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Patricia churns northwest in the Pacific

Oct. 12, 2009 at 9:34 PM

MIAMI, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Patricia moved northwest Monday, prompting officials to keep in effect a tropical storm watch along the southern Baja California peninsula.

At 8 p.m. EDT the storm's center was about 210 miles south of the southern tip of Baja California, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. The tropical storm watch was in effect for the portion of the peninsula from La Paz, Mexico, to Mexico City's Santa Fe business district.

Patricia was moving toward the northwest at 6 mph and was expected to remain on a northwestward or north-northwestward track for the next 24 to 36 hours, forecasters said. If the storm remains on its forecast track, the center would make its closest approach to the southern Baja California peninsula late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Maximum winds were near 60 mph with higher gusts and strengthening was possible for the next 24 to 36 hours, the forecast said.

Patricia was expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 1-3 inches in the extreme southern portion of the peninsula.

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