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Tropical Storm Barry heads for coast of southern Mexico

June 19, 2013 at 9:44 PM

MIAMI, June 19 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Barry was gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday and was on track to reach Mexico's Veracruz state Thursday, forecasters said.

Barry was about 55 miles east-northeast of Veracruz with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour and higher gusts, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 7 p.m. CDT advisory.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Punta el Lagarto to Tuxpan, Mexico.

Barry was moving westward at about 6 miles per hour. Further movement to the west was expected with a decrease in forward speed over the next 24 hours. The storm could strengthen before making landfall Thursday morning, then weaken after the center crosses the coast.

Tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 70 miles from the center of the storm.

The hurricane center warned of the potential for life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in mountainous areas. Barry was expected to produce 3-5 inches of rain across southern Mexico, with localized amounts of 10 inches possible.

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