The latest hurricane to hit North America spared the United States and instead slammed into the west coast of Mexico. The video above shows the storm approaching Puerto Los Cabos.
Olaf made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane Thursday night near San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. It went on to drench the region including the Los Cabos resorts with torrential rain. Authorities worked to move residents from low-lying neighborhoods to shelters, and an estimated 20,000 foreign tourists hunkered down in their hotels.
According to the National Hurricane Center, as of 11:00 a.m. EST, Olaf downgraded to a tropical storm. It was located about 65 miles west of La Paz on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. It was moving northwest at about 10 miles per hour.
The center of Olaf is expected to move along the southwestern coast of Baja California Friday before moving offshore by Friday night. The storm is expected to begin slowing down by then.
According to the NHC, Olaf is expected to drop up to 15 inches across parts of Mexico through Friday. The center warned the rainfall could “trigger significant and life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides”.
Early Friday, Baja California Sur Civil Defense Deputy Secretary Carlos Alfredo Godínez said he had received no reports of lives lost in Mexico from the hurricane.
At least 700 people were in designated shelters. Some hotels experienced minor damage.
Olaf is just the latest in what has been a very busy part of the 2021 hurricane season for both Mexico and the U.S. The storm hit just days after Hurricane Ida and its remnants left dozens dead in its path that went from the Gulf Coast all the way through the northeastern states. Louisiana had already been saturated from then-record rainfall produced by Henri just days prior.
Mexico has not been spared from the recent rash of tropical weather either. Last month, Hurricane Grace hit the Gulf Coast portion of Mexico, killing eight.
And it might not be over yet. According to the NHC, there was a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms near the Pacific Coast of Central America Friday morning. A tropical depression could form and approach Mexico over the weekend and into next week. In the Atlantic Ocean, a separate tropical depression could form Sunday or Monday before the system moves onshore along the western coastline of the Gulf of Mexico.