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Tropical Storm Hilary slams into the West Coast. Then, a race for the lunar south pole. Coy Wire explains why scientists are so keen to explore its unforgiving terrain. Finally, a sweet surfer story that’s sure to earn your seal of approval.

Hilary is now a post-tropical cyclone and continues to move through the southwestern United States, bringing life-threatening flooding and gusty winds, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A post-tropical cyclone is a cyclone that no longer possesses sufficient tropical characteristics to be considered a tropical cyclone, but can continue to produce heavy rains and high winds.

Hilary has winds of 35 mph with stronger gusts and is located about 390 miles north of San Diego, in central Nevada, racing to the north at 29 mph.

Across the southwestern US, the ongoing and historic amount of rainfall is expected to cause life-threatening to locally catastrophic flash, urban, and arroyo flooding including landslides, mudslides, and debris flows today. Localized flooding impacts, some significant, are also expected across northern portions of the Intermountain West into Tuesday morning.

Strong winds are expected to persist across portions of the western US today, particularly in and near areas of higher terrain.

All coastal tropical storm warnings have been discontinued. Flood watches remain in place for over 25 million people from Southern California northward to northern Idaho.3:42 a.m. ET, August 21, 2023

It’s early Monday in Los Angeles. Here’s the latest on Tropical Storm Hilary

From CNN staff

Tropical Storm Hilary crossed the US-Mexico border into California Sunday evening local time, becoming the first tropical storm in the state since Nora in 1997. 

The storm pushed into Southern California with fierce winds and heavy downpours as residents faced downed power lines and flooded streets.

Rescue workers have been called out in multiple locations, and while the storm has weakened significantly, it’s still battering California with extreme weather as it moves farther inland — adding to fears that floods and mudslides could turn deadly.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Where the storm is now: As of 11 p.m. local time, the core of Tropical Storm Hilary was roughly 10 miles southeast of Los Angeles with winds of up to 45 miles per hour, according to CNN Weather analysis. Hilary is moving north-northwest at 28 mph and its tropical storm-force winds extend out 230 miles from the center of the storm. Most of Southern California, including Los Angeles and San Diego, remains under tropical storm warnings.
  • Forecast: Hilary is forecast to continue to move north through California and dissipate over central Nevada on Monday, bringing “potentially historic” rainfall amounts along the way that could trigger more floods, landslides and debris flows, according to the National Weather Service.
  • Rainfall and flash flood warning: Intense rainfall up to 10 inches is possible across Southern California and Nevada through Monday morning, and rainfall up to 5 inches is possible across parts of Oregon and Idaho through Tuesday morning. This rainfall could lead to catastrophic and life-threatening flooding. “Areas that normally do not experience flash flooding will flood,” the National Weather Service said. “Lives and property are in great danger through Monday.” Multiple daily and monthly rainfall records were broken Sunday.
  • Evacuation orders: Fire department officials are pleading with the public to heed evacuation orders and stay off the road unless they are in danger. “If we ask you to evacuate, we don’t take that lightly,” said Mike McClintock, Battalion Chief with the San Bernardino Fire Department. “Just 12 inches of water can whisk away your car from the roadway.” The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department issued a shelter in place order for some residents because of mud and debris blocking a roadway.
  • Schools closed: The Los Angeles Unified School District — the nation’s second largest school district — will be closed Monday because of Hilary. So will campuses in the Pasadena Unified School District and the San Diego Unified School District, officials said.
  • Palm Springs: Three main roads were closed and a local emergency was declared after the city received half a year’s worth of rain in just a six-hour period on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. There have been at least three swift water rescues so far in Palm Springs, police lieutenant Gustavo Araiza told CNN. The 911 emergency phone system also experienced an outage.
  • In Mexico: Hilary battered the Baja California peninsula on its way north, killing at least one person and causing major flooding in some areas. Mexican authorities have lifted the tropical storm warning for the west coast of Baja California and the east coast of the peninsula south of San Felipe. The warning has also been discontinued south of Puerto Penasco along the coast of mainland Mexico.

2:58 a.m. ET, August 21, 2023

Tropical Storm Hilary brings powerful winds and rain, flooding California streets

From CNN’s Nouran Salahieh and Gene Norman

A car is partially submerged in floodwaters in Cathedral City, California on August 20.
A car is partially submerged in floodwaters in Cathedral City, California on August 20. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Hilary is pushing into Southern California with fierce winds and heavy downpours as residents face downed powerlines, flooded streets and rescues needed.

Hilary is forecast to continue to move north through California and dissipate over central Nevada on Monday, bringing “potentially historic” rainfall amounts along the way that could trigger more floods, landslides and debris flows, according to the National Weather Service.

“Areas that normally do not experience flash flooding will flood,” the National Weather Service said. “Lives and property are in great danger through Monday.”

The storm could potentially be the first tropical system on record to strike Nevada.

It could also wreak havoc farther north. Rainfall up to 5 inches is possible across parts of Oregon and Idaho through Tuesday morning. This rainfall could lead to catastrophic and life-threatening flooding.

Once a hurricane, Hilary weakened as it made landfall in Mexico Sunday, where at least one person died, then it crossed over into the Golden State. The storm’s center was roughly 10 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles around 8 p.m. local time Sunday, moving north with weakened 45 mph winds, according to the National Hurricane Center.

While the storm has weakened significantly, it’s still battering California with extreme weather as it moves farther inland, bringing continued fears that floods and mudslides could potentially turn deadly.

Read more here.1:59 a.m. ET, August 21, 2023

Storm causes 911 outage in Palm Springs

From CNN’s Andy Rose

The 911 emergency phone system in Palm Springs, California, experienced an outage Sunday night, as the region feels the effects of Tropical Storm Hilary.

The city announced that voice lines were down in a widespread 911 outage, but said emergency services were accessible by texting 911 or calling direct lines to police and fire departments.

The city earlier declared a local emergency due to “unprecedented rainfall and flooding” from the storm, with residents asked to stay home and avoid driving.1:44 a.m. ET, August 21, 2023

Flooding closes part of highway in Cathedral City

From CNN’s Andy Rose

A section of Interstate 10 in Cathedral City, California was closed Sunday night because of heavy rains.

The California Department of Transportation said the section had to be shut down “due to flooding and debris on the highway.”

Cathedral City is about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, near Joshua Tree National Park.

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