Erick becomes hurricane, weakens as it moves off Mexico coast

July 7, 2013 at 9:39 AM

MANZANILLO, Mexico, July 7 (UPI) -- Storm system Erick became a hurricane as wind gusts reached up to 80 mph off the west coast of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday.

The hurricane was 175 miles west of Manzanillo, Mexico, and 300 miles southeast of the southern tip of Baja California, the hurricane center said in its 5 a.m. PDT advisory Sunday.

Erick was moving northwest at 10 mph and was expected to move farther away from Mexico's southwestern coast and pass close to the Baja Peninsula Monday morning.

Maximum sustained winds were 80 mph with higher gusts, and weakening was expected for later Sunday, the hurricane center said. Hurricane-force winds extend 25 miles from the center of the storm and tropical-storm force winds extend 70 miles.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Manzanillo to Cabo Corrientes and Baja California Sur from Santa Fe to La Paz.

Erick was expected to produce 2-4 inches of rain in Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa, Western Durango and the Southern Baja California Peninsula, with localized amounts up to 6 inches, with the potential for life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Surf swells along the coast of southwestern Mexico were likely to produce life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, the center said.

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