A hurricane warning has been issued for Mexico as Hurricane Katia is set to strike the country by early Saturday.
A hurricane warning is in effect for an area ranging from Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde, where the storm is expected to make landfall. A tropical storm warning is in effect for an area north of Cabo Rojo to Rio Panuco and south of Laguna Verde to Puerto Veracruz.
According to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katia currently has maximum sustained winds near 90 mph, and some additional strengthening is forecast over the next day. That means that the storm could be near major hurricane strength when it makes landfall.
The storm is expected to produce a dangerous storm surge as much as five to seven feet above normal tide levels, as well as destructive waves, near and to the north of the landfall area. Total rain accumulations are expected to be 10 to 15 inches over northern Veracruz, eastern Hidalgo and Puebla, with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches possible in northern Veracruz, eastern Hidalgo, Puebla and San Luis Potosi. The rain may bring life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in mountainous areas. Rainfall between two and five inches is also possible over southern Tamaulipas, eastern San Luis Potosi, western Hidalgo, eastern Queretaro and southern Veracruz through Saturday evening.
The storm is set to strike as the country is still reeling from the aftereffects of the biggest earthquake to hit Mexico in a century. The earthquake was centered off the opposite coast of the landfall area, near Chiapas, with Chiapas and Oaxaca being hardest-hit. Shaking was also felt in Mexico City, Guatemala City, Puebla and San Salvador.
The storms have prompted airlines to issue change waivers.
American Airlines customers traveling through Mexico City and Puebla September 8 – 9 can rebook through September 11 between the same city pair in the same cabin (or pay the difference).
United Airlines customers set to fly through those cities, as well as Tampico and Veracruz, from September 8 – 9, can rebook through September 12 in the originally ticketed cabin between the same city pair.
Delta customers flying through Mexico City through September 9 can rebook through September 12, with rebooked travel to begin no later than that date.