POSTED: 3:12 p.m. HST, Jul 20, 2011
ACAPULCO, Mexico >> Hurricane Dora rapidly grew into a Category 4 storm off Mexico's Pacific coast today while keeping out to sea and threatening coastal areas only with rain and tropical storm-strength winds.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said late today that the storm had top sustained winds had reached 135 mph. It said Dora's center was about 235 miles southwest of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, and moving west-northwest at 16 mph.
The fourth hurricane of the eastern Pacific season was forecast to stay offshore as it moved parallel to the coast for the next day or so. It could strengthen more before weakening begins Friday, forecasters said.
Mexican authorities issued a tropical storm watch from Lazaro Cardenas to Cabo Corrientes, meaning tropical storm conditions were possible within 12 to 24 hours.
The hurricane's outer bands brought rains to much of Mexico's southern coast, including the resort city of Acapulco. Police walked the beaches advising swimmers about the risk of strong waves.
In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Cindy formed well out to sea and posted no threat to land. Its center was 665 miles east-northeast of Bermuda. It posed no threat to land.
Tropical Storm Bret was forecast to weaken to a tropical depression by Thursday as it moved northeast away from the Bahamas and well off the U.S. Atlantic coast.
Bret's maximum sustained winds were 45 mph. Its center was about 270 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and 480 miles west of Bermuda.