Storm Hilary strengthens off Mexico's west coast

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 21, 2011 11:08 PM

(Reuters) - Tropical Storm Hilary formed off Mexico's Pacific coast on Wednesday and forecasters said it was likely to become a hurricane on Thursday, although its path will probably only brush the coast.

The storm was 95 miles south of the popular resort of Puerto Escondido in the state of Oaxaca, with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h), the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.

"Strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Hilary is expected to become a hurricane late tomorrow," the center said.

The storm is expected to dump 3 to 5 inches of rain across parts of the Mexican states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero, home to the holiday resort of Acapulco.

(Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz and Elinor Comlay)