Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tropical storm forms off Pacific coast of Mexico

 MIAMI (AP) -- Forecasters say Tropical Storm Beatriz is strengthening off the coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean and could become a hurricane by late Monday.

The National Hurricane Center said Sunday evening that rain bands have started hitting the coast. The storm is about 195 miles (315 kilometers) south of Zihuatanejo. It had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (72 kph) and was moving west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

 A hurricane warning is in effect from Zihuatanejo to Manzanillo. A hurricane watch has been issued from Manzanillo west to La Fortuna. A tropical storm warning is in effect for other parts of the Mexican coast.

The center of Beatriz is expected to approach the coast by late Monday or early Tuesday when it could be a hurricane.

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