Hurricane Willa: Mexico issues warning over 'extremely dangerous' storm

Katie Ramirez
October 22, 2018

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.

By early Monday, Willa had maximum sustained winds of 155 mph (255 kph) - the same windspeed Hurricane Michael had at landfall in Florida - and was centered about 230 miles (370 kilometers) south of the Islas Marias and 175 miles (280 kilometers) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes.

NHC reported torrential rains and flash-flooding as the 5-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale reading showed the hurricane had maximum sustained winds of approximately 130 miles per hour (209km).

Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometers) from the storm's center, and tropical storm-force winds were up to 105 miles (1650 kilometers) out.

The hurricane is forecast to move toward the north-northeast and track over or very close to the Mexican islands Islas Marias on Tuesday.

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The hurricane "continues to rapidly strengthen", the NHC said in an advisory, adding that Willa will likely produce a life-threatening storm surge. It predicted that Willa could become a Category 5 hurricane later Monday, generating life-threatening surf and rip tide conditions.

Meanwhile, a weakening Tropical Storm Vicente appeared to be a less potent threat farther south. Forecasters said it was expected to weaken into a tropical depression overnight, while remaining just offshore or near Mexico's southern Pacific coast through Tuesday morning.

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

Mexico's national weather service warned of heavy rain and possible flooding, landslides and damage to roads in Pacific coastal states.

The southwestern Mexican coast is warned to brace for risky storm surges which will impact on Tuesday. Tropical storm warnings were raised from Playa Perula to San Blas and north of Mazatlan to Bahia Tempehuaya.

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