Carlotta aims for Mexico Pacific coast

June 15, 2012 at 10:15 PM

MIAMI, June 15 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Carlotta gained hurricane strength Friday as it approached Mexico's Pacific coast, forecasters said.

At 8 p.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Carlotta, with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph and higher gusts, was about 10 miles south-southwest of Puerto Angel and about 225 miles east-southeast of Acapulco, moving northwest at 12 mph.

The storm became a category 2 hurricane Friday, with the center expected to produce significant coastal flooding to the north and east near the coast. A storm surge is expected to be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

A hurricane warning was in effect from Salina Cruz to Acapulco and hurricane watches were in effect from Salina Cruz to Barra de Tonala and from Acapulco to Tecpan de Galeana. A tropical storm warning was in effect from Salina Cruz to Barra de Tonala.

The Mexican states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas could receive a foot of rain, which could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

The center of the storm was expected to move near or over the coast of southern Mexico late Friday night and Saturday, with no additional strengthening Friday night and a slower forward speed expected Saturday. The storm is expected to weaken as its center moves along the coast.

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