by Staff Writers
Mexico City (AFP) July 22, 2011
Hurricane Dora lost steam early Friday as it brushed Mexico's coast, and while it was expected to remain offshore the storm could cause dangerous conditions on the Baja peninsula, officials said.
The fourth hurricane of the 2011 season in the eastern Pacific weakened to a category two storm and further downsizing was forecast, but it was still packing heavy rains and sustained winds of 165 kilometers (105 miles) per hour, Mexico's weather service said.
At 2:00 am (0900 GMT) Friday, Dora was churning some 460 kilometers (285 miles) southeast of the luxury beach resorts of Cabo San Lucas in southern Baja California, where authorities have issued a tropical storm warning.
The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that while the center of Dora was expected to remain offshore of the southern Baja California peninsula, "tropical-storm-force winds are possible over portions of the warning area by tonight."
The storm was traveling at 15 kilometers (nine miles) per hour as it paralleled Mexico's coast, where it has kicked up what the NHC described as "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions" and battered southern states with heavy rains.
Dora had surged to a major category four hurricane late Wednesday, one notch below top status on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale, but is now expected to weaken further over the next 48 hours.
Mexican authorities were nevertheless bracing for possible landslides in coastal areas already hit by torrential rains that left five dead and affected 200,000 people last weekend.
The season's first named storm, Arlene, left at least 16 people dead in Mexico as it drenched much of the country earlier this month.
Tropical storms and hurricanes last year caused flooding and mudslides in Mexico that killed 125 people, left hundreds of thousands homeless and caused more than $4 billion in damages.
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Hurricane Dora strengthens away from Mexico coast
Mexico City (AFP) July 20, 2011
Giant hurricane Dora grew in strength as it roared along Mexico's Pacific coast Thursday, but was expected to remain offshore, US and Mexican weather services said. Dora nearly reached the top strength of five on the Saffir Simpson scale, the US National Hurricane Center said in its 1500 GMT bulletin. The storm churned around 445 miles (715 kilometers) south-southeast of the luxury beach ... read more
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