'Extremely dangerous' Hurricane Willa aims for Mexico's west

Olive Hawkins
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. Packing winds of up to 155mph, Willa is just 2mph away from becoming a Category 5 hurricane.

The storm was located about 135 miles southwest of Cabo Corrientes, to the south of Puerto Vallarta, around 11 a.m. ET, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Hurricane force winds extended out 25 miles from the storm's core and tropical storm force winds were up to 80 miles out. The storm is moving north at around 7 miles per hour, the NHC said.

Willa is expected to reach category 5 status on Monday - the highest classification for hurricanes.

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

It was projected to weaken somewhat before hitting land but was still expected to be extremely unsafe.

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The hurricane heading toward Mexico's Pacific coast was labeled "life-threatening" by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), potentially causing damage to some of the country's popular tourist areas.

The southwestern Mexican coast is warned to brace for unsafe storm surges which will impact on Tuesday. The NHC says this rainfall will cause storm surge and "life-threatening flash flooding and landslides".

"While some weakening is forecast by tonight and Tuesday, Willa is expected to be a risky hurricane when it reaches the coast of Mexico late Tuesday or early Wednesday", the center said. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Playa Perula to San Blas and north of Mazatlan to Bahia Tempehuaya.

"There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect", said the NHC, but it stressed that "interests along the southern and southwestern coasts of Mexico should monitor the progress of Vicente".

Heavy rainfall will also cause unsafe conditions, as six to twelve inches are forecast to fall.

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