Hurricane Willa Intensifies as it Barrels Towards Mexico's Western Coast

Erika Holt
October 25, 2018

On Tuesday morning, the storm boasted maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour and threatened to bring life-threatening storm surge and torrents of rain ashore, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was moving north at 9 miles per hour (15 kph), but was forecast to make a turn to the northeast during the night.

Hurricane Willa, an extremely risky a Category 4 storm, weakened slightly as it veered toward popular tourist resorts on Mexico's Pacific coast on Monday, prompting government warnings for people to leave high-risk areas and take cover.

Willa is moving northward and is forecast to gradually lose power during the next day or so and weaken rapidly after hitting the coast, the Miami-based hurricane center added.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Vicente, forecast to strike the south of Mexico, is expected to be reduced to a tropical depression by Monday night or early Tuesday.

Residents buy drinking water ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Willa in Mazatlan, Mexico, on October 22, 2018.

Late Monday, Willa was centered about 85 miles (140 kilometers) southwest of the Islas Marias and 195 miles (310 kilometers) south-southwest of Mazatlan.

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. Landfall on mainland Mexico is expected Tuesday afternoon or evening.

Hurricane-force winds extended 45km from the storm's centre, and tropical storm-force winds were up to 165km out.

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An intensifying and risky hurricane in tropical eastern Pacific Ocean is set to slam into Mexico's west coast Tuesday.

Brown said additional strengthening is possible because Willa is in an environment of low wind shear and water temperatures of 28 to 29.5°C (82.4 to 85.1°F).

Category 5 is the top level of the Saffir-Simpson hurricane and wind scale.

The Hurricane Center cautioned that hurricane-force winds could extend some distance inland from the coast and that the rainfall "is likely to produce life-threatening flash flooding and landslides over much of southwestern and west-central Mexico".

The back-to-back systems have helped make the 2018 hurricane season in the northeast Pacific one for the record books.

There have been 10 major hurricanes this year, including Willa, tying 1992 as the most major hurricanes in the northeast Pacific in one year.

Mexico's government has put various parts of the coast on alert.

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