Hurricane Orlene Strengthens as It Heads Toward Western Mexico

The National Hurricane Center says that Category 4 Hurricane Orlene is moving toward western Mexico, where it is expected to cause flooding that could kill people.

The hurricane was moving north at 7 mph on Sunday morning, about 175 miles south of Las Islas Marias, Mexico. It had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. By Sunday night, a hurricane is likely to hit Las Islas Marias, a group of islands about 60 miles off the coast of the mainland.

The CONAGUA Agency in Mexico says that Orlene is likely to hit the coast of mainland Mexico on Monday or Monday night, just south of Mazatlán, Sinaloa, where flash flooding could kill people.

Since late Saturday, when Orlene was a Category 2 storm, the steady wind speed has gone up. “Some additional strengthening is forecast through this morning, followed by weakening beginning later today and continuing until landfall,” the hurricane center said early Sunday.

Along the coast of western Mexico, the storm is likely to cause heavy rain, storm surge, and landslides. The area is expected to get 3 to 5 inches of rain, with some spots getting as much as 10 inches.

Las Islas Marias and the coast of Mexico from San Blas to Mazatlán are under a hurricane warning. A hurricane watch is in effect for the coast of mainland Mexico from Playa Perula to San Blas and from Mazatlán to Bahia Tempehuaya. This includes the city of Puerto Vallarta.

A tropical storm warning is in effect from Playa Perula to San Blas along the coast of mainland Mexico. A tropical storm watch is in place from Manzanillo to Playa Perula along the coast of Mexico.

Residents in the hurricane’s path are being told to take extreme precautions because flooding, winds and dangerous rip currents could endanger their lives.

Just a few weeks ago, Hurricane Kay hit the west coast of the central Baja California Peninsula as a Category 1 hurricane. Orlene is heading in the same direction.

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