Even though Hurricane Hilary remains well away from the southwestern United States, the storm could still bring hazards to swimmers and surfers in the final days of July.
The eastern Pacific Basin has produced a series of strong, long-lived hurricanes this season, and currently there are three tropical cyclones parading westward between southern Mexico and Hawaii.
“In the East Pacific, we are tracking Tropical Depression Greg and hurricanes Hilary and Irwin. All are well away from land and will bring no direct impacts to land through the next several days,” said AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
While the hurricanes’ wind and rain will keep their distance from the West Coast, some indirect impacts from the distant cyclones could be felt at the coastal locations nearest the storms.
The storm closest to the Americas is Hurricane Hilary, which is a Category 1 storm as of Thursday morning.
“Hilary is expected to take a path that leads off to the northwest which would parallel the Baja California Coast,” said Accuweather meteorologist Jordan Root.
“While Hilary will remain well away from the coast, it is still expected to bring an extended period of rough surf along the coast of Southern California Friday through Tuesday,” Root said.
The ongoing heat in inland Southern California this summer has sent many to the shores to seek relief at the cooler coast or in the chilly Pacific waters.
While temperatures are expected to be near average this coming weekend at inland locations, some coastal areas such as San Diego will have thermometers rise a few degrees above normal.
Combined with Southern California’s seasonal summertime sunshine, this will make for a potentially busy weekend at the beaches.
While experienced surfers will likely take advantage of the unusually rough surf, beachgoers will need to be vigilant if they decide to swim in the ocean.
“The highest seas and surf will likely occur Sunday through Monday with some seas generally 6 to 8 feet, but some possibly up to 10 feet,” said Root.
Strong rip currents will also threaten anyone who enters the water, so it will be important for swimmers to remain in areas patrolled by lifeguards, or to not enter the water at all.
While another disturbance has formed in Hilary’s wake, it is not expected to impact coastal areas in any way.