Hurricane Orlene made landfall in southwest Mexico on Monday as a Category 1 storm, threatening the region with significant wind, storm surge and rainfall, forecasters said.
The storm landed just north of the border between the states of Nayarit and Sinaloa around 9:45 a.m. Eastern time, with maximum sustained winds estimated to be 85 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said. Its wind speed had eased from about 100 m.p.h. and higher wind gusts during its approach earlier in the day.
Category 1 storms are hurricanes with wind speeds of 74 to 95 m.p.h. Orlene’s strength peaked as a Category 4 storm on Sunday, with maximum sustained winds of 130 m.p.h.
Nayarit and portions of Sinaloa, states along the country’s west coast, could see up to 10 inches of rain. Orlene was expected to weaken rapidly after moving onshore, the Hurricane Center said. The system is expected to dissipate on Tuesday.
A hurricane warning was posted for Las Islas Marías, an archipelago of four islands, and the coast of mainland Mexico, from San Blas to Mazatlán, meaning hurricane conditions were expected in those areas, the center said.
“Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion,” the center said.
Orlene is expected to bring flash flooding and possible landslides across southwest Mexico through Tuesday, the center said. Las Islas Marías could get up to 14 inches of rain.
A dangerous storm surge and large swells could cause perilous surf and rip current conditions, forecasters said.
Mexico’s National Water Commission said in a news release on Sunday that rain from Orlene could raise the levels of rivers and streams and potentially flood low-lying areas.
Five named storms, including Orlene, formed last month. One of them, Tropical Storm Kay, briefly reached hurricane status, landing on the coast of the Baja California peninsula in early September. Orlene’s status changed from a tropical storm to a hurricane on Saturday.
Over the past four decades, hurricanes have become stronger and wetter because of climate change. Rising sea levels are also fueling higher storm surges.