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Hurricane Rick 'extremely dangerous' and tracking toward Baja California

October 17, 2009 |  9:39 pm
Hurricane Rick, which as of 8 p.m. Saturday was located 295 miles southwest of Manzanillo on the Mexican mainland, is packing 180-mph winds and is predicted to make landfall on the southern Baja California peninsula at midweek.

It's the second-strongest North Pacific hurricane on record, next to Linda in 1997, and residents in the state of Baja California Sur are cautioned to closely monitor its progress. The National Hurricane Center is referring to Rick as "an extremely dangerous" Category 5 storm. 

Satellite images show that Rick has continued to strengthen as it travels toward the west-northwest at 14 mph. It's expected to turn gradually toward the north Monday. It's ultimate track, if the prediction is accurate, will place it over southern Baja sometime Wednesday.

Hopefully its course will alter and spare residents and tourists a direct hit. Tourists with plans to fly to the Los Cabos and La Paz areas next week should consult their airlines about possible cancellations or delays.

The forecast does not look good for the annual Bisbee's Black & Blue Marlin Tournament in Cabo San Lucas, scheduled to begin Tuesday.

-- Pete Thomas 

Map is courtesy of National Hurricane Center

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