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While the East Coast watched Tropical Storm Danny fizzle in the Atlantic last week, Hurricane Jimena was spinning up to Category 4 force in the eastern Pacific. The 145-mph storm is now bearing down on Cabo St. Lucas and Baja California.

The National Hurricane Center is calling the storm "extremely dangerous,"  and has posted Hurricane Watches for the southern tip of the Baja peninsula, including the popular resorts at Cabo.

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"JIMENA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 8 MPH...13 KM/HR.  A
GRADUAL INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED AND A TURN TOWARD THE
NORTH-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO.  ON THE
FORECAST TRACK...JIMENA WILL BE APPROACHING THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF
THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA ON TUESDAY.

"MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 145 MPH...230 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS.  JIMENA IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON
THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE.  SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE
POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.  AN AIR FORCE RESERVE
HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE JIMENA LATER
TODAY."

Jimena is a relatively small storm, with hurricane force winds extending only
about 30 miles from its center. But it is powerful, with a central pressure of just 27.76 inches. High winds are expected to be the biggest worry for the resorts and communities in the region. The threat has already sent West Coast cruise ships scurrying for calmer waters.

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Here is the latest advisory on Jimena. Here is the forecast storm track. (Wouldn't it be nice if Jimena's rains could help fire fighters battling wildfires in Southern California?) And here is the view from space.

The eastern Pacific has had a busier season so far than the Atlantic. Jimena is the 10th named storm of the 2009 season. And Kevin, the 11th, is close behind Jimena.

In the Atlantic, meanwhile, a tropical low now about 600 miles east of the Leeward Islands (below) is given a greater-than-50 percent chance of becoming the fifth named storm of the Atlantic season - Erika - in the next 48 hours.

"Extremely dangerous" Jimena heads for Baja
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