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Hurricane Willa Heads For Mexico Coast 10/22 07:27

   MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Hurricane Willa has grown rapidly into an "extremely 
dangerous" near-Category 5 storm in the eastern Pacific, on a path to smash 
into Mexico's western coast between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta in the coming 
days.

   The U.S. National Hurricane Center said early Monday that Willa could 
"produce life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall over portions of 
southwestern and west-central Mexico beginning on Tuesday." It predicted that 
Willa could become a Category 5 hurricane later Monday, generating 
life-threatening surf and rip tide conditions.

   A hurricane warning was posted for Mexico's western coast between San Blas 
and Mazatlan, including Las Islas Marias. Tropical storm warnings ranged from 
Playa Perula north to San Blas and from Mazatlan north to Bahia Tempehuaya. The 
center said Willa is expected make landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

   By early Monday, Willa had maximum sustained winds of 155 mph (249 kph) and 
was centered about 230 miles (370 kilometers) south of Las Islas Marias and 175 
miles (280 kilometers) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes. It was moving north 
at 7 mph (11 kph).

   Hurricane force winds extended 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the storm's 
core and tropical storm force winds were up to 90 miles (145 kilometers) out.

   The hurricane center said 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30.5 centimeters) of rain 
should fall --- and some places could see up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) --- 
on parts of Mexico's western Jalisco, western Nayarit and southern Sinaloa 
states. It warned of the danger of flash flooding and landslides in mountainous 
areas.

   Farther to the south, Tropical Storm Vicente weakened but was still expected 
to produce heavy rainfall and flooding over parts of southern and southwestern 
Mexico.

   By early Monday, its core was about 195 miles (310 kilometers) southeast of 
Acapulco with top sustained winds of 45 mph (72 kph). The hurricane center said 
it could produce 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 centimeters) of rain in parts of 
Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco states. 


(KA)

 
 
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