Hurricane Willa weakens to category 3 storm, landfall well-north of Puerto Vallarta

Willa is moving toward the north-northeast near 6 mph (9 km/h). A faster motion toward the northeast is expected by this evening.

On the forecast track, the center of Willa will move over Las Islas Marias within the next few hours, and make landfall within the hurricane warning area along the west-central coast of mainland Mexico this evening.

Maximum sustained winds are near 125 mph (205 km/h) with higher gusts. Willa is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

While gradual weakening is forecast today, Willa is expected to be a dangerous hurricane when it reaches the coast of Mexico. Rapid weakening is expected after landfall tonight and continuing into Wednesday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). For this reason, Puerto Vallarta remains under a tropical storm watch, the area is not expected to receive hurricane conditions.

Puerto Vallarta has never been predicted as a potential landfall zone of Hurricane Willa, and the forecast for the area has not changed. The area is still under a tropical storm warning with landfall expected well-north of Puerto Vallarta.

Will Hurricane Willa hit Puerto Vallarta?

The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 966 mb (28.53 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
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STORM SURGE: An extremely dangerous storm surge is likely along portions of the coast of southwestern Mexico in southern Sinaloa and Nayarit, especially near and to the south of where the center of Willa makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

RAINFALL: Willa is expected to produce storm total rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches, with local amounts to 18 inches, across portions of western Jalisco, western Nayarit, southern Sinaloa, and far southern Durango in Mexico. This rainfall will cause life-threatening flash flooding and landslides.

Farther inland, Willa is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches across the rest of Durango and portions of Zacateca, southeast Chihuahua, and Coahuila, with local amounts to 5 inches possible.

WIND: Hurricane conditions will continue over Las Islas Maria today, and will spread into the hurricane warning area along the coast of mainland Mexico this afternoon. Tropical storm conditions are occurring on Las Islas Marias, and will continue to spread northward along the coast of mainland Mexico within the warning area today.

SURF: Large swells generated by Willa will continue to affect portions of the coast of southwestern and west-central mainland Mexico, and the coast of the southern Baja California peninsula Swells during the next day or two. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

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