Hurricane Willa intensified rapidly into a major hurricane on Sunday and Warnings were issued for Mexico. At 11: 00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Willa was located at latitude 17.7°N and longitude 107.2°W which put it about 210 miles (340 km) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico. Willa was moving toward the north-northwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 145 m.p.h. (230 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 170 m.p.h. (275 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 941 mb. Hurricane Willa was a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from San Blas to Mazatlan, Mexico. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Playa Perula to San Blas. A Tropical Storm Warning was also in effect for the portion of the coast from Mazatlan to Bahia Tempehuaya.
Hurricane Willa intensified from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane in 24 hours. A small circular eye formed at the center of Hurricane Willa. The eye was surround by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Willa. Storms near the core were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping large quantities of mass away from the hurricane. The strong divergence allowed the surface pressure to decrease quickly and that caused the wind speeds to increase rapidly.
Willa is a small hurricane. Winds to hurricane force only extend out about 25 miles (40 km) from the center of Hurricane Willa. Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 90 miles (145 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Willa is 29.9. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 8.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 38.1.
Hurricane Willa will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 12 to 24 hours. Willa will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will not be much vertical wind shear. Hurricane Willa could strengthen to a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale during the next 12 hours. An upper level trough near the west coast of the U.S. will produce southwesterly winds which will start to affect Hurricane Willa in about 24 hours. Those winds will cause vertical wind shear, which will cause Willa to start to weaken.
Hurricane Willa will move around the western end of a ridge of high pressure over Mexico. The ridge will steer Willa toward the north on Monday. The upper level trough near the west coast of the U.S. will turn Hurricane Willa toward the northeast on Tuesday. On its anticipated track Hurricane Willa could make landfall on the coast of Mexico on Tuesday night. Willa could be a major hurricane when it approaches the coast. It will be capable of causing major wind damage and a significant storm surge along the coast. Willa will also drop locally heavy rain and it could flash floods when it moves inland over Mexico.
Elsewhere over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean Tropical Storm Vicente was moving near the southeastern periphery of Hurricane Willa. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Vicente was located at latitude 13.9°N and longitude 98.7°W which put it about 220 miles (355 km) south-southeast of Acapulco, Mexico. Vicente was moving toward the west at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1005 mb.