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Hurricane Dora Strengthens From Tropical Storm off Mexico

Dora became the fourth named hurricane of the Eastern Pacific season after strengthening from a tropical storm off Mexico, U.S. meteorologists said.

The system was about 240 miles (390 kilometers) south of Acapulco, Mexico, and should continue to intensify today and tomorrow as it moves west-northwest at 17 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory issued at 9 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time time yesterday. The weather system is likely to move parallel to the southwestern Mexico coast over “the next couple of days,” according to the bulletin.

Dora is a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, the weakest category for the destructive storms. Maximum sustained winds were near 75 mph “with higher gusts,” while hurricane-force winds extended 35 miles outward, the center said. It could become a “major hurricane” by tomorrow.

The government of Mexico has issued a tropical storm watch for the country’s southwestern coast from Lazaro Cardenas to Cabo Corrientes.

Bret, the second tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, may weaken today and could become a tropical depression by tomorrow, the center said in a separate advisory. The system was about 320 miles south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and was moving northeast at 8 mph, with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph.

A disturbance becomes tropical when it develops cyclonic activity and becomes a named storm when sustained winds reach 39 mph. A storm reaches hurricane status when winds hit 74 mph.

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