Hurricane Orlene quickly strengthened as it swirled toward the Pacific Northwest coast of Mexico, likely with close contact with former prison islands developed by the government as an ecotourism destination.
MEXICO — Hurricane Orlene quickly strengthened as it swirled toward the Pacific Northwest coast of Mexico, likely with close contact with former prison islands developed by the government as an ecotourism destination.
After becoming a hurricane on Saturday, Orlene quickly added power and its maximum sustained winds reached 110 mph (175 km/h) on Saturday evening, just below the threshold for a major Category 3 storm.
The US National Hurricane Center said Orlene was centered about 160 miles (255 kilometers) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes and moving north at 5 mph (7 km/h).
The center said the storm would likely strengthen further on Sunday and then begin to weaken as it moved closer to land.
Orlene was expected to pass near or over the former Mexican penal colony of Islas Marias on Monday morning and make landfall Monday evening in Sinaloa state, somewhere in the region around the resort town of Mazatlan.
Orlene could bring heavy rain and high winds to the Pacific Coast resort town of Puerto Vallarta as it passes offshore on Sunday, forecasters said. Puerto Vallarta closed its port to ship and boat traffic on Saturday as a precaution.
Mexico’s National Water Commission said Orlene could cause “mudslides, higher levels of rivers and streams, and flooding in low-lying areas.”
The hurricane center described Orlene as a small storm, with hurricane-force winds extending about 10 miles (20 kilometers) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds out to 60 miles (95 kilometers).