Hurricane Willa Strengthens to Category 5 Storm, Aims for Mexico’s Pacific Coast

Hurricane Willa Strengthens to Category 5 Storm, Aims for Mexico’s Pacific Coast

It's forecast to unleash torrential rains and major flooding, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Hurricane Willa grew into a potentially catastrophic Category 5 storm and swept toward Mexico's Pacific coast with winds of 160 miles per hour (260 kph) Monday, threatening a stretch of high-rise resort hotels, surfing beaches and fishing villages. Currently, the NHC predicts that life-threatening storm surges, severe winds and torrential rainfall will impact areas of west-central and southwestern Mexico.

It was about 280 miles (450 kilometers) south-southwest of the port city of Manzanillo on Saturday afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph).

The hurricane is forecast to move toward the north-northeast and track over or very close to the Mexican islands Islas Marias on Tuesday.

Hurricane Willa has quickly strengthened into a deadly Category 4 storm and will intensify further this week in wake of low wind shear and warm water temperatures.

Tropical storm warnings ranged from Playa Perula north to San Blas and from Mazatlan north to Bahia Tempehuaya.

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Mexico has issued an alert for parts of its Pacific seaboard as it prepares for the "life-threatening" category five storm Hurricane Willa.

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.

It's now lashing out maximum sustained winds of about 130mph.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Vicente, which formed in the Pacific off southern Mexico on Saturday, began to weaken as it hovered along the coast of southern Mexico on Sunday, located about 230 miles south-east of Acapulco.

It added: "Little change in strength is expected today".

Vicente is seen weakening to tropical depression status by Monday night, but could still cause significant rainfall. "The cyclone's circulation is expected to dissipate near the southwestern coast of Mexico by Wednesday".

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