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SAN DIEGO — Meteorologists with the National Weather Service are keeping a watchful eye on Hurricane Norbert as it works its way along the Baja Peninsula towards Southern California.

As of Thursday night, the storm reached Category 1 status. It should fizzle out in the coming days – upon reaching colder water – but it will still wield a big punch, NWS officials said.

Meteorologists said if it veers west, away from the coast, very little rain and few weather problems are expected. If it stays on course or turns east, San Diego residents should beware.

“If circulation holds together and remains tropical system and reaches Southern California, that would be quite unusual for our area, we’re expecting a good chance of showers and maybe a few thunderstorms for basically our entire region,” said James Brotherton with the National Weather Service.

Regardless of Norbert’s strength, fisherman will face rough waters off the coast, NWS officials said. The skies between San Diego and Arizona will also be stormy.  Passengers aboard planes can expect heavy turbulence and rough skies.

Forecaster are predicting big waves and strong rip currents Sunday and Monday, particularly at south-facing beaches. Waves and surf are expected to build to 4 to 6 feet, with some sets up to 8 feet, according to the NWS.

The last time a storm like this hit our region was “Nora” back in 1997. It brought heavy flooding, knocked out power and damaged crops in Southern California and Western Arizona.