Hurricane Jova made landfall as a category 2 storm near Chamela in the Mexican state of Jalisco on the country’s southwest Pacific coast at around 06:00 UTC on October 12 (23:00 on October 11 local time), according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Winds of around 100 mph (160 kmph) were recorded when the storm came ashore and high waves and heavy rain were also reported. Jova reached a peak intensity of category 3 status as it approached Mexico but it weakened into a category 2 hurricane as it neared the coastline. The NHC said Jova was a relatively small storm when it came ashore, with hurricane force winds extending 15 miles (30 kilometers) from its center and tropical storm force winds extending 105 miles (165 kilometers).
Jova is currently located about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of Manzanillo and packs sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kmph). Jova is expected to continue to weaken rapidly as it moves further inland, with the latest NHC forecast indicating it will be downgraded to a tropical storm later today. Jova is slowly moving in a northerly direction. On this forecast track, the storm will move into western Mexico today and tonight before dissipating tomorrow.
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Warnings and Alerts
A hurricane warning remains in effect for parts of western Mexico, from Punta San Telmo northward to Cabo Corrientes. A tropical storm warning is also in place for areas to the north of the hurricane warning area. Due to the slow forward speed of the storm, hurricane conditions are likely to continue to affect communities in the hurricane warning area for several hours and will spread inland later today in a small area near its center.
The NHC said Jova is expected to bring up to 20 inches (510 millimeters) of rain to the states of Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit, enough to cause life threatening floods and mudslides. Storm surge alerts have also been issued, with forecasters warning a “dangerous” surge will produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of Jova’s landfall point. The NHC added that the surge will be accompanied by large, destructive and dangerous waves. Surfs swells generated by Jova continue to affect much of the Mexican southwestern coast, causing life threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Jova’s Impact in Western Mexico
Hurricane Jova made landfall between the popular tourist resorts of Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco State) and Manzanillo (Colima State), bringing tropical storm force winds to both cities. There have been some early reports of damage but only limited information is available at this time. AIR Worldwide said disruption to communities in Jova’s immediate path could be considerable as the storm’s powerful winds and heavy rain are likely to down trees and damage properties. Reports said the states of Jalisco, Colima and Nayarit are expected to be significantly impacted by Jova, with more than 180,000 people located directly in the storm’s path.
Reports said shops and businesses in the states of Jalisco and Colima were boarded up ahead of Jova’s arrival. Hundreds of people were also advised to leave their homes in these states and more than 300 soldiers were deployed to aid relief efforts. Several ports, including Manzanillo and Nuevo Vallarta, have also been shut. The mayor of Manzanillo said 36 shelters were open in the city and authorities had built barricades to prevent flooding. More than 100 shelters were also open in Jalisco State. Hotel resorts have also been affected by Jova’s severe weather as several tourists were forced to evacuate the area, leaving beachfront hotels deserted.
Sources: National Hurricane Center, WSI, Associated Press, Reuters News, Agence France Presse, AIR Worldwide, BBC News, CNN News
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