The Straits Times
Published on Oct 16, 2012

Paul becomes major hurricane in Pacific off Mexico


MIAMI (AP) - Hurricane Paul has rapidly strengthened into a major Category 3 storm in the Pacific off Mexico, prompting a hurricane warning for a swath of Baja California's western coast, forecasters said on Monday.

The United States National Hurricane Centre in Miami said Paul's maximum sustained winds had ratcheted up to 195kmh as of 5pm EDT Monday (9pm Singapore time). Paul was centred about 670km south-west of the tip of the Baja peninsula and moving north-northeast at 20kmh.

Forecasters said Paul was expected to approach the western coast of the southern Baja peninsula by late Tuesday and be near or over the central Baja peninsula on Wednesday. The hurricane was expected to begin weakening Tuesday, the hurricane centre said.

Mexico's government, meanwhile, changed a tropical storm warning for the peninsula's western coast from Santa Fe north to Puerto San Andresito to a hurricane warning, according to the center.