Tropical Storms Willa and Vicente swirling off Mexico

Hurricane Willa as seen from NOAA's GOES East satellite on Sunday Oct. 21 2018.                        NOAA

Hurricane Willa, now a Category 4, is expected to land in the region late Tuesday or Wednesday.

Hurricane Willa grew into a potentially catastrophic Category 5 storm and swept toward Mexico's Pacific coast with winds of 160 miles per hour (260 kph) Monday, threatening a stretch of high-rise resort hotels, surfing beaches and fishing villages. Packing winds of up to 155mph, Willa is just 2mph away from becoming a Category 5 hurricane.

Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 105 miles.

The storm was located about 135 miles southwest of Cabo Corrientes, to the south of Puerto Vallarta, around 11 a.m. ET, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The hurricane is forecast to move toward the north-northeast and track over or very close to the Mexican islands Islas Marias on Tuesday. The hurricane center said it could make landfall along Mexico's southwestern coast Tuesday afternoon or evening and bring with it a life-threatening storm surge - especially near and to the south of where the center of Willa makes landfall.

Mexico has issued an alert for parts of its Pacific seaboard as it prepares for the "life-threatening" category five storm Hurricane Willa.

It was projected to weaken somewhat before hitting land but was still expected to be extremely unsafe. It warned of the danger of flash flooding and landslides in mountainous areas.

Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

A hurricane warning has been posted for Mexico's western coast between San Blas and Mazatlan, including the Islas Marias, a nature reserve and federal prison directly in the storm's projected path.

"There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect", said the NHC, but it stressed that "interests along the southern and southwestern coasts of Mexico should monitor the progress of Vicente". Willa is also forecast to bring high winds and heavy rainfall.

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