Simon, once a category 4 hurricane, was weakening Sunday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported. The NHC said the storm was approximately 460 miles southwest of the southern end of Mexico's Baja California peninsula at 8 a.m. PDT. Simon was expected to continue moving northeast but does not pose an immediate threat to the Baja area.
Simon, the eighth major hurricane to form in the Pacific this season, intensified to a category 3 hurricane Friday night with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph. Winds increased to 130 mph Saturday, making Simon a category 4 hurricane. It returned to category 3 status Sunday.
Simon was expected to deliver 2- to 4 inches of rain across the central Baja Peninsula, with some areas expected to receive as much as 8 inches. Ocean swells as well as surf and rip currents are also expected, but currently there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect. Still, residents and tourists in Baja California Sur, Sinaloa and western Sonora in particular are urged to stay clear of the beaches for their safety. Flash flooding and mudslides are likely, forecasters said. Simon will be closest to land Tuesday or Wednesday before dissipating.
Hurricane Simon comes just a few weeks after category 3 storm, Hurricane Odile, hit the Baja California. Odile caused $224 million in damage to the area and took 15 lives in mid-September, according to the AMIS insurers association.