‘Extremely dangerous’ Cat 4 Hurricane Willa heads for Mexico

28 October, 2018, 11:17 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • A satellite image taken by NOAA of Hurricane Willa shows the storm off Mexico on Oct. 22

Willa is expected to make landfall on Mexico's south-western coast on Tuesday and is "potentially catastrophic", the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned.

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

Weather officials warn the storm could bring 15 to 45 centimeters of rain to parts of Sinaloa, Nayarit, and Jalisco states, with landslides possible in mountainous areas.

"While gradual weakening is forecast today, Willa is expected to be a risky major hurricane when it reaches the coast of Mexico".

A hurricane watch has already been issued for the stretch of shore between San Blas and Mazatlan. It was moving north at 5 miles per hour (7 kph), but was forecast to make a turn to the northeast.

Further to the south, a weakening Tropical Storm Vicente was expected to dissipate soon, but it still caused heavy rainfall that caused risky flooding in southern and south-western Mexico.

Willa revved up into a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest, early Monday but lost steam as the day wore on and was downgraded to a Category 4 by 4 p.m local time (2100 GMT), according to the National Hurricane Center of the United States.

Flooding rainfall is forecast between Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta with expected totals of up to 250mm even in areas inland.

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"I come from a country where we have hurricanes and vicious storms, so I'm kind of waiting with bated breath", he said over the phone while sitting on his porch and smoking a cigarette.

Willa's maximum sustained winds, as of Monday morning, were 160 miles per hour, making it a top-of-the-scale hurricane.

Storm surge accompanied by "large and destructive waves" are forecast along portions of Mexico's central and southwestern coast.

Farther south, meanwhile, Mexican officials reported 12 deaths related to heavy rains from Tropical Storm Vicente.

Hotel workers started taping up windows, and officials began evacuating people and shuttered schools in a low-lying landscape where towns sit amid farmland tucked between the sea and lagoons.

Hurricane-force winds extended out 30 miles from Willa's center, and tropical-storm-force winds were up to 105 miles out.

There have been 10 major hurricane in 2018, including Willa, which ties 1992 as the most major hurricane seen in the northeast Pacific in one year.

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