Hurricane Hilary rapidly intensified to a major hurricane over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean on Thursday evening. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Hilary was located at latitude 16.7°N and longitude 110.0°W which put it about 430 miles (690 km) south of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Hilary was moving toward the west-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 952 mb.
A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Punta Eugenia to Punta Abreojos, Mexico. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Cabo San Lazaro to Los Barriles, Mexico. The Tropical Storm Warning included Cabo San Lucas. Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for the portions of the coast from Cabo San Lazaro to Punta Eugenia, Mexico and from Los Barriles to Bahia San Juan Bautista, Mexico.
Hurricane Hilary rapidly intensified to a major hurricane on Thursday. An eye with a diameter of 23 miles (37 km) was at the center of Hilary’s circulation. The eye was surrounded by a ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Hilary. Storms near the core generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the hurricane.
The circulation around Hurricane Hilary was large. Winds to hurricane force extended out 60 miles (95 km) from the center of Hilary’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 290 miles (465 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) was 23.6. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 20.3 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 43.9.
Hurricane Hilary will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Hilary will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30°C. It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. Hurricane Hilary is likely to continue to intensify during the next 24 hours. Hilary could intensify rapidly at times on Friday.
Hurricane Hilary will move around the western part of a high pressure system over Mexico. The high pressure system will steer Hilary toward the northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Hurricane Hilary will move toward Baja California. Hilary will move more toward the north when it reaches the western end of the high pressure system during the weekend. Hurricane Hilary will start to affect Baja California during the weekend.
Elsewhere, former Tropical Storm Greg and former Tropical Storm Fernanda both weakened to tropical depressions. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Depression Greg was located at latitude 12.0°N and longitude 158.5°W which put it about 645 miles (1035 km) south of Honolulu, Hawaii. Greg was moving toward the west at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.
At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Depression Fernanda was located at latitude 16.4°N and longitude 133.8°W which put it about 1615 miles (2605 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Fernanda was moving toward the west at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1005 mb.