MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Hurricane Rosa has rapidly intensified in the eastern Pacific Ocean, while right now a fish storm, its greatest impact will be as a weak tropical storm or depression bringing a threat of flash flooding to the southwestern United States early next week.
Rosa strengthened to hurricane status Wednesday morning in the eastern Pacific Ocean, located around 500 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Rosa intensified into a major hurricane Thursday afternoon and is now a category 4 storm with winds more than 140 mph.
Now the seventh Category 4 hurricane this season in the 2018 eastern Pacific Hurricane Season, this ties a record that was set back in 2015.
Rosa is not expected to maintain its strength as it pushes towards Baja California, Mexico and the Southwestern part of the United States. This is thanks to the storm running out of warm water as it moves north.
This means that gradual weakening will begin on Saturday and continue through next week as it moves into the cooler Pacific Waters, also the drier air and the increasing wind shear.
The latest track of Hurricane Rosa shows the storm moving north thanks to an upper-level trough, or a southern dip in the jet stream, that is currently moving into the southwestern United States.
It is forecasted to weaken to a tropical storm, possibly a depression before it reaches landfall by Monday evening.
While much weaker, Rosa will pull deep tropical moisture into the Southwest United States. This will result in widespread rainfall, moving in flash flooding in parts of Arizona, southeast California, southern Nevada, Utah and even into parts of New Mexico and Colorado.
Flooding can cause dry wash, small streams in the high country, slot canyons and debris flows over recent wildfire burn scars are all possible. Flooding can be devastating when it comes to the dry conditions of the desert southwest.
The remnants of Rosa might eventually move into the Upper Midwest around the middle of next week, giving an increase in showers and storms in that part of the country, over 1,500 miles from where Rosa is expected to make landfall in norther Baja California.