Hurricane Lidia approaches the west coast of Mexico | ET REALITY

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Hurricane Lidia was forecast to make landfall on the west coast of Mexico on Tuesday night, bringing strong winds and heavy rain that could cause flooding and landslides.

On Tuesday morning, the storm strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane. It was about 195 miles west-southwest of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s west coast and had sustained winds of 100 miles per hour, with higher gusts. . according to the National Hurricane Center. Once a storm’s winds exceed 74 mph, it is considered a hurricane.

It’s unclear exactly where on Mexico’s west coast Lidia will make landfall, but it is expected to make landfall in the Marías Islands, off the coast of Nayarit state, on Tuesday and move inland over the center. western Mexico on Tuesday night, forecasters say. . The storm was expected to strengthen as it approached land, approaching the strength of a Category 3 hurricane. It was then forecast to weaken rapidly as it moved over land.

Exact population estimates for areas that could be affected were not available, but AccuWeather forecasters said it will likely affect a “sparsely populated area.”

Hurricane conditions were expected to reach the coast Tuesday afternoon. A hurricane warning was in effect for Las Islas Marías and an area in west-central Mexico from Manzanillo to El Roblito.

On Tuesday, a tropical storm warning was in effect from El Roblito to Mazatlán and from Punta San Telmo to Manzanillo. Lidia is expected to produce four to eight inches of rain, and in some areas up to 12 inches, through Wednesday across the state of Nayarit, southern parts of Sinaloa state and coastal parts of Jalisco state in the west. of Mexico, according to the Hurricane Center. saying.

These rainfall are likely to produce flash and urban flooding, along with possible landslides in areas of higher ground near the coast. A “dangerous storm surge” is expected to cause significant coastal flooding, forecasters said.

“Preparations to protect lives and property must be completed quickly,” forecasters warned Monday.

The Lydian storm surges will affect the west coast of Mexico and the Baja California peninsula over the next few days. These storm surges are likely to cause life-threatening waves and will tear apart current conditions.

Models indicate Lidia will make landfall as a Category 1, AccuWeather meteorologist Alex DaSilva said Sunday.

The waters are warm enough for Lidia to intensify, but forecasters do not expect it to strengthen further due to wind shear, which means the wind will change direction, disrupting the storm’s formation.

A hurricane made landfall in Nayarit at the end of October last year. That storm, Hurricane Roslyn, was a Category 4 hurricane that contributed to the deaths of four people, according to the Hurricane Center.

“That was a much more important system,” DaSilva said. “Although we don’t expect it to be that strong, we are always worried about flooding.”

Inland areas of Mexico’s west coast have mountainous terrain, which means a lot of rain there can cause landslides, mudslides and other flooding problems, he said.

Johnny Diaz, claire moises and Livia Albeck-Ripka contributed with reports.

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