Hurricane Roslyn becomes Category 4 and heads towards Mexico

Hurricane Roslyn is expected to bring high winds and heavy rain to west-central Mexico as it passes near the Pacific coast on Saturday, forecasters said.

Residents of affected areas, which include the popular resort town of Puerto Vallarta and other coastal towns in Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa, have been urged to complete hurricane preparations due to high winds. The hurricane is expected to make landfall Sunday morning.

Roslyn became a Category 4 hurricane on Saturday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center, meaning its wind speeds were between 130 and 156 miles per hour. As of 8 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday, the hurricane was about 90 miles southwest of Cabo Corrientes in Jalisco and moving north at 10 mph, the agency said.

The center of the storm was expected to move north parallel to the southwest coast of Mexico during the day Saturday before approaching west-central Mexico, where it was expected to make landfall along the coast. from the Mexican state of Nayarit on Sunday morning.

Although the hurricane may weaken Saturday evening, Roslyn is expected to be “at or near major hurricane strength when it makes landfall on Sunday,” the National Hurricane Center said.

Las Islas Marias, a four-island archipelago off Nayarit, and the area from Playa Perula in Jalisco in the north to Escuinapa in Sinaloa were under a hurricane warning, which is issued 36 hours before the start of the storm. Tropical storm force winds and mean hurricane conditions are expected. The area along Mexico’s coast from El Roblito to Escuinapa was also under a hurricane warning. People under hurricane warnings should take full hurricane precautions and be ready for evacuation orders. Hurricane-force winds were expected in this area in the afternoon.

A hurricane watch, issued 48 hours ahead of forecast tropical storm winds, was in effect from Escuinapa north to Mazatlán in Sinaloa state. The region could face hurricane-like conditions on Sunday, forecasters said.

A tropical storm warning was in effect from Playa Perula south to Manzanillo, where tropical storm conditions were expected Saturday, and from Escuinapa north to Mazatlán, where tropical storm conditions were expected Sunday.

The governor of the state of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro, said on Twitter that school and tourist activities were suspended in coastal towns during the weekend. Some 270 people were evacuated from the town of La Huerta as a precaution, he said, and shelters were set up there and in Puerto Vallarta.

Significant coastal flooding is expected near and to the east of where the hurricane makes landfall.

As of 8 p.m. EST on Saturday, Roslyn’s maximum sustained winds had reached 130 mph with even stronger gusts. Forecasters expected the storm to strengthen further on Saturday and become or be close to a major hurricane – that is, Category 3 or higher – when it makes landfall. The weakest major hurricane can damage homes and snap and uproot trees, while the strongest can destroy homes and cause catastrophic damage that isolates communities.

Forecasters have warned that the rain could lead to flash flooding and landslides in areas with rough terrain.

In Jalisco, rainfall of four to eight inches was expected, with a maximum of 10 inches along the north coast. In the upper Colima coast, western Nayarit and southeast Sinaloa, four to six inches of rainfall was expected, with a maximum of eight inches. In Michoacán, the lower coast of Colima and southern Durango, one to three inches of rain were expected.

Roslyn should weaken quickly after making landfall, as it moves through the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains.

The links between hurricanes and climate change are becoming clearer every year. Data shows that hurricanes have become stronger around the world over the past four decades. A warming planet can expect stronger hurricanes over time and a higher incidence of the most powerful storms, although the total number of storms may fall as factors such as stronger wind shear strong could prevent the formation of weaker storms.

Hurricanes also become wetter due to more water vapor in the warmer atmosphere. Scientists have suggested that storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produced far more rain than they would have without human effects on the climate. In addition, sea level rise contributes to increased storm surges, the most destructive element of tropical cyclones.