Major Hurricane Sergio Churns Southwest of Baja California

Major Hurricane Sergio churned southwest of Baja California.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Sergio was located at latitude 13.3°N and longitude 117.9°W which put it about 845 miles (1360 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.  Sergio was moving toward the northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 145 m.p.h. (230 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 955 mb.

Hurricane Sergio is a well organized hurricane.  There is a circular eye at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounds the eye and the strongest winds are occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms are revolving around the core of Hurricane Sergio.  Storms near the core are generating strong upper level divergence which is pumping mass away in all directions from the hurricane.

Winds to hurricane force extend out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center of Hurricane Sergio.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 150 miles (240 km) from the center of circulation.  The Hurricane intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Sergio is 23.6.  The Hurrricane Size Index (HSI) is 15.1 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 38.7.

Hurricane Sergio will remain in an environment capable of supporting a major hurricane for several more days.  Sergio will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Sergio could strengthen to Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.  Hurricane Sergio will move over cooler water in a couple of days and it is likely to weaken when that occurs.

Hurricane Sergio will move south of a subtropical ridge over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will steer Sergio toward the northwest during the next day or so.  The ridge is forecast to strengthen on Friday and it will steer Sergio more toward the west when that happens.  On its expected track Hurricane Sergio will move gradually farther away from Baja California.