The Verge reports:
The National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm watch for southern California today as Hurricane Hilary barrels toward the US and Mexico. This is the first time this kind of alert has been issued for sunny SoCal, which is more prone to drought and fire this time of year than hurricanes.
A tropical storm watch means “that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours,” according to the National Hurricane Center. The watch is in place from the Mexico-California border to the Los Angeles-Orange county line as well as for Catalina and Santa Barbara Islands.
NBC News reports:
News of Hurricane Hilary barreling toward Southern California has drawn reminders of “El Cordonazo,” a tropical storm that hit the state almost 84 years ago. “El Cordonazo,” which made landfall in Long Beach in September 1939, is the last tropical storm recorded in California.
Also known as “The Lash of St. Francis,” the storm “lost hurricane status shortly before moving onshore at San Pedro” and caused the greatest September rainfall ever in the area, the National Weather Service said in a document recounting the history of significant weather events in SoCal.
Rainfall in Los Angeles was recorded at 5.4 inches in 24 hours, per the agency’s data. Eastern Coachella Valley was under 2 feet of water. A total of 45 people died in the floods and 48 more died at sea.
NEW: A tropical storm watch is in effect for portions of Southern California. #Hilary
This is the *very first* time one has been issued for that region! We’re LIVE all day. pic.twitter.com/iiXUoH2gyK
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) August 18, 2023
For the first time ever, a Tropical Storm Watch (outlined in yellow) has been issued along the Southern California coastline from San Diego to Huntington Beach. #HurricaneHilary pic.twitter.com/YBmVdL5tPL
— Colin McCarthy (@US_Stormwatch) August 18, 2023
The first tropical storm watch in California’s history has been issued as Hilary approaches the state. https://t.co/AfIodA328V
— ABC News (@ABC) August 18, 2023
Hurricane Hilary has grown rapidly to Category 4 strength off Mexico’s Pacific coast. It will weaken before reaching land but could become Southern California’s first tropical storm in 84 years, causing “significant and rare impacts” including flooding. https://t.co/u8LHWiQ0HF
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 18, 2023