Bud weakened to a tropical storm heading toward Mexico’s southwestern coast near Puerto Vallarta, where it will probably hover through the weekend.
The storm’s winds diminished to 50 miles (85 kilometers) per hour, down from 70 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at about 11 p.m. New York time yesterday. Bud is expected to continue to weaken, the center said.
“We think the issue will not be the wind but the rainfall,” said Dan Kottlowski, lead hurricane forecaster for AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.
The storm is 15 miles south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico, moving north at 7 mph, according to the advisory. Bud’s center will be near or over Mexico’s coast today and tomorrow, the advisory shows.
The Miami-based center issued tropical storm warnings late yesterday for the U.S. east coast from Florida to South Carolina as storm Beryl approached.
Beryl was 285 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina, and will bring higher than normal tides and rain, according to a 2 a.m. advisory from the center. Its maximum sustained winds were at 45 miles per hour and the storm was moving west at 2 miles per hour, the center reported.
After Bud goes ashore, it is expected to move along the coast before drifting back out into the Pacific, the NHC said.
A mixture of dry air and wind shear diminished the storm, which was a major Category 3 hurricane yesterday, an NHC forecast analysis posted at 5 p.m. New York time yesterday said. The mountains of western Mexico may separate Bud’s top layer from its surface winds, breaking the storm apart later this weekend.
Kottlowski said Bud won’t be able to re-form because it will have been too damaged and the water off the coast is too cool.
Mexico’s weather service alerted seven states to prepare for the storm and urged people to be cautious on beaches.
The government of Mexico changed a hurricane warning to a tropical storm warning for the coast from Manzanillo northwest to Cabo Corrientes and discontinued the hurricane watch and tropical storm warning for the coast east of Manzanillo to Punta San Telmo, the NHC said.
Tropical storm force winds extend out from the center as much as 80 miles, it said.
Manzanillo’s port is known for container facilities as well as being a destination for cruise ships, while Puerto Vallarta and its beaches have long been a destination for tourists from the U.S. and Canada.
When a system’s winds reach 39 mph, it’s given a name and officially becomes a tropical storm. A storm becomes a hurricane when its winds reach 74 mph.
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