Growing weaker, Hurricane Bud is headed toward a string of beach resorts and small villages on the Pacific coastline of Mexico, south of Puerto Vallarta. Numerous schools in the state of Jalisco were closed ahead of heavy rainfall Friday and officals have been scrambling to open emergency shelters in many empty school rooms.
Drenching rains and six foot high waves pounded coastal areas Friday evening as the hurricane’s eye was set to come ashore overnight. Hotel owners with establishments located in the path of the storm boarded up windows before Bud made land. Bud became a Category 3 storm with maximum winds of 115 miles per hour Thursday but it since weakened to a Category 1 as it’s winds diminished Friday afternooon. The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida is predicting that Bud will be a tropical storm when it moves inland and then makes a U-turn and heads back out to sea. The biggest threat from this system is heavy rainfall which could lead to widespread flooding and dangerous mudslides.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA has predicted a near-normal hurricane sesaon this year. People living on the US Atlantic coastline still have vivid recollections of 2008′s Hurricane Katrina which flooded most of New Orleans, leaving hundreds of thousands residents homeless. And, this August marks the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew – the Category 5 hurricane that wreaked havoc in southern Florida, resulting in billions of dollars worth of damge.
The National Weather Service is telling people to be ready for this year’s hurricane season. It states that nine to fifteen named storms may develop this year with one to three of them likely being category 3 or higher.
As Bud weakened Friday, NOAA turned its attention to another system developing in the Atlantic northeast of the Bahamas and the southeast coast of Florida. The system is expected to become Tropical Storm Beryl over Memorial Day weekend. As of early Saturday morning, the storm was about 265 miles from Charleston, South Caroline and had winds of about 45 miles per hour which are expected to growing stronger as the storm slows down. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for portrions of the South Carolina coast. High tides are expected to crash against the Southeastern coast which could cause flooding there.