Science

Hurricane Willa Grows Rapidly off Mexico's Pacific Coast

Hurricane Willa Grows Rapidly off Mexico's Pacific Coast

Newly formed Hurricane Willa rapidly intensified off Mexico's Pacific coast Sunday and early Monday and became a major Category 4 storm on the brink of turning into a Category 5, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said it was likely to remain well off the coast through Wednesday, when it could approach Mexico's west-central mainland as a hurricane.

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 from the storm's core and tropical storm force winds were up to 90 miles out.

The NHC also predict that additional strengthening of Hurricane Willa is expected today, meaning that it could reach Category 5 status later today.

Consequently, we can expect torrential rainfall setting off a potentially damaging storm surge over the Pacific Coast of Mexico by the middle of the week.




A Hurricane Watch is in effect for San Blas to Mazatlan meaning tropical-storm-force winds that make being outside anywhere from hard to risky could arrive within 48 hours.

Forecasters said Willa is expected to produce storm total rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches, with local amounts up to 18 inches, across portions of western Jalisco, western Nayarit, and southern Sinaloa in Mexico.

Farther to the south, Tropical Storm Vicente weakened but was still expected to produce heavy rainfall and flooding over parts of southern and southwestern Mexico.

The hurricane was expected to pass over or near the Islas Marias - a set of islands about 60 miles offshore that include a nature preserve and a federal prison - early Tuesday, then blow ashore in the afternoon or the evening between the resort town of Mazatlan and San Blas, a distance of about 140 miles (220 km). Tropical storm warnings ranged from Playa Perula north to San Blas and from Mazatlan north to Bahia Tempehuaya.

It was located about 100 miles (160 kilometres) southeast of Puerto Angel with winds of 50 mph (85 kph).


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