Storm Otis is rapidly strengthening.
Category 5 storm Otis is expected to make landfall near Acapulco, Mexico, on Wednesday morning, threatening to hit the coast with destructive winds and a “catastrophic storm surge.”
As of Tuesday night, Otis had sustained winds of 160 mph, while its center was 55 miles south-southeast of Acapulco, moving north-northwest at 9 mph. Landslide is expected early Wednesday morning near or west of the city, a beach resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast, the hurricane center said.
A hurricane warning is in effect for Punta Maldonado westward to Zihuatanejo. A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning are active from Lagunas de Sacahua to Punta Maldonado.
Otis’ primary threats are damaging winds, heavy rainfall and dangerous storm surge.
Wind gusts of up to 73 mph are expected to reach Mexico Pacific Beach on Tuesday evening and then spread to other areas throughout Wednesday.
Otis is also predicted to create life-threatening turbulence and create current conditions. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles, the hurricane center explained.
Those winds are forecast to combine with a “potentially catastrophic storm surge” that could cause life-threatening coastal flooding near where it is predicted to make landfall Wednesday morning.
“Closer to the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves,” the hurricane center said.
In addition, from 8 to 16 Inches of rain totals are expected through the weekend, with some areas receiving as much as 20 inches. The hurricane center warned that heavy rains could cause flash and urban flooding and landslides in high-lying areas.
If Otis makes landfall as a Category 5 hurricane, it would be the first Category 5 landfall in the eastern Pacific, according to the NOAA hurricane database. Previous strong landslide Hurricane Patricia in 2015It made landfall as a category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph.