Hurricane Willa Strengthens to Category 5 Storm, Aims for Mexico’s Pacific Coast

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The expectation is that hurricane Willa will sustain its major status, but the pressure is the deciding factor for this storm and its potential to trigger the catastrophe bond, as landfall in the parametric zone looks assured.

To add to the woes, the Tropical Storm Vicente will also threaten Mexico with heavy downpours in the coming days.

"Rapid weakening is expected after landfall Tuesday night and Wednesday", according to the agency. It predicted that Willa could become a Category 5 hurricane later Monday morning, generating life-threatening surf and rip conditions. The hurricane is moving north at 8 miles per hour and is forecast to move "over or very near" the Islas Marias early Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. The US National Hurricane Center has warned that the storm system and could "produce life threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall" in Mexico on Tuesday.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, is about 210 miles away from Cabo Corrientes, a municipality in southwest Mexico.

Initially it is expected to pass over, of near, a set of islands - the Islas Marias - which are about 60 miles offshore and include a nature reserve and federal prison.

Hurricane-force winds extended 45 kmfrom the storm's center, and tropical storm-force winds were up to 1650 km out.

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About 100km up the coast in Mazatlan, with a metropolitan-area population of about 500,000, Mayor Jose Joel Boucieguez said officials prepared shelters and were closely monitoring low-lying areas.

Hurricane Willa is tracking north at around six knots, forecast to turn northeastward tonight and accelerate into the west-central coast of Mainland Mexico on Tuesday afternoon or evening, roughly south of Mazatlan.

Vicente was about 365 miles southeast of Manzanillo, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving west-northwest at 12 mph, the NHC said.

More than 300 mm of rain is expected to batter Western Jalisco, Western Nayarit and Southern Sinaloa in Mexico triggering floods and landslides.

The hurricane centre estimates that total rainfall will range between 5 inches and 15 inches across stretches of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states, home to Mexican white sand beach resorts of Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan.