Published: Mon, October 22, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Willa aims for Mexico’s west

‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Willa aims for Mexico’s west

Hurricane Willa, now a Category 4, is expected to land in the region late Tuesday or Wednesday.

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

Hurricane Willa was about 270 miles (435 kilometres) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes Sunday morning with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (155 kph).

The hurricane is forecast to move toward the north-northeast and track over or very close to the Mexican islands Islas Marias on Tuesday. It predicted that Willa could become a Category 5 hurricane later Monday, generating life-threatening surf and rip tide conditions.

Willa could see some weakening Tuesday, but is still expected to reach land Tuesday afternoon or evening as a unsafe hurricane, bringing life-threatening storm surge, wind and rain, the NHC said.

Then Willa will make landfall along the southwestern coast of mainland Mexico on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

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It will then weaken slightly before making landfall but will still be a unsafe hurricane when it does hit.

The coastlines of Florida and Georgia were pummelled with torrential rain and destructive winds reaching 155mph over the past 24 hours.

The NHC said "a risky storm surge" was also likely to affect coastal areas by Tuesday evening, adding that rain and strong winds would be accompanied by "large destructive waves". The NHC says this rainfall will cause storm surge and "life-threatening flash flooding and landslides".

A hurricane warning has been posted for Mexico's western coast between San Blas and Mazatlan, including the Islas Marias, a nature reserve and federal prison directly in the storm's projected path.

The major resort areas of Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan are under tropical storm warnings - as they are expected to face gusty winds, heavy rain and some flooding - but they are not under hurricane warnings, because the worst part of the storm is forecast to miss those popular vacation spots.

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