THE WEATHER CHANNEL: Hurricane Willa remains a strong Category 4 off the Pacific Coast of Mexico after rapidly intensifying over the weekend. 

Willa will bring destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge and flooding rainfall to Mexico where it is expected to make landfall later Tuesday into early Wednesday.

Willa is tracking northward and will turn to the northeast by Tuesday. It should approach landfall along the southwestern coast of mainland Mexico by late Tuesday, which is expected to occur anywhere from near Mazatlán to the north of Puerto Vallarta.

Hurricane Willa’s maximum sustained winds increased by 55 mph in the 24 hours ending 5 p.m. EDT Sunday, easily meeting the criteria for rapid intensification. Willa’s winds increased by an additional 25 mph during the following three hours from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT Sunday.

A hurricane warning has been posted from San Blas to Mazatlán, including Las Islas Marias. A tropical storm warning is now in effect from Playa Perula to San Blas and from north of Mazatlán to Bahia Tempehuaya.

Up to 18 inches of rain is possible in western Jalisco, western Nayarit and southern Sinaloa in Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Up to 6 inches of rain is possible farther inland across Zacateca, Durango, southeast Chihuahua and Coahuila.

Dangerous flash flooding and landslides could occur because of the heavy rain in those areas.

After dissipating over Mexico’s mountainous terrain, the remnant upper-level energy and moisture from Willa could eventually enhance rainfall in Texas and perhaps the northern Gulf Coast Wednesday into Thursday.

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