California residents prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Hilary

As Hurricane Hilary approaches the US state of California, residents are bracing themselves for the potential impact of this powerful storm. The hurricane, which has already caused strong winds and flooding in Mexico’s Pacific coast, is expected to reach southern California as a tropical storm, marking the first time in 84 years that the state has experienced a storm of this magnitude. With warnings of “catastrophic” floods in both Mexico and the US, authorities and residents are taking necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

The Mexican government has placed 18,000 soldiers on standby to assist in rescue efforts in Baja California Sur state, where one man has already died while attempting to cross a stream. In the south-western US, nearly 26 million people are under flood watch, and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a rare tropical storm alert for California. Nancy Ward, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, has warned that Hurricane Hilary could be one of the most severe storms to hit the state in over a decade.

The potential impact of Hurricane Hilary extends beyond immediate safety concerns. Meteorologists predict that parts of Mexico, California, and Nevada could receive up to 10 inches (25cm) of rain, leading to widespread flooding. There is also a risk of tornadoes in certain areas, including the Colorado River Valley, Mojave Desert, and Imperial Valley. In anticipation of the storm, Major League Baseball has rescheduled three games in southern California, and SpaceX has postponed the launch of a rocket from its base on the central California coast. The National Park Service has closed Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve to prevent visitors from becoming stranded in the event of flooding.

This rare tropical storm in California raises questions about the changing climate patterns and their impact on extreme weather events. Experts suggest that the unusual weather events experienced across the US and the world are influenced by human-caused climate change. With July 2023 recorded as the hottest month on record, according to Nasa, and the deadliest wildfire in modern US history erupting in Hawaii, the connection between climate change and the intensity of natural disasters becomes increasingly apparent.

As Hurricane Hilary makes its way towards California, residents and authorities must prioritize their safety and take necessary precautions to minimize potential damage and loss of life. The collaboration between Mexican and US authorities highlights the importance of international cooperation in the face of natural disasters. Additionally, this storm serves as a reminder of the urgent need to address climate change and its ripple effects on our planet. By adopting sustainable practices and reducing our carbon emissions, we can mitigate the impact of future extreme weather events and create a safer, more resilient future for all.