Kay, the new storm that formed in the tropical eye over the Central Pacific, is now a Category 4 hurricane

Tropical Storm Kay breaks heat and rain records across Southern California

Published on June 15 2018 6:38pm

By Joe Williams

Kay, the new storm that formed in the tropical eye over the Central Pacific, was once only a few degrees of cooler, but now it’s on the front edge of the storm-season. With the strengthening of the storm and its new trajectory, the center of the storm — which has been moving northwest of the Southern California coast and now is about 50 miles to the north of the Los Angeles coast — has a long way to go before it reaches tropical storm status. It will then move even farther north and east and then could be classified as a hurricane by the time it passes about 100 miles east of the Big Bear area.

During its early days, the storm’s track was more east-northeast so it would stay out over the ocean and warm off the central coast, so the system was relatively cool during the rainy season. But as the storm moved north, it strengthened and it began to lose cool air over the central and Southern California coast, causing the storm to gain strength. As a result, as early as Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported that the center of the storm had intensified into a Category 4 hurricane.

Now, just as we’ve seen before — after Cyclone Pam and during Hurricane Maria — we’ll see these storms keep growing in strength and track. In the case of Kay, it’s a little difficult to determine when the next one will form, but since it formed, the National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Formation Alert out to May 5, the last day of the rainy season.

As the storm tracks over the Central and Southern California coasts, the system should cause widespread rain and some coastal flooding, including for some communities in southern and inland California.

Although it’s not yet in hurricane strength, the storm is still forecast to produce wind gusts of 60 mph along the coast and locally heavy rains, and will also dump some moisture inland. As the storm moves further south, the National Weather Service has issued flood watches and high wind warnings for coastal areas along the California coast until about the middle of next week.

There are still some uncertainties

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