Hurricane Willa Expected To Make Dangerous Landfall in Mexico
By Sharelle Burt
Overnight, Hurricane Willa is predicted to become a dangerous Category 5 storm that’ll pound Mexico’s coast between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta within next few days.
Willa is said to bring life-threatening storm surge, wind, and rainfall over parts of southwestern and west-central Mexico beginning on Tuesday. According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, if Willa becomes a Category 5, it will generate life-threatening surf and rip tide conditions.
Warnings were posted along Mexico’s western coast between San Blas and Mazatlan, including Las Islas Marias. Tropical storm warnings ranged from Playa Perula north to San Blas and Mazatlan north to Bahia Tempehuaya. The center said Willa is expected make landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
By early this morning, Willa had maximum sustained winds of 155 mph (249 kph) and was centered about 230 miles (370 kilometers) south of Las Islas Marias and 175 miles (280 kilometers) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes. It was moving north at 7 mph (11 kph). The hurricane center said 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30.5 centimeters) of rain can be expected, with some places seeing up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) on parts of Mexico’s western Jalisco, western Nayarit, and southern Sinaloa states. Flash flood warnings and landslides are expected in the mountainous areas. In the southern part of Mexico, tropical storm Vicente died down but is still expected to give heavy rainfall and flooding over parts of southern and southwestern Mexico.
The storm is putting a damper on travel plans for thousands. At least one cruise ship, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss, switched its plans after departing Saturday from the Port of Los Angeles. The ship is now heading north, visiting San Francisco, San Diego, and Ensenada, instead of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.
Hurricane Willa is the tenth of the 2018 Northeast Pacific hurricane season. As of October 20, there have been 22 named storms.