Hurricane Orlene made landfall over southwestern Mexico as a Category 1 storm Monday morning.
Forecasters expected the weakened hurricane to dump heavy rainfall and spread dangerous storm surges over parts of Mexico’s coast.
Orlene has fluctuated in strength since forming late Thursday, according to AccuWeather, growing to a Category 4 on Friday with 130 mph winds and downgrading to a Category 1 by Monday. The storm already brought strong winds and drenching downpours toward Mexico as it neared the southwestern coast prior to landfall Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Orlene is the eastern Pacific’s ninth storm of the 2022 season. Here’s what to know.
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When did Orlene make landfall?
Orlene came ashore Monday morning at 9:45 am Eastern Time north of the border between the Mexican states of Nayarit Sinaloa with estimated maximum winds of 85 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Before making landfall, Orlene moved north-northeast at about 9 mph with maximum sustained winds near 100 mph — at Category 2 strength.
Widespread wind gusts could ramp up to between 80 to 100 mph, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Adam Douty told USA TODAY. The hardest-hit areas near Orlene’s center could feel like close to 120 mph, he said.
Sustained winds of 44 mph and a like of 81 mph were reported near Felipe Angeles in the state of Nayarit around the time of landfall, according to the NHC.
How will Orlene impact Mexico?
The National Hurricane Center issued hurricane warnings for the coast of mainland Mexico, including a 175-mile stretch of western coastline between San Blas and Mazatlan and Islas Marias, a former prison colony located 62 miles off the coast of Nayarit.
Douty said other than isolated wind likes around 50 miles inland, the storm’s strongest winds were likely to be confined to areas closer to Mexico’s coast as Orlene weakened.
Parts of western Mexico could experience flash flooding and mudslides as Orlene could dump up to 10 inches of rain over Islas Marias and up to 6 inches in Nayarit and southern Sinaloa, according to the NHC.
Islas Marias and mainland Mexico could be hit with dangerous storm surges and coastal flooding, while large swells from Orlene were expected to trigger life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, NHC forecasters reported.
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Where will Orlene go after landfall?
Following its landfall Monday morning, Orlene’s northward motion was expected to continue over the next day, and NOAA forecasters did not anticipate much change in its strength before it reached Mexico’s coast.
As the storm moved farther inland, it was expected to weaken rapidly and dissipate by Monday night or Tuesday, the NHC reported.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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