Hurricane Willa has rapidly intensified into an "extremely dangerous" category five storm in the eastern Pacific, with computer models early Monday forecasting landfall on Mexico's western coast between Mazatlan and Perto Vallarta in the next several days.
According to The Washington Post, state governments of Sinaloa and Nayarit began preparing emergency shelters ahead of the life-threatening storm.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned early Monday morning that Willa could "produce life-threatening storm surge, wind, and rainfall over portions of southwestern and west-central Mexico beginning on Tuesday."
Ed Vallee, a meteorologist at Vallee Wx Consulting, said Willa is a powerful category four hurricane, with winds similar to Hurricane Michael when it made landfall on the Florida panhandle Oct. 10. He warned the system will slam into southwestern and west-central Mexico region early this week, then could cause flooding conditions in Texas.
"Hurricane Willa is quickly approaching the southwestern Mexican coast this week, complete with sustained winds at 155 mph and gusts up to 190 mph. Over the last 48 hours, this system has encountered very favorable conditions for rapid intensification including low wind shear, very warm water temperatures and favorable upper atmospheric conditions. From Saturday morning to Monday morning, the system strengthened from 40 mph to 155 mph thanks to these favorable conditions. This system will bring life-threatening storm surge, wind, and rain to southwestern and west-central Mexico this week, and will eventually bring additional flooding rains to Texas as well," said Vallee (Oct. 22 10 am est.)
Hurricane warnings have been posted for Mexico's western coast between San Blas and Mazatlan, including the Islas Marias, a nature reserve and federal prison.
By early Monday, Willa had maximum sustained winds of 160 mph and was centered about 200 miles south-southwest of the Islas Marias and 155 miles south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes moving north at seven mph.
Hurricane spaghetti models show Willa will slam into Mexico's western coast Tuesday/Wednesday, then move towards the Coastal Plains of Texas late week.
Near the caravan of thousands of Honduran migrants that crossed the Mexican border illegally on Sunday, Tropical Storm Vicente is developing offshore.
By early Monday, the storm was about 195 miles southeast of Acapulco with top sustained winds of 45 mph. The NHC said it could produce 3 to 6 inches of rain in parts of Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima, and Jalisco states.
It seems that both storms will miss the caravan of Honduran migrants.
What is social media saying about powerful Hurricane Willa?
One Twitter user hopes the hurricane stays away from Florida.
#HurricaneWilla better stay the fuck away from Florida— ᴅᴏᴇʟᴀ (@850BoiDoela) October 22, 2018
Another user provides satellite images of Willa from space.
#HuracanWilla #HurricaneWilla As of 0600 AM— Gerardo Murguía ® (@GerardoMurguia) October 22, 2018
Maximum Sustained Winds: 135 knots; 155 mph
Minimum Central Pressure: 931 mb
Located at: 18.7N 107.3W
Movement: north at 6 knots; 7 mph pic.twitter.com/hZBgg4Wy4A
Ryan Maue, a meteorologist at Weathermodels.com, has now confirmed Hurricane Willa is a Category five.
Hurricane Willa has been raised to Category 5 (160-mph) off the western coast of Mexico.— Ryan Maue | weathermodels.com (@RyanMaue) October 22, 2018
Aircraft is en route to the storm to investigate. pic.twitter.com/Hf00fjMD2B
*This story is developing...