Hilary Brings Major Flooding To Southern California | Weather.com (2023)

Hilary Brings Major Flooding To Southern California | Weather.com (1)

At a Glance

  • A wind gust of 84 mph was measured in San Diego County.
  • A rockslide shut down a section of Interstate 8.
  • Los Angeles schools canceled classes Monday.

NEW: Get breaking news delivered straight to your desktop or mobile phone.

T​his article is no longer being updated. Here is Monday's live updates page.

Millions of people braced for more flooding Monday as H​ilary continues to bring rain to parts of Southern California.

On Sunday, the tropical storm left roads underwater and cars stranded, triggered a rock slide that closed a portion of interstate and prompted a state of emergency for much of the region.

H​ilary was the first tropical storm to cross into California in 26 years.

Palm Springs received half its annual rainfall in just a few hours, winds gusted up to 84 mph and residents in many areas were told to stay home.

(​MORE: Here's The Latest Forecast For Hilary)

H​ere are our latest updates:

O​ver A Dozen Rescued In San Diego

San Diego Fire-Rescue crews pulled 13 people from knee-deep water in a homeless encampment Sunday night along the rising San Diego River.

No one was taken to a hospital, but a few people received medical attention at the site, according to SDFD. No other injuries were reported as of Sunday night.

(​10:38 p.m. ET) The Threat Continues Into Monday And Beyond

From weather.com digital meteorologist Jonathan BellesThe remnants of Hilary will continue to accelerate north and northeastward through Monday, eventually washing out into a batch of moisture across the West. Skies will generally clear from the Mexican border northward as Hilary gets whisked over the Rockies by a strong dome of high pressure over the central and eastern parts of the country.

Flooding may be ongoing for days from Southern California to Montana as rain water makes its way down mountainsides and into rivers, arroyos and urban waterways. In some spots, flooding may actually be worse on Monday as the ongoing rainfall collides with this runoff from the higher elevations.

Expect difficult travel conditions to continue and power outages remain likely in the Southwest.

(​10:29 p.m. ET) Fears Of Ongoing Flooding In Palm Springs

“That’s our biggest concern, is once this rain starts to come down off the mountain will we continuously have some flooding on our streets,” Palm Springs Mayor Grace Garner told The Weather Channel.

(​10:14 p.m. ET) Here Are Some Top Wind Gusts

W​inds have so far gusted above 40 mph across dozens of locations in Southern California. That includes:

-​84 mph at Big Black Mountain in San Diego County.

-​78 mph at Hauser Mountain, also in San Diego County.

-​65 mph at Santiago Peak in the Santa Ana Mountains.

-​54 mph in San Gorgonio Pass between Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

(​10:03 p.m. ET) Palm Springs Gets Half Its Annual Rainfall In Six Hours

P​alm Springs Airport averages 4.61 inches of rain a year. The airport recorded 2.27 inches of rain over a six-hour period on Sunday, or about half what it normally gets in 12 months.

(​9:35 p.m. ET) Hundreds Of Flights Canceled

A​ir travel was heavily impacted by Hilary, especially in the Southwest. By Sunday evening, more than 1,000 domestic flights had been canceled, virtually all of which were either heading into or out of the Southwest, according to FlightAware.

A​nother 4,700 flights into and out of the U.S. were delayed, with hubs like Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Diego hit hardest.

(​9:10 p.m. ET) Storm Chaser Finds Car Off Road In Ocotillo

L​ive Storms Media storm chaser Brandon Clement documented a vehicle that had gone off the road in Ocotillo, California, amid heavy rain and localized flooding. The driver was OK and said he was waiting for first responders.

Y​ou can see the video of the interaction here.

(​8:47 p.m. ET) San Diego Mayor: 'Our City Is Not Built For This'

S​an Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said some roads are closed and there are scattered power outages, but there are no reports of major issues in the city at this time. Still, he said, the worst might still be to come and residents should remain prepared.

"In many ways, our city is not built for this kind of deluge of water and of high winds, so we're taking necessary precautions," Gloria told The Weather Channel.

H​e said the city had several days to get ready for this event, unlike when a wildfire or earthquake happens, and he hopes that will minimize impacts.

(8:24 p.m. ET) Hilary Arrives In California As A Tropical Storm

From weather.com digital meteorologist Jonathan Belles: Hilary is officially the first Eastern Pacific system in 26 years to still be categorized as a tropical storm as it crossed into California. The last storm to do that was Nora in 1997.

Hilary is currently northeast of San Diego, moving inland across Southern California. The threat of dangerous flooding rainfall is becoming more widespread in Southern California and other parts of the West.

A​ wind gust of nearly 70 mph was recently recorded in Yuma, Arizona.

(​8:15 p.m. ET) Second Largest School District In The Nation Closed Tomorrow

L​os Angeles Unified School District announced classes are canceled tomorrow. The district, with more than 460,000 students, is the second largest in the U.S.

(​8:07 p.m. ET) Disneyland Closing Early, But Storm Doesn't Keep Patrons Away

D​isneyland Resort theme parks and the Downtown Disney District are closing early. The storm didn't keep everyone away, although crowds at the park were thin as the storm neared earlier today. Patrons were seen in rain gear and ponchos, and ride wait times were reported to be less than five minutes.

(​7:58 p.m. ET) Emergency Declared In Palm Springs

T​he city of Palm Springs, California, has declared a state of emergency due to what it says is "critically dangerous impacts" from Hilary. The city said in a social media post that there has been at least one swift water rescue amid heavy rainfall and flooding of local roadways.

(​7:54 p.m. ET) Nearly 6 Inches Of Rain In One San Diego County Spot

More than 5.6 inches of rain is being reported at Mt. Laguna, well east of San Diego.

(​7:41 p.m. ET) Hospital Emergency Room Flooded In Rancho Mirage, California

T​he emergency room at Eisenhower Medical Center flooded when a nearby pond overflowed due to heavy rainfall, according to KNBC-TV. Crews are working to clean up the area and bring in sandbags. The hospital is located in Rancho Mirage, near Palm Springs.

(​7:36 p.m. ET) What Are Debris Flows And Why Are They Dangerous?

Terrain left barren by wildfires is most vulnerable to an especially dangerous and fast-moving type of landslide that scientists call "debris flows."

Known less formally as mudslides, these flows are typically triggered by short, intense rainstorms and can send a wall of water, soil, ash, vegetation, rocks and other debris careening downhill, sweeping away or burying everything in their path.

R​ain from Hilary is already causing debris flows in some areas, especially San Diego County. Click here to read more about the dangers of debris flows.

(7:16 p.m. ET) First Day Of School Canceled For Some San Diego Students

The San Diego Unified School District has canceled classes for tomorrow, which would have been students' first day back for the new school year. The district is one of several in San Diego, and most others plan to have classes tomorrow if conditions permit.

(​7:11 p.m. ET) Threat Of Tornadoes In Parts Of California, Nevada, Arizona

A tornado warning was issued in eastern San Diego County about 30 minutes ago. It expired at 4 p.m. local time. I​solated tornadoes are possible in southeastern California, southern Nevada and western Arizona as Hilary and the remnants of Hilary move through.

“Tropical tornadoes are generally short lived and weaker,” weather.com digital meteorologist Jonathan Belles said. “With terrain involved, they are likely going to be exceptionally difficult to see as well.”

(​6:57 p.m. ET) Interstate 8 Closed Due To Rockslide

The California Department of Transportation is advising m​otorists traveling on certain parts of Interstate 8 in Southern California to find an alternate route. The eastbound section of the road is closed due to a rockslide at the San Diego - Imperial County line. See more of the slide here.

Hilary Brings Major Flooding To Southern California | Weather.com (2)

(​6:48 p.m. ET) Winds Gust Over 80 MPH

A​ wind gust of 84 mph was recorded in the San Diego County mountains, according to the National Weather Service. Besides high winds, there are multiple reports of debris flows and flooding in the area.

(​6:26 p.m. ET) How To Stay Safe In Flash Flooding

From weather.com senior meteorologist Jonathan Erdman: A flash flood is one that happens suddenly, usually in the span of an hour, but sometimes in just minutes.

It can happen when heavy rain falls over already soaked ground or mountainous terrain, turning usually placid creeks and streams into rushing torrents spilling out of their banks.

Underpasses and other low-lying areas of cities and towns can flood quickly when storm sewers can't drain water running off paved surfaces fast enough.

The most extreme flash flood events can be destructive and deadly, flooding homes and trapping motorists.


Click here to read more on how to stay safe in the event of a flash flood.

(​6:05 p.m. ET) Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake Rattles Southern California

O​n top of the storm, parts of Southern California were rattled by a 5.1-magnitude earthquake shortly before 6 p.m. There were no immediate reports of damage. The quake was centered about 4 miles southeast of Ojai, which is north of Los Angeles in Ventura County.

(5:45 p.m. ET) Where To Watch, And Timing

All of Southern California remains at risk for flooding — no one is “out of the woods” yet. All major cities in Southern California face at least a minor threat. Multiple flash flood warnings remain in effect. The threat is likely to remain from now through the overnight tonight.

Hilary Brings Major Flooding To Southern California | Weather.com (3)

(5:34 p.m. ET) Flood Waters Roaring In Ocotillo, CA

Rain from Hilary formed rushing floods in Ocotillo, California. Portions of roads or road shoulders were washed away by the flumes. Ocotillo is a desert town about 35 miles from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.

Hilary Brings Major Flooding To Southern California | Weather.com (4)

(5:17 p.m. ET) All Southwest, Frontier Flights Canceled At Ontario Airport

Two airlines suspended all flights for Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California. Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines announced a suspension of all flights to or from the airport for at least part of the day Sunday and the entire day Monday.

(4:49 p.m. ET) Nevada Governor Declares State Of Emergency

Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo declared a State Of Emergency in anticipation that the state will require federal assistance as a result of damage done by Hilary. “Significant damage to public and private property are likely, including multiple transportation routes,” the declaration said.

(4:04 p.m. ET) Rain Rates Expected To Intensify In LA, Ventura Counties

Hilary is continuing its push inland meaning rain rates are going to intensify for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Many areas will see between .5-1.0 inches of rain per hour. Isolated locations may see upwards of 1.5 inches per hour.

“Higher rainfall rates are key to possibly worsening flash flooding in some areas.,” said Weather.com Senior Digital Meteorologist Chris Dolce.

Watch the video below for a visualization of a 1-inch-per-hour rainfall rate.

(3:50 p.m. ET) ‘GO’ Evacuation Order Issued Along AZ-NV Border

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order for the Temple Bar and Willow Beach areas of Lake Mead National Park, along the Arizona-Nevada border. The office requested that anyone in the area evacuate to higher ground. In an earlier update, park officials stressed a limited rescue ability.

“Due to a storm event on Friday…access to the marina, vessels, and fuel is uncertain. This includes access to emergency response vessels and therefore emergency response will be extremely limited, if at all,” park officials said in the statement. “Multiple park areas rely on ‘one road in’ access which have low water crossings and likely will be washed out, disconnecting entire communities from service and rescue. Additionally, there are currently no air resources available within Clark County for search and rescue or medical evacuation.”

(3:25 p.m. ET) Death Valley Eerily Cool As Hilary Nears

The arrival of Hilary is making for cooler-than-normal temperatures in Death Valley. Midday, the temperature at Death Valley National Park was just 73 F, a rather cool temperature for the middle of summer in what is known as the world’s hottest location. Yesterday at the same time the park was 99 F, a more than 20-degree difference.

(3:09 p.m. ET) Multiple LA Area Locations Report 2+ Inch Totals

Multiple locations in Los Angeles County’s Antelope Valley have now accumulated more than two inches of rain. According to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, “even moderate amounts of rain can cause flash floods and general flooding.”

(3:00 p.m. ET) Los Angeles Under Flash Flood Warning

The city of Los Angeles was placed under a flash flood warning. The cities of Long Beach and Glendale were also included in the warning. More than 9 million people are affected by the warning.

The National Weather Service warned people within the outlined warning area to move to higher ground and avoid burn scar areas.

(2:50 p.m. ET) Is Hilary Still A Hurricane?

No, Hilary is no longer a hurricane. The storm is now classified as a tropical storm. But, that doesn’t mean the storm is any less dangerous. The biggest threat from Hilary is water, not wind.

“Rainfall flooding has been the biggest killer in tropical storms and hurricanes in the United States in the past 10 years,” said National Hurricane Center Director Michael Brennan.

(2:15 p.m. ET) When Will Hilary Hit San Diego?

Rain from Hilary has already reached San Diego. But, when can residents of the southernmost major city in California expect the most severe impacts of northward-charging Hilary to hit? According to a timeline from the National Weather Service in San Diego, rain intensity will increase gradually before peaking this afternoon and evening.

(1:54 p.m. ET) Hilary Makes Landfall

Hilary officially made landfall over the Northern Baja California Peninsula.

Hilary Brings Major Flooding To Southern California | Weather.com (5)

“Landfall happens when the center of the circulation of low pressure in a tropical cyclone crosses land,” said Weather.com Senior Digital Meteorologist Chris Dolce. Even though the storm's center is now inland, it doesn't decrease the threat of flooding rainfall in Southern California and other parts of the West"

(12:50 p.m. ET) Rain Accumulations Growing In Southern California

Rain totals are starting to grow in parts of Los Angeles County ahead of the arrival of Hilary’s main impacts. The highest reported total rainfall as of 12:50 p.m. ET was in Valyermo where 1.43 inches were measured. Some parts of the San Gabriel valley had picked up .72 inches and the highest total reported in the Los Angeles metro was from the Hollywood Reservoir where .27 inches were recorded.

“We are still in the early stages of Hilary's rainfall, so expect totals to grow through the afternoon and overnight,” said Weather.com Senior Digital Meteorologist Chris Dolce.

(12:00 p.m. ET) Rain Could Reach As Far As Idaho

While the bulk of potential flooding and landslides will be in the Southwest, rain from Hilary could reach much farther inland. Weather.com Meteorologist Domenica Davis says Hilary is not just a coastal event.

“By and large this is a western U.S. event with tropical reach as far inland as Idaho,” said Davis.

Hilary Brings Major Flooding To Southern California | Weather.com (6)

(11:50 a.m. ET) Strong Wind Reported In High Terrain Portions Of California

Wind speeds are picking up in some of Southern California’s higher terrain areas.

“Wind gusts in higher terrain areas of San Diego County have exceeded 60 mph this morning, including a top gust of 78 mph at Hauser Mountain,” said Weather.com Senior Digital Meteorologist Chris Dolce. “The winds have caused a large oak tree to fall near Wynola, which is located in the San Diego County mountains."

(10:50 a.m. ET) Damage Reported In Baja California Sur, Mexico

Hilary Brings Major Flooding To Southern California | Weather.com (7)

Photos from the city of Mulegé, Mexico, show washed-out roads and powerful, rushing flood water. Mulegé is more than 500 miles south of the California border.

(10:38 a.m. ET) Hilary Now A Tropical Storm, Threat Remains

Hilary has now officially been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm. But, the threat of flooding rain and landslides remains. Hurricane and tropical storm categories are based on wind speed. The main threat from Hilary is related to rain, not wind.

(10:20 a.m. ET) Hilary Already Generating Rain Over California

Hilary's center is located near Mexico's northern Baja Peninsula, but its moisture is already contributing to rainfall across a wide area of the West. The radar map below as well as weather observations reported rain from Southern California to southwest Montana, a distance of over 800 miles.

"The worst of the expected flooding from Hilary's rain is still to come later today through early Monday," said Weather.com's Senior Digital Meteorologist Chris Dolce.

Hilary Brings Major Flooding To Southern California | Weather.com (8)

(9:55 a.m. ET) Night Flooding Could Be Exceptionally Dangerous

Weather.com meteorologist Domenica Davis warned that overnight flooding could be notably dangerous for residents of Southern California. “The flooding will ramp up this afternoon but when the sun goes down tonight the threat will become even more dangerous because it’s simply harder to see,” Davis said. “Water will travel downstream and rounds of rain continue through the overnight.”

(9:15 a.m. ET) ‘Weakening’ Storm Doesn’t Mean Impacts Are Diminished

Hilary has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm. But, it’s vital to remember that the level of impacts being forecasted remains unchanged. Life-threatening flooding and landslides are still a possibility.

“Is it confusing/tricky to associate a ‘weakening storm’ with a consistent catastrophic flooding threat? Absolutely! But these categories are based on wind alone, and while there will still be wind impacts, heavy rain and flooding remain by far and away the biggest threat,” the National Weather Service in San Diego said in a social media post.

(​8:45 a.m. ET) Concerns About Crop Losses In Key Growing Region

C​alifornia's San Joaquin Valley is one of America's key regions of agriculture. It's also expected to see inches of rain during a crucial harvesting period, which should be dry this time of year.

A​ccording to SF Gate, the Central Valley produces 40% of fruits and nuts consumed in the U.S., and 8% of all food crops. Hilary could take a serious toll on grapes, almonds, spinach and tomatoes in particular, illustrating how the impacts of this storm won't just be felt along the Southern California coast and in the desert.

P​istachio and corn crops are also being harvested right now, agricultural services company AgShared said in a Facebook post.

"​Some places are getting the amount of rain they see in a year in just a day, so that could really overwhelm and just kind of drown the plants," NWS meteorologist Antoinette Serrato told SF Gate.

(​7:45 a.m. ET) What To Do As Hilary Approaches

R​esidents of Southern California should be making final preparations for the storm's arrival – here are some things to do in the hours leading up to the worst of Hilary:

Hilary Brings Major Flooding To Southern California | Weather.com (9)

F​or more tips on how to prepare for a tropical cyclone, head to our Safety and Preparedness page.

(​7:30 a.m. ET) Drowning Reported In Mexico's Baja California

T​he Associated Press reported that a person drowned yesterday in the Baja California Peninsula town of Santa Rosalia when a raging stream swept away a vehicle. Four others were saved by rescue workers, Edith Aguilar Villavicencio, the mayor of Mulege township, told the AP.

T​he report also noted that it wasn't clear if the death was directly caused by the hurricane, but rivers in the area were severely swollen because of Hilary.

(​7:15 a.m. ET) Here's Where And When Impacts Will Be Worst

Hilary Brings Major Flooding To Southern California | Weather.com (10)

H​ere's a handy graphic from the NWS in San Diego that shows the timing for some of the most extreme impacts of the storm. Some areas could see torrential rainfall for 12 hours or more starting midday today, which would trigger widespread flooding in parts of the mountains and desert regions of Southern California.

(​MORE: Track Hilary With These Maps)

(​7 a.m. ET) Beaches Will Be Closed Today, Tomorrow In These Counties

T​he California Department of Parks and Recreation said it would close all beaches in Orange and San Diego counties today and tomorrow, citing the dangerous conditions brought on by Hilary.

"​While Hilary is expected to weaken to a tropical storm before making landfall in California tomorrow (Sunday), emergency officials are urging the public to take precautions, limit outdoor activities and avoid non-essential travel," the release also said.

(​6:30 a.m. ET) Heavy Surf, Flooding On Mexico's Baja California Peninsula

Hilary Brings Major Flooding To Southern California | Weather.com (11)

T​he storm brought massive waves and heavy surf to Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, where social media posts showed extreme flooding occurring in the town of Santa Rosalia.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. An Powlowski

Last Updated: 12/04/2023

Views: 6397

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. An Powlowski

Birthday: 1992-09-29

Address: Apt. 994 8891 Orval Hill, Brittnyburgh, AZ 41023-0398

Phone: +26417467956738

Job: District Marketing Strategist

Hobby: Embroidery, Bodybuilding, Motor sports, Amateur radio, Wood carving, Whittling, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Prof. An Powlowski, I am a charming, helpful, attractive, good, graceful, thoughtful, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.