Hurricane Willa path tracker: Hurricane to reach CATEGORY 5 before hitting Mexico

Pablo Tucker
October 22, 2018

Newly formed Hurricane Willa rapidly intensified off Mexico's Pacific coast Sunday and early Monday and became a major Category 5 storm, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

As of the NHC's latest advisory at 12.00am local time (7am BST) Hurricane Willa was located approximately 195 miles south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico. As of 4 a.m. CST., Wilma had maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour - just 2 miles per hour short of a Category 5.

Hurricane force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometers) from the storm's core and tropical storm force winds were up to 90 miles (150 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.

The landfall is most likely to be along the southwestern coast of mainland Mexico by late Tuesday between north of Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta.

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

The US National Hurricane centre said in an evening bulletin that the storm was "forecast to produce life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall over portions of southwestern and west-central Mexico beginning on [Wednesday]".

The southwestern Mexican coast is warned to brace for risky storm surges which will impact on Tuesday.

In areas of western Jalisco rainfall accumulations could be as high as 18 inches, triggering life-threatening flash flooding and landslides.

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

A hurricane warning is in effect for areas including San Blas, on the Pacific coast, and the beach resort of Mazatlan. Tropical storm warnings were raised from Playa Perula to San Blas and north of Mazatlan to Bahia Tempehuaya.

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.

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