Hurricane Willa-spawned system to bring rain, wind to Wilmington area

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The storm is deteriorating over Mexico, but a new system forming off Texas from it will bring wind and rain to Southeastern NC

WILMINGTON – Hurricane Willa won’t affect Southeastern North Carolina directly, but a new system spawned from the remnants of the monster storm will bring rain and wind to the Cape Fear region.

Willa developed in the Pacific Ocean last week before strengthening to a Category 5 hurricane over the weekend and eventually making landfall in Mexico as a Category 3 storm on Tuesday.

Reid Hawkins, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office, cautioned that the system that will travel up the East Coast affect this region later in the week is not strictly Willa.

“I hesitate to call it Willa because this is a new low pressure center at the surface that will form off the southeastern Texas coast,” he said. “But the upper level disturbance that’s left over from Willa is a factor.”

The region can expect to see up to 1 1/2 inches of rain — most of which will fall Friday — as well as an increased risk of thunderstorms and gusty winds, Hawkins said. The effects will start to show late Thursday.

“Good news, it will be moving pretty quickly,” he added.

Reports out of Mexico Wednesday said Willa had weakened before hitting the mainland, but the hurricane still struck the country’s Pacific coast with 120 mph winds and torrential rains, prompting evacuations in several coastal and inland states.

Reporter Hunter Ingram can be reached at 910-343-2327 or