The first tropical storm of the season in the eastern Pacific, Adrian, strengthened to just below hurricane level, prompting storm watches along the Mexican coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
The system, with maximum winds of about 70 miles per hour (113 kilometers per hour), is moving north-northwest at near 7 mph and is expected to remain safely at sea, the Miami-based agency said in a website advisory at 11 a.m. West Coast time. Adrian is about 265 miles south-southwest of Acapulco.
“Additional strengthening is likely during the next couple of days and Adrian could become a hurricane later today,” the center said. “On the forecast track, Adrian is expected to remain offshore of the coast of Mexico. However, any deviation to the right of the forecast track could bring tropical storm conditions to the coast.”
A tropical storm watch extends from Acapulco westward to Punta San Telmo, meaning winds of at least 39 mph are possible within 48 hours, according to the hurricane center. Adrian will reach hurricane status when winds hit 74 mph.
The hurricane center has stopped tracking a low pressure system in the northwestern Caribbean Sea.