Tropical Storm Kay breaks heat and rain records across Southern California
Aerial shot of a weather station on top of Signal Hill at dawn, Oct. 25, 2012. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
Tropical Storm Kay, the seventh named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, is set to make landfall in the Central California coast Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane with 90-mph winds. It’s expected to be the fourth named storm of the 2012 Atlantic season to make landfall in the west coast corridor, and the first named storm to originate in the Eastern Pacific.
It’s the largest weather event for Santa Barbara County since the Oct. 7, 1984, hurricane that devastated the region with storm-force winds, waves and flooding.
The storm will make landfall just after 2 p.m. Friday, said forecaster Jeff Masters.
“We are expecting one of the largest rainfall amounts to impact the region in history, possibly the wettest 24-hour period of the year,” Masters said in a statement late Thursday.
Tropical Storm Kay, which means white in Spanish, is likely to strengthen before reaching the coast, according to the National Hurricane Center, whose forecast track was updated late Thursday.
The storm’s heavy rainfall, combined with high surf conditions, will likely submerge the entire area, including some of Big Sur’s coastal beaches.
Tropical Storms Kay, Allenby and Olivia have also weakened from the major storm that struck the West Coast on Sept. 23.
Kay weakened to a tropical storm, or Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale late Wednesday with wind speeds of 85 mph with the center of hurricane force, or 39 knots, about 140 miles off of the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Allenby fell to a tropical storm Saturday, and Olivia became a tropical depression Saturday.
Ahead of the storm, the National Weather Service issued a warning that its forecast models were predicting that the three storms would move out of the western Pacific and toward the coast.
“We expect another large system is coming