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Danielle is hurricane, Frank weakens

Aug. 23, 2010 at 8:25 PM   |   Comments

MIAMI, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Danielle reached hurricane strength in the Atlantic Monday and forecasters said Tropical Storm Frank weakened along Mexico's Pacific coast.

At 5 p.m. EDT, the National Weather Service said the center of Danielle -- the second hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season -- was about 1,320 miles east of the Lesser Antilles with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and was moving toward the west-northwest at about 17 mph. The Category 1 hurricane was expected to turn toward the northwest by Tuesday night and become a major hurricane by Wednesday.

Also at 5 p.m. EDT, Frank was about 105 miles south-southwest of Puerto Maldonado, Mexico, and about 145 miles south-southeast of Acapulco, with top sustained winds of 50 mph. Frank was moving toward the west-northwest at about 9 mph and was expected to remain on a track parallel to the coast of central Mexico through Wednesday, forecasters said.

Frank was expected to strengthen gradually beginning Wednesday and forecasters said it could gain hurricane strength Wednesday.

A tropical storm warning was posted for the coast of Mexico from Lagunas de Chacahua westward to Zihuatanejo and a tropical storm watch was in effect from west of Zihuatanejo to Punta San Telmo.

Frank could generate total rainfall accumulations of 3 to 6 inches along the southern coast of Mexico with 10 inches possible in some places -- and the rainfall could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, the hurricane center said.

The Atlantic hurricane season is entering its peak period.

"There are signs that the Atlantic is acting like it should in August and September," Rick Knabb, a meteorologist and tropical program manager at the Weather Channel, told USA Today. "We're seeing more activity than we did earlier in the season."

No Atlantic coastal watches or warnings were in effect, the NHC said in its early-morning advisory.

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