Friday, April 12, 2024

Hurricane Lidia approaches Puerto Vallarta

Hurricane Lidia – a category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour at midday Tuesday – is bearing down on a stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast where the resort city of Puerto Vallarta is located.

The United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in a statement at 12 p.m. Mexico City time that Lidia “should make landfall within the hurricane warning area” between Manzanillo, Colima, and El Roblito, Nayarit, on Tuesday evening or overnight.

That area encompasses the entire coast of Jalisco, including Puerto Vallarta, the northernmost coastal municipality in the state.

Other municipalities in the hurricane warning area include Cabo Corrientes in Jalisco and Bahía de Banderas, Compostela and San Blas in Nayarit.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday morning that Lidia was “expected to sweep over a spit of land around Cabo Corrientes before hitting the bay where Puerto Vallarta is located, which could cushion the blow somewhat.”

At midday, Lidia was 260 kilometers southwest of Puerto Vallarta and moving in an east-northeasterly direction at 24 km/h, the NHC said.

Category 3 Hurricane Lidia will touch down by Tuesday night near Puerto Vallarta. (@ddmexico/X)

“A faster east-northeast motion is expected through tonight,” the Florida-based forecaster said, adding that maximum sustained winds had increased to near 185 km/h with higher gusts.

“Additional strengthening is forecast and Lidia will likely be at or near major hurricane strength when it reaches the coast. Rapid weakening is expected after Lidia moves inland,” the NHC said.

The center said that hurricane conditions were expected to reach the warning area later on Tuesday afternoon.

“Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion,” it said.

The NHC also said that tropical storm conditions were expected this afternoon between Punta San Telmo, Michoacán, and Manzanillo, and between El Roblito and Mazatlán, Sinaloa.

The center said that Lidia is expected to produce rainfall totals of 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) across Nayarit, southern parts of Sinaloa and the coast of Jalisco. Local maximums could reach 12 inches (30 cm), it said.

The eye of the storm is visible just off the coast of Jalisco. Dangerous storm surges are expected to develop over the next few hours. (noaa.gov)

“These rains will likely produce flash and urban flooding, along with possible mudslides in areas of higher terrain near the coast,” the NHC said.

The center also warned of a “dangerous storm surge” that is “expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the south of where the center [of Lidia] makes landfall.”

“Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves,” it added.

Authorities in Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Baja California Sur canceled classes in some or all municipalities within their borders due to the proximity of Lidia. Residents of some coastal communities have already left their homes for shelters, which have been set up in several municipalities including Puerto Vallarta.

Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro said on X, formerly Twitter, that an “emergency operations center” has been set up in Puerto Vallarta and that authorities from all three levels of government will work from there “to protect Jalisco residents” as Lidia approaches and passes over the state.

Authorities in Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit have all made preparations for the arrival of the powerful hurricane.

Towns along the hurricane’s path are preparing for coastal flooding from Lidia. (@PacoGuillenMX/X)

Lidia is the 12th named storm of the 2023 Pacific hurricane season, which began on May 15 and runs through Nov. 30.

Tropical Storm Max, the 13th named storm, made landfall in Guerrero on Monday, bringing heavy rain that caused the loss of two lives in separate incidents.

Mexico News Daily 

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