MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Tropical storm Sandra formed far off Mexico's Pacific coast overnight on Tuesday and could become a hurricane by Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Churning 550 miles (890 km) south southwest of the port town of Manzanillo, Sandra is heading west at 13 miles per hour (20 kmh) and producing maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kmh), the NHC said.
The Miami-based center forecast that Sandra would continue to strengthen in the coming days but said it did not currently pose any hazards to land.
It was expected to weaken back to a storm and brush tourist resorts on the Baja California peninsula on Saturday, before hitting the Mexican mainland and weakening to a tropical depression.
Last month, Hurricane Patricia became one of the strongest storms ever recorded, but it landed in a relatively unpopulated part of the Pacific coast and caused much less damage than feared.
No major installations of Mexican state oil company Pemex [PEMX.UL] are in the storm's path.
(Reporting by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Simon Gardner and Steve Orlofsky)