Hurricane Jova closed in on Mexico's Pacific coast early Tuesday, a weakening but still powerful Category 3 storm slowly approaching the southwestern coast of Mexico. At 800 am PDT/1500 UTC the center of Hurricane Jova was located near latitude 17.8 north, longitude 105.6 west. Jova is moving toward the north-northeast near 5 mph/7 km/h. This general motion is expected to continue today with a slight increase in forward speed.
A turn toward the north is forecast tonight. On the forecast track the center of the hurricane will approach the coast of Mexico today and cross the coast this evening or early tonight. Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph/185 km/h with higher gusts. Jova is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.
Fluctuations in strength are possible before landfall with weakening expected after the center crosses the coast. An Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft is currently en Route to investigate Jova. Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach the coast of Mexico within the southern portion of the warning area within the next several hours. Hurricane conditions are forecast to reach the coast within the Hurricane Warning area by this afternoon.
Storm surge...a dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Near the coast the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
Jova is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches over the states of Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit with possible isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides over mountainous terrain. Swells generated by Jova are affecting portions of the coast of southwestern Mexico. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
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