Category 3 Willa hit Mexico's coast near the town of Isla del Bosque in the state of Sinaloa, where thousands of people had been evacuated from low-lying areas.
Forecasters said Category 3 Hurricane Willa made landfall on Mexico's coast near the town of Isla del Bosque in the state of Sinaloa.
The US National Hurricane Center said Willa's maximum winds were 195 kph (120 mph) when it hit the coast about 80 kilometres (50 miles) southeast of Mazatlan. It's heading to the north-northeast at 17kph (10 mph).
Mexican emergency officials say they evacuated more than 4,250 people in towns along the Pacific coast before the storm arrived.
Authorities earlier rushed to evacuate low-lying areas and set up shelters as the "extremely dangerous" Hurricane Willa was expected to make landfall along a stretch of Mexico's Pacific coast dotted with high-rise resorts, surfing beaches and fishing villages.
Farther south, meanwhile, Mexican officials reported 12 deaths related to heavy rains from Tropical Storm Vicente.
Willa briefly reached Category 5 strength, then weakened a bit to Category 3, with maximum sustained winds of near 200 kph (125 mph). But the US National Hurricane Center warned that it still was likely to bring "life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall" to parts of west-central and southwestern Mexico.
Workers taped up windows in hotels and officials ordered schools closed in a low-lying region where towns sit amid farmland tucked between the sea and lagoons. A decree of "extraordinary emergency" was issued for 19 municipalities in Nayarit and Sinaloa states, the federal Interior Department announced.
The hurricane was nearing the Islas Marias, a group of islands about 96 km (60 miles) offshore that include a nature preserve and a federal prison.
Forecasters said Willa would then blow ashore in late afternoon somewhere along a 220-km (140-mile) stretch from the resort city of Mazatlan to San Blas.
While Willa is likely to weaken somewhat, forecasters said it is still expected to be a powerful Category 3 storm when it hits land.
TRT World speaks with Paulina Gomez.
Enrique Moreno, mayor of Escuinapa, a municipality of about 60,000 people lying on Willa's potential track, said officials were trying to evacuate everybody in the seaside village of Teacapan. He estimated 3,000 were affected, but he expected some would try to stay.
"The people don't want to evacuate, but it's for their security," he said.
About 100 km (60 miles) up the coast in Mazatlan, with a metropolitan-area population of about 500,000, Mayor Jose Joel Boucieguez said officials prepared shelters and were closely monitoring low-lying areas. Mazatlan is a popular vacation spot and home to a large number of American and Canadian expatriates.
The US hurricane centre warned that Willa could bring 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 inches) of rain — with up to 45 cm (18 inches) in some places — to parts of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states, with flash flooding and landslides possible in mountainous areas.
Farther to the south, Tropical Storm Vicente had weakened to a tropical depression early Tuesday, but it was still bringing heavy rainfall that caused dangerous flooding in southern and southwestern Mexico.
Officials in Oaxaca state said seven adults and five children had lost their lives in drownings or mudslides.