Hurricane Willa Nears Category 5 as 'Extremely Dangerous' Storm Heads Towards Mexico

Yet another cataclysmic hurricane, Willa, has picked up speed over weekend, and this time it is [...]

Yet another cataclysmic hurricane, Willa, has picked up speed over weekend, and this time it is headed for the west coast of Mexico.

Hurricane Willa is currently at a Category 4, and is very close to Category 5 conditions. Experts have described it as "extremely dangerous," according to a report by The Washington Post, and it is expected to make landfall by Wednesday. The storm will most likely hit somewhere between the popular vacation cities of Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

The two states in the most danger right now are Sinaloa and Nayarit, and both have reportedly ordered coastal region schools closed starting on Monday. The governments are preparing emergency shelters in those areas and doing everything possible to prepare for the storm.

Willa will carry all the hazards of any other hurricane, but on a grand scale. The U.S. National Hurricane Center is predicting that the storm will become a Category 5 by the end of the day on Monday, and begin affecting Mexico on Tuesday. It is projected to "produce life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall over portions of southwestern and west-central Mexico beginning on Tuesday."

A hurricane warning has been issued along Mexico's west coast, everywhere from Mazatlan to San Blas. In particular danger are a small archipelago island chain called Islas Marias, which hold nature reserves and a high-security federal prison. Those in the storm's path have also been warned to watch out for the rip tide conditions.

Outside of the Hurricane Warning areas, Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect. These stretch from San Blas over 192 miles south to Playa Perula, and another 82 mile north from Mazatlan to Bahia Tempehuaya. Hurricane force winds typically extend about 30 miles in each direction from the eye of the storm, while tropical storm conditions may go as far as 90 miles.

At the time of this writing, Willa's maximum recorded wind speed was 155 miles per hour — the same speed at which Hurricane Michael hit Florida. It is currently about 200 miles from the Islas Marias, moving north at about seven miles per hour. Experts at the hurricane center believe 6 to 12 inches of rain will fall in most of the storm's path, with as many as 18 inches in the hardest hit areas.

Another Tropical Storm, Vicente, is brewing to the south of Willa, and could cause further complications. While Vicente has weakened, it is still expected to cause flooding and heavy rainfall in the southwestern regions of Mexico — which could be compounded by the impacts of Willa. Vicente could bring as much as six more inches of rain to the already saturated areas.