Hurricane Hilary 2011 will likely weaken next week from its current Category 3 strength, but the storm may turn into central or northern California before it's done, ultimately bringing needed rain to the Southwest, including Texas.
Forecasters say Hurricane Hilary, currently off the western coast of Mexico, will pose a threat to shipping and cruise interests, while creating rough surf along the southwest Mexican coast as the storm turns to the north. Models show Hilary will be north and west of its current location by Wednesday night, and winds will likely have subsided to Category 1 strength.
But after that, the U.S. southwest and maybe even Texas could benefit from the storm if it re-curves as some models show, into northern Baja California.
This would be a rare move back to the east, but Hilary's circulation would have to survive the cool waters before landfall, and then the moisture would have to survive the mountains of western Mexico, Accuweather meteorologist Eric Leister said in a forecast story.
A trough of low pressure in the Pacific Ocean from Thursday-to-Saturday may dip far enough south to pull the remnants of Hilary back to the east, forecasters say. If so, the southwest and Texas, parched for months in a historic drought, could get much-needed rainfall. Tropical downpours could feed northward into the region by late next weekend or early the next week, Accuweather says.