An intensifying and dangerous hurricane in tropical eastern Pacific Ocean is set to slam into Mexico's west coast tomorrow.

With sustained winds of 257km/h and an estimated central pressure of 925 millibars, Hurricane Willa reached "potentially catastrophic" Category five intensity today, the National Hurricane Centre said.

The storm is expected to crash ashore between Mazatlan (to the north) and Puerto Vallarta (to the south) tomorrow.

Although Willa is unlikely to directly hit those two population centres, several moderately sized cities are near its path, such as Escuinapa, Mexico, with roughly 30,000 residents.

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Hurricane warnings stretch from San Blas to Mazatlan along Mexico's coast, including Las Islas Marias.

This zone should expect a life-threatening storm surge, extreme hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall as the storm roars inland.

"Residents should rush preparations to completion to protect life and property and follow any advice given by local officials," the Hurricane Centre said.