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Hurricane Bud will begin to lash the Mexican coast in a few hours before going ashore late today with heavy rains that may cause flash floods and mudslides, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Bud, a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 miles (175 kilometers) per hour, weakened slightly overnight from its peak as a major Category 3 storm status on the five-step Saffir- Simpson scale. The storm is about 105 miles southwest of the Mexican port of Manzanillo and moving north-northeast at 8 mph.
“Hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast within the hurricane warning area this afternoon,” the center said in an advisory just before 8 a.m. New York time. “Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.”
While Bud’s winds peaked at 115 mph overnight, it may still be a Category 2 storm when it goes ashore in Mexico later today between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. It is then expected to reverse course, weaken and drift back out to sea tomorrow, dropping as much as 15 inches of rain in some areas.
“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.
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.
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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