Tropical Storm Pamela is expected to slam into the western coast of Mexico as a hurricane early Wednesday morning, possibly bringing life-threatening surges and dangerous winds as it makes landfall, the US National Hurricane Center warned.
Overnight, Pamela was forecast to pass over the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula before accelerating towards the Pacific port city Mazatlan with tropical-storm-force winds estimated to start around 2 am (0800 GMT).
“Restrengthening 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.
Pamela was centered about 170 miles (275 kilometers) west-southwest from Mazatlan as of the NHC’s latest warning at 0300 GMT Tuesday. It was moving northeast at about 12 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
The Miami-based center said there was a “significant” threat of flash flooding and mudslides as Pamela tracked into the Mexican states Sinaloa, Durango and Baja.
Storm surges could produce “significant” coastal flooding and “large and destructive waves,” the center added.
The remnants of the storm could drench portions of the US states of Texas and Oklahoma by late Wednesday and Thursday with the potential for “considerable flash and urban flooding impacts.”
Because of its location, Mexico is often hit by tropical storms and hurricanes on both its Pacific and Atlantic coasts.
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.
In September, Hurricane Olaf made landfall on the Baja California peninsula, causing minor damage.