Hurricane Orlene strengthens off Mexico’s Pacific coast

Weather

This satellite image taken at 20:20 UTC and provided by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Orlene on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Orlene grew to hurricane strength Saturday and is heading for an expected landfall early next week on Mexico’s northwestern Pacific coast. (NOAA via AP)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane Orlene strengthened Saturday while heading for an expected landfall early next week on Mexico’s northwestern Pacific coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Orlene had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph at midafternoon. It was centered about 195 miles south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes and moving north at 5 mph.

On Sunday night or early Monday, Orlene’s eye is expected to pass near or over the Islas Marias, a former Mexican penal colony that the government is trying to convert into an ecotourism center.

The storm is forecast to make landfall Monday or Monday night in Sinaloa state, in the region around the resort city of Mazatlan.

Orlene might bring heavy rains and high winds to the Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta as it passes offshore, forecasters said. Puerto Vallarta closed its port to ship and boat traffic Saturday as a precaution.

Mexico’s National Water Commission said Orlene could cause “mudslides, rising river and stream levels, and flooding in low-lying areas.”

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