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Hilary path and timeline: Here's when and where the storm is projected to hit California

Hurricane Hilary moved into Southern California as a tropical storm Sunday evening, bringing heavy rainfall after making its way up Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, where it made landfall late Sunday morning. The storm prompted officials at the National Hurricane Center to issue a tropical storm warning for most of Southern California, marking the first time a tropical storm warning or watch had ever been issued for the region.

Hilary was downgraded again early Monday, to a post-tropical cyclone. The system was expected to dissipate later in the day but still produce heavy rainfall, significant flooding and gusty winds across the Western U.S.

More than half a year's worth of rain fell in the desert city of Palm Springs, California, CBS News correspondent Carter Evans reports. Mount Wilson in Angeles National Forest recorded over 8.5 inches of rain as of 7 a.m. PDT, the top amount reported by the National Weather Service's Los Angeles office. Beverly Hills recorded 4.8 inches, and downtown LA recorded nearly 3 inches.

Hurricane watches and warnings had been in effect for parts of the Baja California Peninsula, and a tropical storm warning was in place for nearly all of Southern California. By Monday morning, all coastal warnings had been discontinued, but the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center said flood watches were in effect for Southern California, northwest Arizona, much of Nevada, southwest Utah, eastern Oregon, western and central Idaho and southeast Washington. A flood watch means flooding is possible in those areas.

LA County officials had advised all residents and visitors on California's Catalina Island to leave as soon as possible ahead of the storm's arrival.   

Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a state of emergency Saturday for all of Southern California. 

A White House spokesperson said that President Biden had been briefed on Hilary and that his team was working "with state and local agencies ahead of the storm." The president and his family are vacationing in Lake Tahoe in Northern California. The president and first lady Jill Biden are slated to travel to Hawaii Monday to survey the destruction from the Maui wildfires

Hurricane Hilary as of early Sunday, August 20, 2023. NOAA

Where is Hilary's projected path?

As of 8 a.m. PDT Monday, Hilary was about 115 miles west-northwest of Elko, Nevada, and racing north-northeast at 24 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

The storm made landfall in Mexico's northern Baja California peninsula late Sunday morning.

Widespread "moderate to heavy" rain is expected into early Monday for Southern California, with a high risk of flash flooding that could include "landslides, mudslides and debris flow" in mountains and deserts, according to the National Weather Service office in San Diego.

Flash flooding potential for Hurricane Hilary on August 20, 2023. National Hurricane Center

When will Hilary hit California?

The center of Hilary moved into Southern California on Sunday evening, several hours after making landfall in Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

The hurricane center said at 8 p.m. PDT Sunday that Hilary's north-northwestern track was expected to continue into Monday. 

The last time Southern California was hit by a tropical storm was in 1939, before storms were given names, CBS News senior weather and climate producer David Parkinson said. Several storms that had been hurricanes or tropical storms have impacted the state since then, but they had weakened to sub-tropical systems by that time, Parkinson noted.

"It is rare — indeed nearly unprecedented in the modern record — to have a tropical system like this move through Southern California," Greg Postel, a hurricane and storm specialist at the Weather Channel, told CBS News.

How big of a threat is Hurricane Hilary to Southern California? 05:23

Hilary is likely to produce landslides and mudslides in certain areas recently burned by wildfires, and storm surges along parts of the southern Baja Peninsula and the Gulf of California coast, the Weather Channel reports.

"You're looking at a winter-like storm now in the summer in places that are not used to this amount of rain," Parkinson said.

-Alex Sundby contributed reporting.

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