‘Extremely Dangerous’ Hurricane Willa Nears Category 5, Aims for Mexico’s West

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

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

CITY-Hurricane Willa strengthened into a Category 5 storm with sustained winds up to 160 miles per hour Monday as it headed toward Mexico's western coast, where it is expected to make landfall as a major hurricane Tuesday.

Earlier this month areas of the U.S. were devastated by Hurricane Michael, which left at least 27 people dead.

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.

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.

Willa was about 225 miles (365 kilometers) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph (220 kph).

The storm is forecast to hit the area on October 23 before moving over central Mexico. Packing winds of up to 155mph, Willa is just 2mph away from becoming a Category 5 hurricane.

Jubeir: Saudis will hold to account those responsible for Khashoggi case
The government said concerns following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2 were behind the decision. There's no way 15 people were sent from Saudi Arabia to Turkey to kill a dissident without the approval of the Crown Prince.

The US National Hurricane centre 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 [Wednesday]".

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

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

At present, storm Willa is heading north-northwestwards, however, the system will gradually recurve northwards on Monday and then north-northeastwards by Tuesday.

The center said it could produce 3 to 6 inches of rain along Mexico's southern Pacific coast and parts of Guatemala.

On the other hand, the hurricane Vicente would stay offshore or near the southern coast of Mexico, weakening to a tropical depression through Tuesday morning.

Latest News