By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
A hurricane season that was slow to start now refuses to die. Hurricane Willa has intensified into a near-Category 5 storm in the Pacific. The huge storm is on track to slam into the western coast of Mexico by the middle of the week, officials from the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
As of 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, Willa’s maximum sustained winds were clocked at 160 mph, slightly higher than the wind speed of Hurricane Michael when it made landfall in Florida and devastated numerous communities. Willa is currently located about 175 miles southwest of Puerto Vallarta, moving north at seven mph.
Wilma Expected to Create Hazardous Conditions for Mexico’s Coastal Residents
“While some weakening is forecast by tonight and Tuesday, Willa is expected to be a dangerous hurricane when it reaches the coast of Mexico late Tuesday or early Wednesday,” the NHC said.
“The storm has supercharged at an incredible rate since it formed over the weekend, CNN reported. “From Sunday morning to Monday morning, Hurricane Willa strengthened 80 mph in only 24 hours, and went from forming into a tropical storm on Saturday morning to a Category 5 in less than 48 hours.”
Forecasters predict Wilma will turn to the right over the next 24 hours. The hurricane is expected to make landfall near the border of Sinaloa and Nayarit states, south of the city of Mazatlan.
Tropical Storm Vicente behind Wilma Heads for Same Coastline
Mexico is bracing for another tropical system., Tropical Storm Vincente, is right behind Wilma, CNN added. However, Vicente is considerably weaker than Willa.
Vicente is expected to make landfall late on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning about 250 miles south of Willa. That will mean a one-two punch for the western coastline of Mexico.