Hurricane Willa nears landfall in Mexico

Hurricane Willa Grows Rapidly off Mexico's Pacific Coast

Willa has maximum sustained winds of almost 260km/h with higher gusts, and is expected to hit the western coast of Mexico on Tuesday afternoon, the Miami-based US National Hurricane Center said.

Willa was about 230 miles (370 km) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes in Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph).

A map made by the National Hurricane Center shows the projected path for Hurricane Willa as of 8 a.m. ET on October 22, 2018.

While Vicente is considerably weaker than Willa, it is expected to make landfall late on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning about 250 miles south of Willa and will give the western coastline of Mexico a rapid 1-2 punch from Mother Nature.

With maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour, Willa is expected to weaken somewhat before hitting land late Tuesday.

Schools close to the coast in Sinaloa and Nayarit states have been ordered to close, and emergency shelters are being prepared. Hurricane Willa, now a Category 4, is expected to land in the region late Tuesday or Wednesday.

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Meanwhile, a weakening Tropical Storm Vicente appeared to be a less potent threat farther south. Forecasters said it was expected to weaken into a tropical depression overnight, while remaining just offshore or near Mexico's southern Pacific coast through Tuesday morning.

Hurricane force winds are forecast to hit San Blas to Mazatlan, including Las Islas Marias where hurricane warnings are in place.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that it could make landfall along Mexico's southwestern coast Tuesday afternoon or evening - bringing with it a life-threatening storm surge, which will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Tropical storm warnings ranged from Playa Perula north to San Blas and from Mazatlan north to Bahia Tempehuaya, according to the Hurricane Center. "Coastal areas may have to contend with beach erosion and flooding at time of high tide", he said. The heavy rain could cause life-threatening flash floods and landslides.

AccuWeather.com meteorologist Evan Duffey said the system has the potential to strengthen into a classic "Nor'easter", a type of storm that commonly buffets the East Coast in the fall and winter. The ocean waters off the western coast of Mexico are now running 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit above average for late October.

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