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Hurricane Bud weakened as it neared the southwest Mexican coast, where it will probably go ashore overnight between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
The storm is expected to be “at or just below hurricane strength” when it makes landfall, the center said in an advisory issued just before 11 a.m. New York time. There is a 55 percent chance Bud will strike Mexico as a hurricane, according to Tropical Storm Risk, a London-based consortium that tracks such systems.
The storm is moving north at 7 mph and is 95 miles west- southwest of Manzanillo.
“Hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast within the hurricane warning area this afternoon,” the center said in an advisory. “Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.”
Bud, a Category 2 storm with winds of 100 miles (161 kilometers) per hour, has weakened since reaching its peak as a major Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds. The mountains of western Mexico are expected to tear the storm’s structure apart as it goes ashore and returns to the Pacific, breaking it apart in about three days.
Mexico’s weather service alerted seven states to prepare for the storm and urged people to be cautious on beaches.
A hurricane warning was in effect from Manzanillo northwest to Cabo Corrientes, and a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch were issued for Punta San Telmo to the east of Manzanillo, the Miami-based NHC said. Hurricane-force winds extend out from the center as much as 35 miles, it said.
“Everything is carrying on as normal,” Mauricio Fuentes, receptionist at the Tesoro resort in Manzanillo, said today by phone. “The hotel is open and will continue working and accepting guests until the authorities tell us we need to start evacuating them.”
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.
In the Atlantic, a low-pressure system over southern Florida and the Bahamas has a 70 percent of becoming a tropical or subtropical cyclone over the weekend, the NHC said.
The storm probably won’t reach that threshold, according to weather models, said Travis Hartman, energy weather manager and meteorologist at MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management is warning residents to pay attention to the system, which may bring heavy rains and gusty winds to the state even if it doesn’t reach tropical storm status, according to an e-mailed statement.
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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