Severe Weather Blog

Carlos becomes a hurricane over Pacific off southwest Mexico

Carlos becomes a hurricane over Pacific off southwest Mexico

MIAMI (AP) -- Hurricane Carlos hovered Saturday over the Pacific Ocean south of Acapulco hours after a hurricane watch was issued for a swath of Mexico's southwest coastline, forecasters said.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the hurricane eye was centered at 2 p.m. EDT Saturday about 135 miles south of the tourist resort of Acapulco and had top sustained winds of 75 mph.

Forecasters said Carlos, a tropical storm only hours earlier, had gained strength overnight and was nearly stationary Saturday afternoon and "meandering."

Mexico's government has issued a hurricane watch from Lazaro Cardenas to Punta San Telma along Mexico's southwest mainland coast, meaning hurricane conditions were possible within the area within 48 hours. A tropical storm warning also was in effect from Tecpan de Galeana to Lazaro Cardenas, while a tropical storm watch was in effect for areas east of Tecpan de Galeana to Acapulco.

Carlos is the third hurricane of the 2015 eastern Pacific season, and forecasters said hurricane-force winds extend outward from the eye about 25 miles. The center also cautioned ocean swells kicked up by Carlos will reach the coast in the warning and watch areas over the next days and could produce life-threatening surf and rip currents.

Carlos was expected to increase its forward speed over coming days on a forecast track paralleling the coast. Forecasters said the storm could increase in strength in coming days.