Gilma back to tropical storm status

Aug. 9, 2012 at 11:38 PM

MIAMI, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Gilma, dialed down from hurricane status, chugged slowly across the Pacific Ocean Thursday night far from land masses, U.S. forecasters said.

Gilma, which early Thursday had been a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds, had eased back to a tropical storm with sustained gales of 70 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 11 p.m. EDT advisory.

Gilma was spitting tropical storm-force gales 90 miles out from its center. The storm was centered about 695 miles west-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California, moving to the north-northwest at 5 mph.

Because of its distance from land and the direction it was headed, the hurricane center said no coastal warnings or watches were necessary.

Gilma is expected to weaken some and keep heading on the same path for the next couple of days, forecasters said.

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