Hurricane Hilary Strengthens in Pacific, Threatens Mexico Coast

Posted September 22nd, 2011 at 8:45 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Hurricane Hilary has strengthened into a powerful storm threatening Mexico's Pacific coast.

The National Hurricane Center said Thursday evening that Hilary had sustained winds of about 185 kilometers per hour, meaning it is now a “Category 3” storm on the five-point scale of hurricane intensity. Forecasters said the storm could grow even stronger in the coming hours.

Strong winds are already battering coastal regions in Mexico and forecasters say the gales will spread westward along the coast over the next day-and-a-half.

The National Hurricane Center is also warning of heavy rainfall in the affected area, with up to 25 centimeters possible in some places.

Mexico has issued a tropical storm warning and watch for parts of its Pacific coast.

Forecasters also are watching Tropical Storm Ophelia in the Atlantic Ocean, although it is not expected to cause problems on land.

According to the latest report from the National Hurricane Center, Ophelia is more than 1,400 kilometers east-southeast of the Leeward Islands. Forecasters noted the storm is “disorganized” and likely to weaken.