MEXICO CITY - Hurricane Orlene barrelled towards Mexico's south-western coast as a dangerous Category 3 storm and is expected to dump torrential rains even as it is forecast to weaken in the coming days, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said on Sunday.
Orlene, which is packing maximum sustained winds near 205kmh, with higher gusts, is projected to pass near or over Mexico's Islas Marias on Sunday night or Monday morning, the Miami-based NHC said in its latest public advisory.
"Orlene has likely peaked in intensity," said the NHC.
Despite forecast weakening, the storm is seen reaching mainland Mexico's coast as a hurricane on Monday.
"After landfall, rapid weakening is expected and the low-level centre should dissipate over the mountainous terrain of south-western Mexico in 60-72 hours," said the NHC, adding that torrential rains could lead to flash flooding, as well as possible landslides in areas of rugged terrain.
Islas Marias could see 15cm to 25cm of rain, the Mexican states of Nayarit and Sinaloa 7.6cm to 38cm, with local amounts of up to 25cm, and Jalisco and Colima some 2.54cm to 7.6cm, with isolated areas of as much as 32cm.
The storm was currently located 152km south-west of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico.
Mexico's civil protection agency announced on Twitter the closure of ports in Nayarit, Jalisco and Colima. REUTERS