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Mexico Braces for Back-to-Back Storms

This year’s 23rd Pacific tropical storm has become a Category 5 hurricane, and is expected to make landfall between Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta tomorrow afternoon. Hurricane Willa “is on track to be one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the Pacific coast of Mexico,” according to CNN.

Hurricane Willa’s expected track into Mainland Mexico.

© 2018 Australian Maritime Safety Authority
About 250 miles to the south of Willa is Tropical Storm Vicente, which is expected to make landfall tomorrow evening on the sparsely populated coast of Jalisco. Vicente makes 2018 “the most active hurricane season on record using a measurement called ‘Accumulated Cyclone Energy,’ which combines the number of storms and their intensity through their lifetimes to give an overall measurement of tropical activity in a given region,” according to CNN.

Back to the north, Hurricane Willa underwent “astonishing” rapid intensification over the weekend and into today, but is likely to lose strength before making landfall. Puerto Vallarta is, of course, home to numerous marinas and boating interests. The National Hurricane Center is calling Willa “potentially catastrophic,” with threats of torrential rains and major flooding. Willa’s landfall will come three years to the day after Hurricane Patricia made hit Jalisco. Patricia — which had winds of 215 miles per hour and was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed — brought widespread flooding to Central America and rural Mexico. There were an estimated seven fatalities and over $300 million in damage from Patricia, but given that storm’s astounding strength, the damage could have been much more severe. We can only hope that Willa and Vicente will spare Mexico the worst.

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