The first eastern Pacific hurricane of the 2012 season, named Bud, strengthened to a category two storm off the southwestern Mexican coast, the US National Hurricane Center said Thursday.
The storm was no immediate threat to land as it roiled the sea some 280 miles (445 kilometers) southwest of the coastal town of Manzanillo, with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles (165 kilometers) per hour, according to the US monitors.
The NHC however issued a tropical storm watch for the coastline from Punto San Telmo to La Fortuna, indicating that storm conditions were possible within the next 48 hours.
The storm was moving to the north at a speed of eight miles (13 kilometers) per hour and was not expected to approach the Mexican coast until late Friday, at which point it was expected to weaken slightly.
Storm swells causing “life-threatening surf and rip current conditions” were expected along portions of the southern and southwestern coast of Mexico later on Thursday, the hurricane center said.
[This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite image shows Hurricane Bud in the eastern Pacific Ocean. AFP Photo]