No longer a hurricane, Rick still causing trouble for cruise ships near Mexico

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 2,059 views of the most powerful storms ever recorded along the Pacific coast of Mexico has lost a lot of its might over the past 24 hours but continues to affect cruise ships in the region.

Tropical Storm Rick – a rare Category 5 hurricane with winds of 180 mph as recently as Sunday – now has maximum sustained winds of just 65 mph. As of 8:00 AM ET, it was 240 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas and heading to the north-northeast at 6 mph.

The storm has caused a number of ships to alter course over the past two days:

– The Carnival Splendor, which departed Long Beach, Calif., on Sunday, made an unexpected call in Ensenada Monday instead of steaming southward toward the area of the storm. The 3,006-passenger ship will visit Puerto Vallarta on Thursday and Cabo San Lucas on Friday. A call in Mazatlan has been canceled.


Hurricane Rick Projected Path

Sunday, October 18th, 2009 2,372 views

Note 180mph winds and gusts to 220mph!

Dangeorus Hurricane Rick still growing off Mexico

Saturday, October 17th, 2009 4,607 views CITY — Hurricane Rick quickly strengthened into an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm off Mexico’s Pacific coast on Saturday and forecasters said it could strike the Baja California Peninsula in about five days.

The storm had sustained winds near 145 mph (230 kph) and it was expected to grow into a monster Category 5 storm with winds surpassing 155 mph (250 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami reported, though it said the storm was likely to lose much of that punch before hitting land.

Rick was centered about 280 miles (450 kilometers) southwest of Acapulco Saturday morning and it was moving west-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph), the center said.

Forecasters said it was projected to stay well off the coast for several days before bending east over cooler waters and hitting the Baja California Peninsula by early Thursday as a weakened Category 1 hurricane.

Meteorologist Jessica Schauer told The Associated Press that warm waters fueled Rick’s rapid jump from Category 1 to Category 4 in only about 36 hours.

“Right now it’s over very warm water and the current forecast track keeps it over warm water for quite a while,” she said.

Rick was forecast to pass near Socorro Island, about 300 miles (500 kilometers) south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas, on Tuesday. The island is a nature reserve with a small Mexican Navy post and it hosts scuba diving expeditions in winter months.

Acapulco’s Civil Protection Department had earlier issued a warning that rains from outer bands of the storm could trigger landslides and flooding in the resort city.