CBS/AP September 28, 2018, 3:12 AM Hurricane Rosa grows into Category 4 storm as Kirk drenches Caribbean

Hurricane Rosa, now a Category 4 storm, churns about 600 miles southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula in the Pacific Ocean, early on Sept. 28, 2018.

NOAA/NWS/National Hurricane Center

ROSEAU, Dominica — Hurricane Rosa grew overnight into a powerful Category 4 storm off Mexico's Pacific Coast, the seventh storm to reach that strength this year, though it's not expected to threaten land before early next week. As of Thursday evening, the National Hurricane Center said Rosa had maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and was located about 600 miles southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula.

Forecasters said it was likely to strengthen further at sea, but then weaken to tropical storm force while curving back toward the peninsula early next week.

Hurricane Rosa is expected to weaken Saturday and Sunday. NHC warns that swells generated by Rosa will affect portions of the coasts of southwestern Mexico, the southern Baja California Peninsula and Southern California late this week and over the weekend. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.


A National Hurricane Center graphic shows the projected path of Hurricane Rosa as of 8 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 27, 2018.

NOAA/NWS/National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Kirk, meanwhile, dropped heavy rain and unleashed flooding as it passed through the eastern Caribbean on Thursday.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe. A tropical storm watch was issued for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Officials in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe closed schools on Thursday and Friday as a preventive measure. Rain and thunderstorms were starting to spread across Barbados.

The National Hurricane Center said that up to 10 inches of rain could fall in parts of Dominica and Martinique. Forecasters warned of strong winds and said mudslides and flash flooding are possible. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was located about 60 miles south-southeast of Martinique. It was moving west-northwest at 14 mph.

In Puerto Rico, which was hit by Hurricane Maria last year and is still recovering from the storm, Kirk was expected to bring between 2 and 4 inches of rain to the eastern part of the island.

Forecasters said Kirk was expected to become a tropical depression late Friday and degenerate into a trough of low pressure by Sunday.