‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Willa aims for Mexico’s western coast

Hurricane Willa as seen from NOAA's GOES East satellite on Sunday Oct. 21 2018.                        NOAA

"Willa is an extremely risky category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale".

It had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and the centre of the storm would likely "remain just offshore or near the southern coast of Mexico through Tuesday morning", according to the NHC.

The U.N. National Hurricane center 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 Tuesday".

By early Monday, Willa had maximum sustained winds of 160mph - the same wind speed Hurricane Michael had at landfall in Florida - and was centered 135miles south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 25 miles from the centre of the storm. It was moving north at 7mph.

Even at Category 4, Willa is "extremely dangeorus", forecasters warned, adding that it was likely to strengthen slightly into a Category 5 Monday morning.

It will then weaken slightly before making landfall but will still be a risky hurricane when it does hit. "Willa is an extremely impressive hurricane in infrared and visible satellite imagery this morning", he said.

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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.

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

A hurricane warning is in effect for 180 miles of Mexican Pacific coast between San Blas and Mazatlan.

The major resort areas of Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan are under tropical storm warnings - as they are expected to face gusty winds, heavy rain and some flooding - but they are not under hurricane warnings, because the worst part of the storm is forecast to miss those popular vacation spots.

Willa is then expected to weaken after passing over the Sierra Madre mountains, and the remnants of the storm will likely will bring significant rainfall to Texas.

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