Newton as seen at 1:45 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 5 just as it was designated a Category 1 hurricane. (Image: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team)

Hurricane Newton is currently making landfall near Baja California in Mexico. The Category 1 tropical storm—the fifteenth of the season—is churning winds up to 115 mph (185 km/hr), and has already resulted in flooding along the Pacific west coast.

Earlier today, a Hurricane Warning was issued along a swath from Cabo San Lazaro to Mulege, including Cabo San Lucas, and from Guaymas to Bahia Kino, Mexico. At 11:00 am EDT/8:00 am PDT, the hurricane was located about 110 miles (180 km) northwest of Caba San Lucas and 50 miles (80 km) west of La Paz, Mexico.

Newton is expected to produce heavy rainfall over a long distance—from Baja California, Mexico all the way to the US southwest. The National Hurricane Center is predicting total rain accumulations of eight to 12 inches over the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, and five to 10 inches over Sinaloa, Sonora, western Nayarit, and Jalisco.


Rainfall potential. (Image: NOAA)

The outer rainband of the hurricane has already wreaked havoc in Mexico. In Guerrero, nearly 700 homes were flooded and 12 communities isolated, resulting in the mobilization of 817 troops to help with the clean-up. At least three deaths are being blamed on the storm system.

Projected storm path. (Image: NOAA)

Newton is expected to weaken once it makes landfall later today, but officials warn of life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, particularly in mountainous areas. Americans living in Arizona and New Mexico could also feel the effects of Newton, and are being advised to stay tuned to local weather conditions.