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Tropical Storm Watch Issued for Southern California as Hurricane Hilary Moves North

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Hurricane Hilary, a large and powerful Category 4 storm, was on Friday morning barreling toward the Baja California Peninsula and the Southwestern United States, where it may cause “significant and rare impacts,” meteorologists said.

The National Hurricane Center issued its first ever tropical storm watch for Southern California on Friday. A watch means that tropical conditions are possible within the area over the next 48 hours. The watch stretches from the California-Mexico border to the Orange County and Los Angeles County line and for Catalina Island, forecasters said.

The system had sustained winds near 145 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. Tropical disturbances that have sustained winds of 39 m.p.h. earn a name. Once winds reach 74 m.p.h., a storm becomes a hurricane, and, at 111 m.p.h., it becomes a major hurricane.

Hilary formed as a tropical storm off the coast of Manzanillo, Mexico, on Wednesday and began moving west-northwest toward Baja California as it strengthened. While the storm’s intensity was expected to fluctuate throughout Friday,…

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