Storm Carlotta Has Potential Of A Category 2

By: CNN (posted by Justin Surrency) Email
By: CNN (posted by Justin Surrency) Email

CNN-Powerful storm Carlotta has intensified into a hurricane off the western coast of Mexico.

The storm was about 120 miles (195 kilometers) south-southeast of Puerto Angel, Mexico, and 330 miles (530 kilometers) southeast of the resort town of Acapulco early Friday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The storm, with sustained winds near 80 mph (130 kph), was moving toward the northwest at 12 mph, the center said. That motion is expected to continue until Saturday morning, when the center said it expects it to slow and turn toward the west-northwest.

The storm is expected to strengthen rapidly, possibly becoming a Category 2 hurricane before the eye reaches the coast, the center said.

A storm becomes a hurricane when its sustained winds reach 74 mph. A storm is classified as Category 2 when the winds reach 96 mph.

A hurricane warning is in effect for parts of the Pacific coast of Mexico, from the seaport city of Salina Cruz to Acapulco. A warning means hurricane conditions are expected.

A hurricane watch -- which means hurricane conditions are possible -- has been issued for coastal areas east of Salina Cruz to Barra de Tonala and west of Acapulco to Tecpan de Galeana.

The center said a "dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding" north and east of the storm's center. Near the coast the surge will likely cause destructive waves, the National Hurricane Center said.

Rainfall could cause "life-threatening" flash floods and mudslides, the center said, with isolated areas along the Oaxaca coast likely to get 12 to 15 inches of rain.

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