Published: Mon, October 22, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Willa now a Cat 4 hurricane, to intensify further

Willa now a Cat 4 hurricane, to intensify further

At the time of landfall, the wind shear could pick up prompting debilitating of the system, however, it should still remain a strong and unsafe hurricane while moving inland late Tuesday and into Wednesday.

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.

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". Hurricane force winds extended out 25 miles from the storm's core and tropical storm force winds were up to 80 miles out.

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).

Vicente became "a little stronger" and is "expected to produce heavy rainfall" as well as flooding over southern Mexico, the agency said in its latest update.

Willa is expected to reach category 5 status on Monday - the highest classification for hurricanes.

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

Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

"This rainfall will cause life-threatening flash flooding and landslides", it added.

A hurricane warning was posted for Mexico's western coast between San Blas and Mazatlan, including the Islas Marias, a nature reserve and federal prison directly in the forecast track of the storm.

There are two types of warnings in place for Mexico, a Hurricane Warning and a Tropical Storm Warning.

The storm is expected to weaken when it makes landfall Tuesday but is forecast to bring large waves, risky storm surge, gusty winds and heavy rain.

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