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Tropical Storm Ivo off Mexico May Mean Heavy Rain for U.S. West

Tropical Storm Ivo developed off Mexico’s Pacific Coast and may bring heavy rain to Baja California and the U.S. Southwest, forecasters said.

Ivo, the ninth storm of the eastern Pacific hurricane season, is 330 miles (530 kilometers) south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with maximum winds of 40 miles per hour, according to a U.S. National Hurricane Center advisory at about 11 a.m. New York time. The system is moving north at 6 mph.

“Interests in the southern Baja California Peninsula should monitor the progress of Ivo,” the advisory said. “A tropical storm warning or watch may be required for this area later today.”

Most storms in the eastern Pacific this year have moved west out to sea. Ivo’s northerly track may mean drenching rains for the U.S. Southwest from southern California to Arizona after the storm breaks up early next week.

“The possibility is there for flash flooding and heavy rain,” said Bob Smerbeck, an expert senior meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. “We’re concerned for Phoenix, Las Vegas, Yuma and that whole Colorado River valley. It’s good to get the rain but it’s not good to get it too fast.”

Much of that area is suffering from severe drought.

Mexico Rain

As the storm tracks north in the Pacific, parallel to land, it’s expected to drop 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 centimeters) of rain across Baja California and produce rip currents and “life-threatening surf” along the coast, according to the hurricane center.

In addition to Ivo, forecasters are watching a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that has a 10 percent chance of becoming a tropical system in the next five days.

Conditions in the Gulf aren’t favorable for that system to strengthen, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

“That blob in the Gulf is too weak and short-lived to cause any trouble,” Rogers said.

Smerbeck said the disturbance may bring some rain to Texas over the weekend. Air pressure in the Gulf is too high for it to become a tropical system, he said.

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