Hurricane Hilary Heads Toward , Southern California. Hurricane Hilary strengthened to a Category 2 on Aug. 16, according to the National Hurricane Center. . It "is not expected to be a hurricane on final approach" to Southern California, according to hurricane and storm specialist Greg Postel. . However, it is expected to hit areas of California with heavy rain and flooding, CBS News reports. . It is rare — indeed nearly unprecedented in the modern record — to have a tropical system like this move through Southern California. , Greg Postel, hurricane and storm specialist at the Weather Channel, via CBS News. Other areas of the Southwestern U.S. should expect heavy rainfall starting Aug. 18 and peaking on Aug. 20 and 21. Hurricane Hilary's center will also hit Mexico's Baja California Peninsula over the weekend with "rapid strengthening" forecast. It is expected to become a "major" hurricane on Aug. 17, CBS News reports. . Areas of the peninsula will likely see anywhere from 3 to 10 inches of rainfall through Aug. 20. Flash flooding and "damaging wind gusts" are also possible, Postel said. . Flash flooding and "damaging wind gusts" are also possible, Postel said.