Tropical Storm Pamela becomes Category 1 hurricane near Mexico’s west coast

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Oct. 12 (UPI) — Tropical Storm Pamela strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane on Tuesday as it approaches the Mexican Riviera, forecasters said.

Pamela became the 16th named storm of the 2021 East Pacific hurricane season when it developed on Sunday.

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In its 6 a.m. MDT update, the National Hurricane Center said Pamela was located 280 miles southwest of Mazatlan and 215 miles southeast of the southern tip of Baja California. It had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and was moving north at 13 mph.

A storm becomes a Category 1 hurricane with maximum winds of 74 mph. Pamela would strengthen into a Category 2 storm once it reaches winds of 96 mph.

The NHC said Pamela will make landfall on the western Mexican coast sometime on Wednesday.

“On the forecast track, the center of Pamela will pass well south of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula through tonight, and make landfall in west-central Mexico within the hurricane warning area Wednesday morning,” the NHC said in its advisory.

If Pamela reaches Category 3 strength, it will be the second major hurricane of the year to make landfall in Mexico. Hurricane Grace arrived over land in Mexico in August.

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After weakening to a tropical depression, Pamela is projected to move toward the U.S. Gulf Coast later this week and possibly bring severe weather conditions to southwestern Texas.

Forecasters say heavy rainfall could lead to major flooding, especially in urban locations or places that have recently been drenched by severe weather.