Tropical Storm Newton Makes Second Landfall in Mexico, Threatens U.S. With Rain

Firemen removed a palm tree felled by Hurricane Newton in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on Sept. 6, 2016. (PIC: Eduardo Verdugo / AP)

Hurricane Newton weakened to a tropical storm as it made its second landfall in Mexico early today, but forecasters warned dangerous amounts of rain would hit the U.S. later in the day.

The storm faded after unleashing 90-mph winds and heavy rains on the tourist resorts of Los Cabos on Tuesday.

Mexico’s government had discontinued all coastal watches and warnings for the storm Wednesday morning.

By afternoon, southeastern Arizona was getting battered by rain. As of 2 p.m. ET, the storm was about 25 miles southwest of Nogales, Arizona, and about 65 miles south-southwest of Tucson, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

On Tuesday, Newton smashed windows, felled trees and sparked widespread power outages. Tourists huddled in hotels and locals sheltered in their homes as the storm churned over the Baja California peninsula.

Two people died and three were missing after their shrimp boat capsized in rough seas generated by the hurricane in Mexico’s Gulf of California, according to The Associated Press.

Although it packed a punch, Newton did not bring the same level of destruction to Los Cabos as Hurricane Odile, which devastated parts of the luxury resort region in September 2014.

After crossing the Gulf, the storm made its second landfall on mainland Mexico at around 3 a.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) while packing winds of 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Rainfall of up to 12 inches was expected to spark “life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” especially in coastal areas, according to the Weather Channel.

The storm was set to cross the U.S. border into Arizona around nine hours later.

If Newton keeps its tropical-storm strength all the way to Arizona, it will be only the sixth storm to do so on record, according to Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore.

The National Weather Service has issued flash-flood watches across southern Arizona, New Mexico, and far western Texas. It warned the storm would bring “showers capable of producing heavy rain and in turn causing flash flooding,” with some regions getting as much as five inches during the downpour.

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