Hurricane Willa has become an “extremely dangerous” storm near Category 5 in the eastern Pacific Ocean and has a course that could land it on a stretch of the Mexican coast between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta in the coming days.
The National Hurricane Center, based in Miami, said on Monday morning that Willa could “cause a storm surge, winds and lethal storms in some parts of southwest and center-west of Mexico as of Tuesday.”
They predicted that Willa would become a Category 5 hurricane on Monday afternoon, creating dangerous tidal conditions.
A hurricane warning was in effect for the Mexican coast between San Blas and Mazatlan, including the Marias Islands.
Tropical storm warnings were issued from Playa Perula to San Blas and from Mazatlan to Tempehuaya Bay.
The center reported that Willa is expected to make landfall Tuesday night or early Wednesday.
Willa had maximum sustained winds of 249 kilometers per hour (155 mph) on Monday morning. It was located about 370 kilometers (230 miles) south of the Marías Islands and 280 kilometers (175 miles) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes.
It’s moving north at 11 km / h (7 mph). Its winds with hurricane force extended 30 miles from its eye and those of tropical storm extended up to 90 miles.
The Hurricane Center indicated that it is likely that Willa will drop 15 to 30 centimeters (6 to 12 inches) of rain in the western states of Jalisco and Nayarit and south of Sinaloa.
They added that some places could receive up to 46 centimeters (18 inches). They also warned of the danger of flash floods and landslides in mountainous areas.
Further south in the Pacific Ocean, tropical storm Vicente weakened but was forecast to cause heavy rains and floods in parts of southern and southwest Mexico. Vicente has left 11 people dead in Oaxaca, including 7 children.