SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Off the coast of Baja California in Mexico, Hurricane Hilary is building up steam. Video from the nearby satellites and the International Space Station captured its massive size as it continues its path northward.
The storm began building as a tropical storm off the southwest coast of Mexico on Wednesday. By Thursday morning, the storm achieved hurricane status, rapidly building to a Category 4.
The International Space Station made a path to fly over the storm on Thursday afternoon, capturing its looming presence on the horizon while it was still a Category 2. The video shows the massive size of buzzsaw-esque clouds coming slowly coming over the horizon, ending just as the space station comes over the storm.
The video, which can be seen in the video player above, is sped up to 15 times the actual speed but shows as Hurricane Hilary sits off the coast of Baja California.
Hurricane Hilary was also caught on visible satellite imagery, emerging into view as the sunrise illuminated the storm early Friday morning.
ABC4’s 4Warn Weather Center recorded the video from the satellite, which starts in pitch black. As the sun comes up from the east, light gradually reveals the clockwise-spinning storm barreling north toward California.
Hurricane Hilary is expected to make landfall in Baja California around 6 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20, according to the National Hurricane Center. By the time it reaches the southern tip of California, the hurricane is forecasted to have weakened back down to a tropical storm.
Areas such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas are expected to be hit hard by the oncoming storm, each expecting a dumping of 2.5 inches of rain. The National Hurricane Center indicated Los Angeles has a slight risk of flash flooding while Las Vegas is at moderate risk.
Southwest Utah cities such as St. George and Cedar City are expected to get anywhere between one to two inches of rain thanks to what is left of Hurricane Hilary. Both cities are considered to be at a slight risk for flash flooding starting Sunday into Monday.