabos on the southern tip of the peninsula. Mayor Oscar Leggs Castro said there were already more than 800 people in shelters at the twin resort destination.

Long lines of cars waiting to be filled at gas stations. Non-essential businesses were closed and some airlines canceled flights.

Landslides reportedly cut off several highways on the peninsula, but there were no reports of injuries.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Earl is churning through the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean and is expected to pass southeast of Bermuda on Thursday evening as a Category 3 hurricane.

The island’s national security minister, Michael Weeks, told reporters that public services and government offices would remain operational but warned residents to prepare for tropical storm conditions.

“Bermuda will definitely feel the effects of the Earl, so we must guard against complacency,” he said.

The Earl was centered about 390 miles (625 kilometers) south of Bermuda Wednesday afternoon. Its maximum sustained winds have strengthened to 90 mph (150 kph) and are moving north at 8 mph (13 kph).

Further afield, Hurricane Danielle kicked the sea off its center about 625 miles (1,010 kilometers) northwest of the Azores. It had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph).

For more information, visit NOAA website.

By Blanca

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