MEXICO CITY – Tropical storm Dora strengthened on Monday in the Pacific Ocean to a Category 1 hurricane, the first of the season, and continued moving parallel to the Mexican coastline, the National Meteorological Service (SMN) reported.
At 7:00 am Monday morning, Dora was located at approximately 285 kilometers (177 miles) southwest of the Manzanillo coast in the western state of Colima, and 390 kilometers south of Cabo Corrientes in Jalisco.
The hurricane is moving west-northwest at 20 kph (12 mph) with sustained winds of 130 kph and gusts of up to 155 kph, the SMN reported.
Dora, which formed Sunday off the coast of the southern state of Guerrero, strengthened in the early hours Monday to a hurricane that is expected to continue with the same strength as it moves forward, without making landfall until Tuesday, when it will downgrade to a tropical storm.
As a result of Dora and the passing of the active tropical wave No. 7, the states of Michoacan, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas can expect intense rainstorms, according to the forecast.
Powerful storms are also expected in Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Hidalgo, Puebla, Veracruz and Tabasco, with strong storms also in Nuevo Leon, Jalisco, Colima, Mexico state, Mexico City, Morelos, Tlaxcala and Campeche.
The SMN urged people to take extreme precautions in the cited states for heavy rains, high winds and big waves (ships at sea should take note), and to follow the recommendations issued by emergency management authorities.
The Mexican government expects that this year the country will be hit by three to five tropical hurricanes, out of a total of 27 that will form in waters of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, in a season that is atypical because it is starting earlier and could coincide with the El Niño weather phenomenon.