Tropical Storm Kay breaks heat and rain records across Southern California
Hurricane Hunters on Tuesday confirmed that Tropical Storm Kay has become the fifth named storm of the 2017 Atlantic Basin hurricane season.
Kay is now packing hurricane-strength winds, and is headed directly toward landfall in southern California.
A massive hurricane warning was issued for the southern San Diego County coast, and tropical storm watches were posted all the way down to Mexico.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the state. He issued a statement Tuesday morning, saying, “The most important part of this is that people be prepared. There really is no other warning system at present. It’s all over the state of California.”
State officials ordered evacuations in four counties: Santa Barbara, Orange, San Diego and Ventura. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning for south Orange County, and warned residents of low-lying areas, power outages, strong winds and dangerous weather.
“It’s not to be underestimated,” said Sheriff Bill Brown.
The winds that have been recorded today over San Diego are in comparison to winds that came the day before, he said.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Brown said, adding, “I’ve never seen anything come at us like this, either.”
With Kay nearing landfall just south of the Channel Islands, officials from the U.S. Coast Guard said that the area has recorded some of the highest waves in the nation.
The latest estimates show that Kay is now officially classified as a “tropical storm” – its official name in the National Hurricane Center is Tropical Storm Leslie.
However, the storm is still referred to as a “hurricane” on the center’s website, so people should continue to monitor the storm track and the storm’s forward motion.
“We’re getting very close to the area where it will make landfall,” the National Hurricane Center said in a release. “The storm is likely to bring life-threatening storm surges and destructive winds along and inland of the coastline, with hurricane conditions still possible.”
A large area of low pressure has been formed along the southeastern portion of Hurricane Leslie’s surface circulation just southwest of the southern tip of the Florida Panhandle. However, the surface low is expected to quickly weaken into a tropical depression as it moves farther inland.
The remnants of Hurricane Leslie will continue moving towards the southeast of Florida and the west coast of Mexico through