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Blas off coast of Mexico strengthens to hurricane

                                A five-day forecast of Hurricane Blas.
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A five-day forecast of Hurricane Blas.

Hurricane Blas became the second named storm of the eastern Pacific season today off southern Mexico, though it isn’t expected to pose a threat to land.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that Blas would likely continue strengthening through Thursday morning before gradually weakening by the end of the week as it moved out into the open ocean.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph this morning with higher gusts. It was centered about 300 miles south-southeast of the Mexican port of Manzanillo and moving west-northwest at 5 mph.

The hurricane center said that even though the storm wasn’t forecast to make landfall, it could still cause dangerous surf conditions along the coast.

The Pacific season’s first named storm, Hurricane Agatha, came ashore near Puerto Angel in Oaxaca state on May 30 with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. Authorities said flooding and mudslides caused by Agatha’s heavy rains killed at least nine people, with five others missing and suspected to be dead.

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