Tropical storm off Baja pumping moisture into Southwest
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — So far, the Atlantic hurricane season hasn’t been particularly active, but in the eastern Pacific, nine named storms have formed, most of them moving out to sea with little impact to land areas.
But the latest in the series, Tropical Depression Ivo, is dawdling off the west coast of Baja California and sending moisture streaming into northwestern Mexico and the southwestern U.S. The moisture could affect much of western Colorado and eastern Utah Sunday and Monday, with another round of heavy thunderstorms possible.
With the ground already saturated from recent rains, the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch covering the region. Many areas under the watch will see 1 to 3 inches of rain, with heavier amounts possible near embedded thunderstorms.
A flash flood watch means conditions are ripe for flash flooding, so hikers and travelers on backcountry roads should be on the lookout for rising stream levels. Burn scar areas are especially susceptible to flash flooding.
The pattern isn’t unusual for late August, and will extend the monsoon season by at least a few more days, with drying conditions forecast for the latter part of next week. The northward track of Ivo also suggests a relaxation of the easterly winds, and the possibility of more tropical storm development in the Caribbean and Atlantic, where forecasters have warned that September could see formation of multiple tropical storms.
A system in the western Gulf of Mexico has an 80 percent chance of developing in the next few days, but doesn’t pose a threat to the U.S. Gulf Coast.