JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Pacific Hurricane Willa is a powerful Category 4 hurricane that will impact Jacksonville long after it weakens in the Mountains of Mexico this week.
Willa is expected to hit mainland Mexico Tuesday evening between Rancheria Palmito del Verde and Ejido Cristo Rey.
Models indicate the moisture will move into the Gulf Wednesday and begin spreading into north Florida Thursday.
Impacts to Northeast Florida
Thursday local winds increase to 20-35 mph as the low nears Louisiana magnifying a local Nor'easter with persistent rain and clouds.
Friday, the low will cross north Florida, continuing steady wet conditions through the morning while breaking up into a cloudy afternoon.
During the evening the low pulls down the coldest air of the season dropping lows into the upper 40s for Saturday. Clouds linger through the day with breezy NW winds and cool highs in the 60s.
It is rare for tropical cyclones to cross from the Pacific into the Gulf or Caribbean Sea but the potential exists for Hurricane Willa's remnants to soak areas from Texas to Florida later this week.
Since Willa would likely lose its tropical circulation, a new name would be given to the system if it reformed in the northern Gulf.
Storms keep their name crossing from one basin to another but prior to 2000, storms were renamed after crossing from the Gulf of Mexico into the Eastern Pacific.
Hurricane Otto in 2016 was the first storm to cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific under this rule.
Tropical Storm Hermine developed in the Pacific first as Tropical Depression 11E and passed through the mountainous terrain of Oaxaca and Chiapas Mexico and into the southern Gulf of Mexico.
It then strengthened to near-hurricane strength resulting in flooding from Guatemala northwards to Oklahoma in early September 2010.