Hurricane Orlene passes Category 3 as it heads for western Mexico

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The rapidly intensifying Category 3 Hurricane Orlene is approaching western Mexico, where it is expected to cause life-threatening flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center.

With maximum sustained winds of 185 km/h, the hurricane was moving north at 8 km/h on Sunday morning, about 329 km south of Las Islas Marias, Mexico, the center said.

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Orlene is expected to reach the coast of mainland Mexico on Monday or Monday evening, arriving south of Mazatlán, Sinaloa, where life-threatening flash floods are a concern, according to Mexican news agency Conagua.

Hurricane conditions are expected through Sunday night on Islas Marias, with tropical storm conditions starting earlier in the day.

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Orlene’s wind speed increased by 56 km/h over a 12-hour period, meteorologists said.

“Some further strengthening is expected this morning, followed by a weakening starting today and continuing through to landfall,” the hurricane center said.

The storm is expected to produce heavy rain, which could lead to flooding and landslides in western Mexico. Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa can see almost 150 millimeters of rain from Sunday to Monday.

Strong winds between 59 and 69 km/h and wave heights of 2 to 4 meters are also a threat.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Las Islas Marias and the coast of mainland Mexico, from San Blas to Mazatlán; from Playa Perula to San Blas; and from Mazatlán to Bahia Tempehuaya, including the city of Puerto Vallarta.

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

Residents in the hurricane’s path are being advised to take extreme precautions due to the potential for life-threatening flooding, wind and dangerous currents.

Orlene is approaching Mexico just weeks after Hurricane Kay made landfall along the west coast of Baja California’s central peninsula as a Category 1 hurricane.

Source: CNN Brasil

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