Category 5 Hurricane Willa Threatens Mexico’s Pacific Coast

23 October, 2018, 00:18 | Author: Bertha Harmon
  • Hurricane Willa Grows Rapidly off Mexico's Pacific Coast

Hurricane Willa, churning off central Mexico's Pacific coast, strengthened on Sunday night to a unsafe Category 4 storm, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Willa is the third Category 5 hurricane to form in the eastern half of the Pacific Ocean in 2018, joining Hurricane Lane and Hurricane Walaka.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Vicente, with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (72 kph), was churning some 365 miles (590 km) southeast of Manzanillo.

The governments of Sinaloa and Nayarit states ordered coastal region schools to close on Monday (Tuesday NZT) and began preparing emergency shelters ahead of the onslaught.

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At the time of landfall, the wind shear could pick up prompting debilitating of the system, however, it should still remain a strong and unsafe hurricane while moving inland late Tuesday and into Wednesday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that it could make landfall along Mexico's southwestern coast Tuesday afternoon or evening - bringing with it a life-threatening storm surge, which will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Major resorts in Mexico are under a tropical storm warning, although it appears the worst of the hurricane might miss major resort areas including Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 105 miles.

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Willa is forecast to accelerate towards the north-northeast tomorrow and move over or very near the Mexican islands of Islas Marias.

While Willa is expected to weaken before making landfall, it may still pose major hazards.

This zone should expect a life-threatening storm surge, extreme hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall as the storm roars inland. The National Hurricane Center warned that Willa could bring 6 to 12 inches of rain - with up to 18 inches (45 centimeters) in some places - to parts of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states, with flash flooding and landslides possible in mountainous areas.

While Vicente is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by Monday night or Tuesday, it could still produce significant rainfall and the risk of flash floods and landslides, the NHC said.

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