Hurricane Willa has intensified on approach to the Pacific coastline of Mexico with its winds reaching Category 5 strength at 160 miles per hour and the central pressure dropping further to 925 mb, increasing its threat to trigger a $110 million Class C tranche of notes from the World Bank supported IBRD / FONDEN 2017 catastrophe bond when it makes landfall.
Willa had maximum sustained winds of 155 mph (249 kph) early Monday and was centered about 195 miles (315 kilometers) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes.
Hurricane Willa has continued to strengthen off Mexico's Pacific coast, becoming a powerful category five storm as it moves closer to land, US forecasters say.
As of 4 a.m. CST., Wilma had maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour - just 2 miles per hour short of a Category 5.
Willa is now located about 175 miles southwest of Puerto Vallarta, moving north at 7 mph.
"A turn toward the northwest and north at a slightly slower forward speed is expected through Tuesday", the hurricane center reported. The NHC classifies major hurricanes as those Category 3 and above.
The governments of Sinaloa and Nayarit states ordered coastal region schools to close on Monday (Tuesday NZT) and began preparing emergency shelters ahead of the onslaught.
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Six to 12 inches of total rainfall accumulations are expected, forecasters predict, with up to 18 inches across portions of western Jalisco, western Nayarit and southern Sinaloa in Mexico.
Forecasters said Willa would then blow ashore somewhere along a 220km stretch extending from the resort town of Mazatlan to San Blas.
San Blas to Mazatlan, including Las Islas Marias, are under hurricane warnings while tropical storm warnings were issued for Playa Perula to San Blas and north of Mazatlan to Bahia Tempehuaya.
Willa is expected to produce life-threatening conditions, including heavy winds, rain, and storm surge along west-central and southwestern Mexico, according to the NHC.
- Moisture from Hurricane Willa, which is now approaching Mexico's Pacific coast, is expected to bring cold and rainy weather to the Triangle this weekend. It's also the 21st named tropical storm or hurricane in the eastern Pacific so far in 2018.
Willa's torrential downpours are also likely to produce flash flooding and landslides over large parts of southwestern and west-central Mexico, NHC added. Not only did the storm's intensity rapidly increase, the storm's forecast track altered due to the intensification, bringing a much earlier landfall than was anticipated just a couple of days ago.