Hurricane Willa On Verge Of Becoming Category 5 Storm Off Mexico’s Coast

Clark Diaz
October 23, 2018

Hurricane Willa grew into a potentially catastrophic Category 5 storm and swept toward Mexico's Pacific coast with winds of 160 miles per hour (260 kph) Monday, threatening a stretch of high-rise resort hotels, surfing beaches and fishing villages.

By early Monday, Willa had maximum sustained winds of 249 km/h and was centred about 370 kilometres south of Las Islas Marias and 280 kilometres south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes.

Hurricane Willa, a "potentially catastrophic" category five storm, is barreling towards tourist spots on Mexico's Pacific coast, prompting authorities to warn residents in its path to exercise extreme caution.

Just to the south of Hurricane Willa, Tropical Storm Vicente was forecast to weaken to a tropical depression Monday night or Tuesday morning.

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Its core was about 220 miles (355 kilometers) southeast of Acapulco with top sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) late Sunday. Landfall on mainland Mexico is expected Tuesday afternoon or evening.

The storm is predicted to slowly weaken before landfall but remain a risky and major hurricane, rated Category 3 or higher. A hurricane warning has also been issued for Mexico's western coast between San Blas and Mazatlan.

The hurricane center said Willa was expected to strike near Mazatlan, a popular beach resort, and several other local tourist destinations also are in the storm's path.

Mandatory evacuations are being ordered for schools in coastal regions along Mexico's Pacific Coast where Willa will make landfall and push sea water inland. It was moving to the north-northwest at 6 miles per hour (9 kph), but a turn toward the north was likely during the night or Monday. The rainfall could cause life-threatening flash flooding and landslides. That could cause life-threatening flash flooding.

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Hurricane Willa is bearing down on Mexico.

A hurricane warning is in effect for 180 miles of Mexican Pacific coast between San Blas and Mazatlan.

The top-level category five storm is expected to be an "extremely risky major hurricane", the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said, which could produce a "life-threatening storm surge". This includes waterlogged Texas, which definitely does not need any additional rainfall.

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