A Hurricane Hunter aircraft flying through Hurricane Willa found maximum winds of 120 MPH as it approached landfall, which makes the storm a category three on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. While the storm is expected to weaken just below major hurricane strength before hitting land this evening, winds in excess of 100 MPH could lead to significant damage in small communities along the Mexican coast and countryside. Storm surge flooding is an exceptional risk to the right of the point of landfall, where intense winds will push enough seawater inland to submerge structures right along the coast.
As with any landfalling hurricane, especially in mountainous regions, flash flooding and mudslides from heavy rain are a risk to communities in the path of the storm. The National Hurricane Center noted in its latest forecast that a foot or more of rain is possible. This will lead to life-threatening flash flooding across central Mexico as the hurricane pushes inland. While high winds are a threat to people in the path of the core of the storm, most hurricane-related fatalities are caused by drowning due to freshwater flooding.
Rain - Visible - Imagery
The rain won’t stop there. Visible satellite imagery shows a...