Hurricane Bud, now swirling off the west coast of Mexico, is forecast to strengthen into a major hurricane and impact both Mexico and the Southwest U.S. over the next few days.
While rainfall from Bud or its remnants would be beneficial to the drought-stricken Southwest, it could also cause flash floods if too much rain falls too quickly, according to AccuWeather. The worst drought in the U.S. is in the Southwest, with the most severe conditions in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.
As of 5 p.m. ET, Bud had winds of 75 mph and was moving to the northwest at 9 mph. It was located about 255 miles from Manzanillo, Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said. A tropical storm watch has been posted for portions of Mexico's west coast.
Bud is the second hurricane of the eastern Pacific hurricane season, following Aletta, which is rapidly weakening far out in the open ocean.
At its strongest, Bud should be a 115-mph Category 3 storm, the National Hurricane Center said. Bud could reach the Los Cabos resort region of Mexico by Thursday or Friday.
As Bud strengthens, swells from the storm "are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions" along the west coast of Mexico, according to the hurricane center. In addition, rain from Bud "could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in higher terrain."
The eastern Pacific hurricane season is forecast to be quite active, thanks in part to a developing El Niño. That same climate pattern could also put a damper on the Atlantic hurricane season.
In the Atlantic basin, some models are hinting at a possible storm later in the week in the Gulf of Mexico. But the official forecast from the hurricane center said that no tropical storms or hurricanes are forecast to develop in the next five days.
If the system reaches tropical storm strength, it will be given the name Beryl.