PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Hurricane Hilary is now a major hurricane at category four status. Not only is California expected to feel the impacts, but much of Oregon and Washington will see the last bite of this historic storm.

Hurricane Hilary facts

  • Category Four Storm
  • Winds at 145 mph
  • Heading northwest at 10 mph
  • California impacts expected by Sunday
Hurricane Hilary’s expected track, taking aim at southern California

Hurricane Hilary continues to strengthen over the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. El Niño‘s to blame for the warmer than usual waters helping to grow this storm rapidly. As of Friday morning, the category four storm has sustained winds around the eye wall of 145 mph. A category four storm could see eye wall wind speeds as great as 156 mph. Anything above that falls under the rating of a category five storm, the most severe storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale

This unprecedent storm is heading north and expected to impact southern California by Sunday. This is the first time the National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for southern California. These alerts are to warn residents that impacts will be felt in the next 48 hours.

The last time a tropical system impacted San Diego County and southern California was in 1997 with Hurricane Nora. Hurricane Hilary will impact southern California starting Sunday and continuing into Monday. That’s where hazardous seas, damaging winds, heavy rain, and low visibility is expected.

Hurricane Hilary’s impacts on the Pacific Northwest

  • Gusty winds
  • Heavy rain east of the Cascades
  • Chance to help and hinder wildfire activity
  • Impacts felt by the start of next week

Rain and wind will be the biggest impacts felt in Oregon and Washington as Hurricane Hilary continues to fall apart over the Pacific Northwest. Rain accumulation could near 2.5 inches for parts of the state. Winds are the biggest concern to the wildfire potential over the mountains and along the Willamette Valley. Winds will still be sworling out of the northwest from what once was the center of the storm. These winds could push current wildfires in new and erratic directions in by next week.

The only impacts felt in Portland will be slightly more cloud coverage and gusty winds. No rain is expected to fall over the Willamette Valley.

Clouds will begin to build over the eastern half of the state of Oregon Sunday morning. That cloud coverage will remain through Monday. Rain chances from Hilary will start to increase Sunday afternoon and become heaviest by Monday morning and afternoon. The heaviest of the rain is expected to fall over the Oregon and Idaho border next week.

Stay with KOIN 6 News as Hurricane Hilary continues to develop over the Pacific Ocean.