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Latest News – Hurricane Willa nears landfall on Mexico

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Hurricane Willa nears landfall on Mexico

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Oct. 23 (UPI) — Hurricane Willa closed in on making landfall on the Mexican coast Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

The eye of the Category 3 storm was 70 miles south of Mazatlan and 50 miles north of Las Islas Marias, the NHC said in its 3 p.m. MDT update. The storm was moving north-northeast at 10 mph with 120 mph maximum sustained winds.

At Category 3, Willa was classified a major hurricane. The hurricane briefly reached Category 5 strength Monday but has weakened since.

Hurricane warnings was in effect from San Blas to Mazatlan. A tropical storm warning also was issued from Playa Perula northward to San Blas and from north of Mazatlan to Bahia Tempehuaya.

The NHC said the storm will weaken rapidly after landfall and into Wednesday. The storm’s hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds up to 115 miles.

“On the forecast track, the center of Willa will approach the coast of west-central Mexico this afternoon, and make landfall within the hurricane warning area along the west-central coast of mainland Mexico early this evening,” the NHC said.

Forecasters warned of an “extremely dangerous” storm surge along the coast of Sinaloa and Nayarit states. The storm was expected to bring 6 inches to 12 inches of rain with isolated amounts of 18 inches to portions of western Jalisco, western Nayarit, southern Sinaloa and far southern Durango states. The rain could cause life-threatening floods and landslides.

Forecasters said the storm will likely avoid interfering with the caravan of migrants from Honduras who are traveling through Mexico bound for the Texas border.

Just to the south of Hurricane Willa, Vicente weakened to a remnant low after it made landfall, the NHC said in its 10 a.m. update.

Vicente’s remnants could dump 3 inches to 6 inches of rain with some areas receiving up to 10 inches of rain. Affected cities include Guerrero, Michoca, Colima and Jalisco, just to the south of the region that will take the brunt of Hurricane Willa.

With Willa and Vicente, the 2018 Northeast Pacific hurricane season has hit a record for the most seasonal accumulated cyclone energy, Colorado State University meteorologist Philip Klotzbach said in a Twitter post.

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