The resort cities of Los Cabos in Mexico narrowly avoided a direct hit from Hurricane Lorena, which is moving up the east coast of the Baja California region. As of early Saturday morning, the peninsula was experiencing significant rains and winds, prompting warnings for the heavily touristed area.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Lorena was classified as a Category 1 hurricane as it approached land on Saturday with sustained winds of up to 75 miles per hour and a center roughly 55 miles northwest of La Paz. It is currently moving 9 miles per hour northwest along the Sea of Cortez and is predicted to make landfall in mainland Mexico sometime late on Saturday and into Sunday. On its current trajectory, Lorena is set to reach southern Arizona by late Sunday.

“Lorena will produce heavy rain, with life-threatening flash floods possible this weekend in parts of Baja California and northwest Mexico,” the NHC said in a 9 a.m. update. “Moisture associated with Lorena is forecast to bring a chance for heavy rain to the southwest United States late this weekend and early next week.”

A Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch are in effect for the east coast of Baja California from Santa Rosalia to Los Barriles, and from Altata to Bahia in mainland Mexico.

Lorena had been predicted to make landfall near Los Cabos before the storm took a last-minute turn. In preparations, approximately 787 people in the area took refuge in 18 shelters. Authorities had gone through low-lying and low-income neighborhoods urging residents to evacuate, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Mexico beach
This is a representational image of a Mexico beach. AFP / FRANCISCO ROBLES