Published: Tue, October 23, 2018
Research | By Wilma Wheeler

Hurricane Willa intensifies as 'life-threatening' storm on path to Mexico

Hurricane Willa intensifies as 'life-threatening' storm on path to Mexico

The hurricane is on track to be one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the Pacific coast of Mexico and its landfall will come three years to the day after the strongest, Hurricane Patricia, made landfall one state to the south, in Jalisco. The centre said Willa is expected make landfall late on Tuesday or early on Wednesday (Wednesday NZT).

The NHC described Willa as "potentially catastrophic" and said it was moving northward.

Almost three years ago to the day, Hurricane Patricia, one of the most powerful storms on record, struck Mexico's Pacific coast with winds that tore down trees, moved cars and forced thousands of people to flee homes.

A Category 5 storm - the top level of the Saffir-Simpson hurricane and wind scale - Willa could strengthen throughout this evening.

With winds now put at 160 miles per hour and higher gusts hurricane Willa is likely to have a devastating impact on the coastal populations of Mexico where it makes landfall. Landfall is predicted for late Tuesday or early Wednesday, probably as a major hurricane (Category 3 or above), the National Hurricane Center said. National Hurricane Center (NHC) in a 5 p.m. ET update on October 22.

Schools close to the coast in Sinaloa and Nayarit states have been ordered to close, and emergency shelters are being prepared.

The Hurricane Center cautioned that hurricane-force winds could extend some distance inland from the coast and that the rainfall "is likely to produce life-threatening flash flooding and landslides over much of southwestern and west-central Mexico".

In order for a payout to be triggered and due, the central pressure of a hurricane has to be calculated as low enough when it enters or crosses into a named storm parametric box or area.

"Willa is moving toward the north near 8 miles per hour, and this general motion should continue tonight".

Hurricane Willa has continued to strengthen off Mexico's Pacific coast, becoming a powerful category five storm as it moves closer to land, USA forecasters say.

Major resorts in Mexico are under a tropical storm warning, although it appears the worst of the hurricane might miss major resort areas including Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Not only are those in Willa's path at risk, heavy rains, floods, and mudslides threaten those in the mountainous terrain of Mexico, even if far from Willa's eye.

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