Video showing explosive rapid intensification of Hurricane Willa from low-end tropical storm to Category 5 hurricane in 48 hours, 22 October 2018. Graphic: Stu Ostro / The Weather Channel

22 October 2018 (The Weather Channel) – Hurricane Willa has intensified to a Category 5 storm in the eastern Pacific Ocean and will threaten Mexico with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, and flooding rainfall as it makes landfall on Tuesday.

A hurricane warning has been posted from San Blas to Mazatlán, including Las Islas Marias. A tropical storm warning is now in effect from Playa Perula to San Blas and from north of Mazatlán to Bahia Tempehuaya.

Willa is tracking northward and will turn to the northeast by Tuesday. It should approach landfall along the southwestern coast of mainland Mexico on Tuesday, which is expected to occur anywhere from near Mazatlán to the north of Puerto Vallarta.

Tropical storm conditions (39- to 73-mph winds) could arrive as early as Tuesday morning in the hurricane warning area. By Tuesday afternoon, hurricane conditions (74-plus-mph winds) will develop along that same stretch of the coastline. […]

Willa’s Rapid Intensification

Hurricane Willa's maximum sustained winds increased by 55 mph in the 24 hours ending 5 p.m. EDT Sunday, easily meeting the criteria for rapid intensification. Willa's winds increased by an additional 25 mph during the following three hours from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT Sunday.

At 11 a.m. EDT Monday, Willa became a Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph. That means Willa's winds increased from 40 mph when it was first named on Saturday at 11 a.m. EDT to 160 mph just 48 hours later.

Willa is just the fourth eastern Pacific hurricane to reach Category 5 strength in the month of October dating to 1971. The others were Patricia (2015), Rick (2009) and Kenna (2002). [more]

Hurricane Willa Strengthens Into a Category 5 in Eastern Pacific; Poses Danger to Mexico on Tuesday

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