As Lidia draws closer to the Mexican coastline, high seas have already created rough surf and strong rip currents. To the south, another tropical feature is eyeing the southwest Mexican coastline early this week.
Published Oct 7, 2023 9:37 AM CST | Updated Oct 8, 2023 10:35 AM CST00:49Weather disasters have forced more than 43 million children from their homes in just six yearsThe video player is currently playing an ad.
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In the East Pacific this week, AccuWeather hurricane experts are monitoring Tropical Storm Lidia, the 12th named storm in the basin. On Sunday, Lidia was nearing hurricane strength (maximum sustained winds greater than 74 mph, or 119 km/h) as it slowly churned over 500 miles (800 km) off the coast of Manzanillo, Mexico.
The storm is expected to move north-northwestward, parallel to the Mexican coastline, through Sunday and generate swells along the Baja California Peninsula and west coast of Mexico. Dangerous surf, beach erosion, strong rip currents and coastal flooding will be a concern for coastal locations as Lidia draws closer.
Tropical Storm Lidia formed on Tuesday, Oct. 3 well off the coast of western Mexico.
Lidia landfall expected in Mexico late Tuesday
Lidia is expected to follow a general northeastward track from Monday to Wednesday as it takes a straight route for the west coast of Mexico. Forecasters say that landfall is expected to occur Tuesday evening, PDT, between the Jalisco and Sinaloa states of Mexico.
Lidia is forecast to ramp up to a Category 1 hurricane (maximum sustained winds of 74-95 mph, or 119-152 km/h) on Monday and hold onto that intensity through Tuesday, when it is expected to make landfall in western Mexico.
Gusty winds will arrive across parts of west-central Mexico beginning Tuesday night. Peak wind gusts can range from 80-100 mph (130-160 km/h) across the states of Durango, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Zacatecas and Jalisco with the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 100 mph (160 km/h).
Winds from Lidia are expected to persist across the region through Thursday evening, PDT, and can be strong enough to cause minor tree damage and localized power outages.
As Lidia approaches western Mexico, a wide swath of 1-2 inches (25-50 mm) of rain can spread across a similar region as the wind field and cover the states of Durango, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Zacatecas and Jalisco.
Rainfall totals can range from 2-4 inches (50-100 mm) across upslope regions from Culiacán to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with concentrated totals of 4-8 inches (100-200 mm) possible around the core of the storm near the Mexican state of Nayarit. The AccuWeather Local StormMax™ across west-central Mexico is set at 16 inches (400 mm) for Lidia.
Mountainous terrain will influence the heavy rainfall
The terrain of western Mexico will play a large role in the total rainfall that Lidia spreads onshore. Specifically, the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range that runs northwest to southeast across western Mexico.
As the air is forced upwards and cools over the higher terrain, water vapor condenses and a higher concentration of rainfall can occur along the windward side of the mountains.
This image of the eastern Pacific, Mexico and Central America shows Tropical Storm Lidia (left of center) and a tropical rainstorm (right of center). (AccuWeather Enhanced RealVue™ Satellite, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023)
“When tropical systems interact with orographic features, the mountains can have a similar effect of squeezing water out of a sponge. As a result, flooding issues can be enhanced,” explained AccuWeather Meteorologist Alex DaSilva.
Forecasters say that mudslides and flash flooding will be a major concern in locations slated to receive heavy rainfall totals from Tropical Storm Lidia.
Tropical Rainstorm eyes southwest Mexican coastline
AccuWeather meteorologists say that another feature will be worth watching over the upcoming days. A tropical rainstorm has formed along the southern coast of Mexico and is on track to make landfall late Monday, PDT.
“A cluster of thunderstorms located off the southwestern coast of Mexico is likely to become a tropical depression or storm at some point later this weekend,” explained AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.
This feature will bring a swath of 1-2 inches (25-50 mm) of rainfall across the Mexican states of Guerrero and southern Michoacan as the storm pushes onshore through Tuesday. Rainfall amounts ranging up to 4-8 inches (100-200 mm) can occur across the higher terrain of western Guerrero with the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 12 inches (300 mm).
Gusty winds will also accompany this system as it pushes into southwestern Mexico early this week. Gusts ranging from 40-60 mph (60-100 km/h) can occur along the coast and into the mountainous regions, while gusts of 60-80 mph (100-130 km/h) can occur near the point of landfall. The AccuWeather Local StormMax™ for wind is 90 mph (150 km/h).
The next 2023 East Pacific tropical storm name on the list will be Max.
Moisture, energy from Lidia could spawn activity in the Gulf of Mexico
“Some of the moisture and energy from Lidia may transfer to the Gulf of Mexico and perhaps be joined by a second budding tropical system in the Pacific during the middle to the latter part of next week,” explained AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Forecasters have designated a low risk for tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico from Oct. 11-12.
Regardless of gaining tropical characteristics, there can be pockets of steady rain along the Gulf coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama later next week as the energy surges eastward.