News Alerts

23 Oct 2018 | 10:15 AM UTC

Mexico: Potentially catastrophic Hurricane Willa approaching Pacific coast /update 2

Mexico News Alert

Hurricane Willa, an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane, moving towards west coast of Mexico; landfall expected October 23

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/23/2018, 12:00 AM until 10/25/2018, 11:59 PM (America/Mexico_City). COUNTRY/REGION Nayarit, Jalisco, Sinaloa, Zacatecas, Durango, Chihuahua state, Coahuila, Colima, Michoacan state, Guerrero state

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Hurricane Willa - measuring as a category 4 storm on the five-point Saffir-Simpson wind scale (“extremely dangerous”) with sustained winds of 215 km/h (130 mph) - continues to approach Mexico’s western coast. Willa was located approximately 120 km (75 mi) southwest the Islas Marías archipelago and 280 km (175 mi) south-southwest of Mazatlán (Sinaloa state) as of 03:00 (local time) on Tuesday, October 23. Willa is currently forecast to move in a northeasterly direction and hit or pass near the Islas Marías on Tuesday morning and afternoon, before making landfall Tuesday afternoon or evening in the north of Nayarit state. The storm is expected to weaken rapidly following landfall, lessening into a tropical storm by midnight and into a tropical depression by noon on Wednesday, as it crosses central Mexico.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the coastline between San Blas and Mazatlán (including the Islas Marías); lower tropical storm warnings are in effect spanning from this area south to Pérula and north to Bahía Tempehuaya.

Willa is expected to bring storm surges to Nayarit and Sinaloa, and up to 46 cm (18 in) of rainfall to western Jalisco , western Nayarit, southern Sinaloa, and southern Durango; potentially life-threatening flash flooding and landslides are possible. Rainfall of up to 15 cm (6 in) is forecast for inland areas, including parts of Zacatecas, Chihuahua, and Coahuila states. Associated transportation disruptions and power outages are likely. Heavy rains brought by Willa as it tracked off the coast of southern Mexico have already produced flooding in Michoacán state.

Meanwhile, a second storm, Tropical Depression Vicente, is also approaching the western coast. Vicente was located approximately 90 km (55 mi) south-southeast of Lázaro Cárdenas (Michoacán) as of 04:00 on Tuesday. Vicente is moving in a northwesterly direction and is expected to hit Michoacán Tuesday morning and afternoon before dissipating by the end of the day. Rainfall of up to 25 cm (10 in), also with the potential to produce life-threatening floods and landslides, is forecast for parts of Guerrero, Michoacán, Colima, and Jalisco states. No storm warnings are in effect.


Mexico's Pacific Hurricane Season extends from May 15 to November 30 (and the Atlantic Hurricane Season from June 1 to November 30), with the largest concentration of storms typically occurring between August and October.


Individuals in Mexico are advised to follow weather forecasts issued by the Mexican weather service in the coming hours and days and adhere to any advice issued by regional authorities (e.g. potential evacuation orders). In the event of flooding, keep in mind that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.


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