The National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 5 p.m. EDT advisory that Gilma was producing maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour -- just under hurricane status -- as it traveled west-northwest at 10 mph about 695 miles southwest of Baja California.
Tropical storm-force gales were reaching out up to 80 miles from its center.
Because it was so far out in the Pacific, no coastal watches or warnings were in effect, the hurricane center said.
Gilma could gain power during the night and possibly becoming a hurricane for a time, though a weakening trend was expected to begin late Thursday or Thursday night. The storm was expected to turn to the northwest and slow its forward progress during the next couple of days, the hurricane center said.
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