Mexico’s Pacific coast is set to be pounded on Tuesday by two storms headed its way, both of them having distinct characteristics.
The larger of the two storms is Hurricane Willa, currently about 300km southwest of Mazatlan in Mexico, with winds touching 230kph.
Initially labelled a Category 5 storm, Willa weakened slightly and is now a category 4. but still “extremely dangerous”, storm. Before making landfall later on Tuesday, it is expected to further weaken to a category 3 or strong category 2 storm.
But the US National Hurricane Centre has warned it was still likely to bring “life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall” to parts of west-central and southwestern Mexico.
Willa grew out of an Atlantic tropical wave on October 14, organising into an area of low pressure southeast of the Yucatan Peninsula. After several days of meandering over Belize, it moved into the Pacific on October 17 and reached peak intensity five days later.
Flooding rainfall is forecast between Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta with expected totals of up to 250mm even in areas inland.
In the coming days, Willa is likely to weaken rapidly, but the moisture will continue to head northeast and spread into the southern United States.
Texas will be particularly vulnerable to additional rain after experiencing widespread flooding last week.
Hurricane Willa is the 22nd storm in the eastern Pacifics this year, and the third to reach category 5 intensity.
The other storm, Vicente, formed off the southern coast of Guatemala last weekend, and continues to track northwest, parallel to the coastline.
In doing so, many areas stretching from southern Guatemala to Oaxaca state in Mexico have seen exceptional flooding.
Torrential rainfall caused the Valle Nacional river to burst its banks close to the town of Chiltepic in Oaxaca.
At least 11 people are believed to have been killed by the flooding, while many homes across the region were submerged and only accessible by boats.
Vicente is expected to weaken in the coming hours and make a landfall on Tuesday morning along the coast of Michoacán in Mexico.
As the remnants of the storm move inland, it will continue to bring flooding rains, along with the possibility of mudslides and landslides, through late Friday.