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Fox News Weather Center

Simon to Contribute to Rain in Southwest US, Plains

Hurricane Simon will dramatically weaken prior to reaching Baja California but will still impact a portion of the southwestern and south-central United States later this week.

Simon continues to rapidly weaken after reaching its peak intensity of 130 mph Saturday night. The once-Category 4 hurricane is now passing over cooler water and lacks any fuel for further strengthening.

The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center is expecting Simon to become a tropical rainstorm before making landfall in Baja California at midweek.

Prior to landfall and despite the weakening trend, moisture from Simon will still get drawn northward into the United States.

That moisture should work to renew shower and thunderstorm activity across Arizona and New Mexico on Wednesday. The most numerous such activity should unfold in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico, including Tucson and Douglas, Arizona, and Silver City, Las Cruces and Gallup, New Mexico.

Simon will likely not to yield a repeat of Odile in terms of producing a concentrated area of extreme rain totals.

However, there is still concern for some downpours to unfold that will trigger flash flooding. Normally dry washes and arroyos may turn into raging waterways, while mudslides may ensue in the higher terrain.

As the thunderstorms commence, the danger of the winds kicking up blowing dust and haboobs will also exist in the deserts.

Moisture from Simon will likely spread farther to the north and east later in the week, interacting with another storm system and causing thunderstorms to return to Colorado and enhancing rainfall in the vicinity of the Texas panhandle, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.

The rain later in the week across the southern Plains would disrupt outdoor activities, cause travel slowdowns and will be monitored for possible flash flooding issues.

Know when the rain will hit by using AccuWeather's MinuteCast™. It has the minute-by-minute forecast for your exact location. Type your city name, select MinuteCast, and input your street address. On mobile, you can also use your GPS location.

Many residents, though, will welcome the prospect of rain due to the ongoing drought. In its latest report on Oct. 2, the United States Drought Monitor stated that a large part of the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma remain in the midst of an extreme to exceptional drought.

Residents of the Desert Southwest and southern Plains should continue to check back with AccuWeather.com for the latest updates on where Simon's moisture will contribute to potentially flooding downpours.