Hurricane Blanca Downgraded To Tropical Storm As It Nears Baja California

Hurricane Blanca — which was threatening several areas in Mexico’s Baja California peninsula has been downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday. According to the Houston Chronicle, Hurricane Blanca, which was earlier categorized as a category 4 hurricane on Saturday quickly lost strength and has now weakened into a far less severe tropical storm.

Following the warnings issued by weather forecasters, residents from Baja California had started gearing up for heavy rains and high winds that Hurricane Blanca was expected to bring. According to the latest update from the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Blanca has now been downgraded to a category 1 storm. It still threatens to hit Baja California — however with less severe results. Hurricane Blanca is now expected to pass west of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula.

Hurricane Blanca is the second hurricane to near the Baja California coast in nearly nine months. Back in September, 2014, Hurricane Odile hit the same area. Categorized as a category 3 storm, Hurricane Odile hit the resort town of Los Cabos and caused severe damage. For the same reason, people from the area have chosen not to take chances with Hurricane Blanca. According to reports, locals from Los Cabos have started nailing down rooftops and moved away food stands from near the beaches in anticipation of the storm. Several hotels in the area have also taken precautions and have, in the process, restricted access to beaches and pools. Even restaurant and alcohol services remain suspended in several locations.

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center confirmed that Hurricane Blanca was about 150 miles (245 km) south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of the peninsula. The storm is expected to further weaken by Monday. However, several areas have reported intermittent rainfall as a result of Blanca’s proximity to the coast, reports Reuters.

Following the downgrading of Hurricane Blanca, several tourists have said that they are at ease now. Sarah Neville, a Canadian tourist, said her flight was delayed and eventually postponed to Monday owing to the hurricane warning. She is now happy to see the big waves caused by the storm.

“It’s actually quite a fun experience seeing the big waves,” 48-year-old Neville told reporters. “I don’t want anything bad to happen but it’s an interesting way to end your holiday,” she added.

According to Luis Felipe Puente, the national head of emergency services, it is estimated that around 18,000 tourists were vacationing in and around Cabo San Lucas. Now that the threat from Hurricane Blanca has reduced, they are expected to stay back.

[Image Via NOAA]