Bloomberg News

Hurricane Jova Heads for Mexico Coast as Warnings Issued

October 11, 2011

(Updates with location of Jova in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Hurricane Jova prompted Mexico’s government to issue storm warnings as the Category 3 weather system moved toward the nation’s southwestern Pacific coast.

Jova, with maximum sustained winds of 115 miles (185 kilometers) per hour, is expected to come ashore today as a major hurricane, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in an advisory at 5 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. Storm warnings were issued for the area north of Cabo Corrientes northward to San Blas, and north of San Blas to El Roblito.

“The concern right now is we have a seaport in Manzanillo that faces south, and if this hurricane comes up right into the harbor, it can bring a powerful storm surge,” Dan Kottlowski, a meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania, said yesterday. “Jova is a small hurricane and that is one positive thing about it.”

The storm is 130 miles southwest of Manzanillo and about 195 miles south of Cabo Corrientes and is moving north-northeast at 6 miles an hour, according to the NHC.

Jova’s hurricane-strength winds of 74 mph or more extend only 15 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds of 39 mph reach out 90 miles from the core, according to the hurricane center. That size will limit the impact.

In comparison, just before Hurricane Irene struck North Carolina in August, hurricane-strength winds extended 90 miles from the center and tropical storm power reached out 260 miles, according to hurricane center records.

Flooding Expected

The Mexican government has also issued a hurricane warning for Punta San Telmo north to Cabo Corrientes, and a tropical- storm warning from Lazaro Cardenas to south of Punta San Telmo, the center said.

“A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the center makes landfall,” the NHC said in today’s report. “Near the coast the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.”

Twenty inches (51 centimeters) of rain is possible in some places, the center said.

Kottlowski said the Mexican government does a good job evacuating its residents and given the storm’s slow forward speed there should be enough time to prepare. How much damage the storm does will depend on whether it makes a direct hit on the port at Manzanillo, he said.

Tropical Storm Irwin weakened to a tropical depression, according to a hurricane center advisory. Maximum sustained winds fell to 35 mph. Irwin was about 645 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California and moving east at 8 mph.

The center is monitoring a third system about 300 miles south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec moving north-northeastward at 5 to 10 mph. The system has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next two days, it said in an outlook.

“Interests along the Pacific coasts of southeastern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua should monitor the progress of this disturbance,” the center said.

--With assistance from Christian Schmollinger in Singapore, Tony C. Dreibus in London and Lynn Doan in San Francisco. Editors: Tony Barrett, John Viljoen

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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