Tropical Storm Blas likely to be hurricane off south Mexico

MEXICO CITYit (AP) — Tropical Storm Blas, the second named storm of the eastern Pacific season, was forecast to become a hurricane Wednesday off southern Mexico, though it wasn’t expected to pose a threat to land.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that after reaching hurricane force, Blas would likely begin weakening later in the week as it moved out into the open ocean.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph) Tuesday night. It was centered about 290 miles (465 kilometers) south-southeast of the Mexican port of Manzanillo and moving north at 5 mph (7 kph).

The hurricane center said that even though the storm wasn’t forecast to make landfall, it could still cause dangerous surf conditions along the coast.

The Pacific season’s first named storm, Hurricane Agatha, came ashore near Puerto Angel in Oaxaca state on May 30 with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph (165 kph). Authorities said flooding and mudslides caused by Agatha’s heavy rains killed at least nine people, with five others missing and suspected to be dead.

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