Marie strengthens to hurricane in Pacific off Mexico

August 23, 2014
Tropical Storm Marie south of Mexico's Pacific coast on August 22, 2014

A tropical storm has strengthened to a hurricane in the eastern Pacific and will likely become a major hurricane over the weekend, US forecasters warned Saturday.

Hurricane Marie, the eighth of the season, packed sustained winds of nearly 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour with higher gusts, the National Hurricane Center said.

"Steady strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Marie is likely to become a on Sunday," the Miami-based center said.

The storm was far from land—some 355 miles south-southwest of the Mexican port city of Manzanillo—and no storm watches or warnings were in effect for the coast.

However, the NHC said portions of Mexico's south-central and southwestern coast were seeing powerful waves as a result of Marie, and the impact was likely to spread towards the southern Baja California peninsula as the storm strengthens and moves to the northwest.

"These swells are likely to cause extremely dangerous life-threatening surf and rip current conditions," the warned.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Lowell—which had been the seventh of the Pacific season—continued to lose steam.

Explore further: Tropical Storm Marie forms in Pacific off Mexico

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