The US National Hurricane Center has warned that Tropical Storm Pamela would slam into the western coast of Mexico as a hurricane early Wednesday morning, potentially bringing life-threatening surges and deadly gusts.
Pamela was expected to pass over the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula overnight before accelerating towards the Pacific port city of Mazatlán, with tropical storm-force winds beginning around 2 a.m. (0800 GMT).
“Re-strengthening is expected overnight, and Pamela is forecast to regain hurricane strength before it reaches the coast of west-central Mexico Wednesday morning,” the NHC said.
At the time of the NHC’s last warning at 0300 GMT Tuesday, Pamela was centered about 170 miles (275 kilometers) west-southwest of Mazatlán. With maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, it was traveling northeast at roughly 12 miles per hour.
As Pamela moved towards the Mexican states of Sinaloa, Durango, and Baja, the Miami-based center warned of a “high” risk of flash flooding and mudslides.
Storm surges could produce “significant” coastal flooding and “large and destructive waves,” the center added.
Mexico is frequently impacted by tropical storms and hurricanes on both its Pacific and Atlantic coasts due to its location.
In August, Hurricane Nora made landfall in the Pacific state of Jalisco, killing a child and leaving one person missing.
Hurricane Grace left at least 11 dead on the eastern coast of Mexico’s mainland the same month.
Hurricane Olaf hit the Baja California peninsula in September, causing only minimal damage.