The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

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The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

Aviator News

The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

Aviator News

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An Anticlimactic Tragedy

Hurricanes are devastating disasters that Californians are safe from…right? Wrong.

 Scared-of-earthquakes Californians were shocked with a sudden hurricane warning. How sudden was the warning? Most meteorologists argue the same thing: it wasn’t that sudden at all. To explain the motivation behind an event undoubtedly leaving some readers gasping, we have to take a trip back in time. 

Hurricane Hilary began in Central America and moved to the Pacific on August 12th. On August 16th it began a rapid transformation into a hurricane after being previously classified as a tropical storm off the coast of Manzanillo Colima. Peaking at a category four hurricane, Hurricane Hilary quickly weakened into a tropical storm; the cooler temperatures of the ocean and drier air attributed to the rapid declassification. 

On August 20th the weakened tropical cyclone made landfall at San Quintin Baja California, about 215 miles southeast of San Diego. Through the night, it retained its tropical storm characteristics until the morning of the 21st where it transitioned into a post-tropical storm over the San Joaquin Valley. 

Mass panic arrose from the hurricane warnings despite the weakened state of Hilary; California even issued its first ever tropical storm warning. Although the effects of the storm were more miniscule than some anticipated, it still caused massive amounts of flooding and property damage in some areas. In fact, in anticipation of this almost certain contingency, over 26 million people were also placed on flood watch. 

Two deaths have been linked to Hilary, and a whopping 615 million dollars in property damage accumulated due to the flooding. Additionally, roads were flooded, trees were downed, and mudslides occurred; these factors affected an area stretching from Southern California to Southern Mexico. Hilary also airmailed a year’s worth of water over the region.

This storm was an anomaly for California. A tropical storm hasn’t taken place in California since Hurricane Nora in 1997. Before Nora, only seven storms even came near California, most of which were remnants of tropical storms.

Because of the scarcity of water in California, we Californians tend to be more wary of water. California isn’t prepared for water due to its dry nature, and this event was really out of the ordinary. We can only hope we don’t have another run-in with a tropical storm, but if we do, let’s hope it’s at least weakened like Hilary.

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