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The Latest on Rick

While nothing is certain, things are certainly looking more promising for Cabo San Lucas, La Paz and all of southern Baja, as once-monster Hurricane Rick has weakened greatly, from 156 knots to 100 knots. Furthermore, by the time he reaches the vicinity of Cabo San Lucas, he should be down to 70 knots or even less. We say vicinity, because current projections have him most likely skirting rather than hitting the tip of Baja. Indeed, some forecasts, such as on would suggest that Cabo won’t even get hit by 35-knot winds.

Nothing is certain with hurricanes and tropical storms, of course. While Rick‘s maximum winds have decreased dramatically, and he is certain to continue to weaken, nothing is set in stone. That’s why officials still consider the lower 25% of all of Baja to have at least a 40% chance of being hit by tropical storm force winds.

Rick has a 40% chance of hitting the lower quarter of Baja.

© 2009 NOAA

For those thinking the Grand Poobah had a big decision to make regarding the start of the Ha-Ha a week from Monday, think of the poor organizers at the multimillion dollar Bisbee Black and Blue Marlin Jackpot Tournament based out of Cabo. That event is supposed to start on Wednesday, the day Rick is supposed to make his closest approach. Given the potential tropical storm or hurricane force winds and huge surf — one person has already been swept to his death near Cabo — Bisbee officials say the tournament is still going to be held — albeit the first two days may be cancelled.

Our best wishes to everyone in the path of the hurricane/tropical storm — and that includes people on the mainland coast of Mexico north of Mazatlan, who are likely to get hit by 25- to 35-knot winds.

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Given the fact that, as we write this on October 18, monster Hurricane Rick is churning to the northwest far off the mainland coast of Mexico, but expected to swing to the north and northeast and perhaps hit Cabo and La Paz with Category 1 or 2 force winds, and that it’s just eight days until the scheduled start of the Baja Ha-Ha, we thought it would be an excellent time to share some information on the most recent 20-year history of late season hurricanes off the Pacific Coast of Mexico.