Get ready for rain
MEXICO CITY — Lake Havasu City and Mohave County could see the bulk of the rainfall this week from Hurricane Rosa, which was on a track Sunday to drench northwest Mexico and parts of the U.S. Southwest.
National Weather Service forecasters were issuing tropical storm warnings for the Baja California coast and flash-flood watches for parts of four U.S. states.
In a conference call Sunday afternoon, John Adair, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Las Vegas office, said the storm was beginning to hit the Yuma area and was offering a glimpse of what residents in Havasu should expect on Monday and Tuesday.
“It still looks like Mohave County will see the deepest moisture,” he said, warning to expect long showers and thunderstorms through Wednesday. The Weather Service said Havasu could expect up to .97 inches of rain from the storm system, but other areas, including nearby Wikieup, could recieve nearly twice that. Flash flood warnings will likely be in effect throughout the area on Monday night, he said.
The Mohave County Division of Emergency Management was urging residents in flood-prone areas to contact local fire departments about obtaining free sand bags.
“Any places close to the Colorado River valley will see higher amounts of precipitation,” Adair said. Unlike a summer monsoon storm, he said, this storm will move quickly and is unlikely to hover over any one area for very long. “The storms will be moving at a pretty good clip, maybe 20 miles per hour,” he said.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Rosa should still be at tropical storm force when it hits the Baja California Peninsula and Sonora state Monday with flooding rains. It’s then expected to move quickly northwestward as it weakens, bringing 2 to 4 inches of rain to the Mogollon Rim of Arizona and 1 to 2 inches to the rest of the desert Southwest, Central Rockies and Great Basin. Some isolated areas might be more.
Rosa still had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph Sunday morning and it was centered about 320 miles southwest of Punta Eugenia in Mexico. It was heading north at 13 mph.
The National Weather Service announced flash flood watches through Tuesday for areas including southern Nevada, southeastern California, southwestern and central Utah and the western two-thirds of Arizona.
Forecasts call for heavy rainfall in the watch areas, which include Las Vegas, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, with possible flooding in slot canyons and normally dry washes and a potential for debris flows from recent wildfire burn scars.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Sergio was growing in the Pacific and could grow to near major-hurricane force within days, though it posed no immediate threat to land.
Sergio had winds of 60 mph Sunday morning and it was centered about 480 miles south of Manzanillo, Mexico. The storm was moving west at 13 mph.