Category 3 Hurricane Bud heads north off Mexican coast

MEXICO CITY — Hurricane Bud grew to Category 3 force off Mexico‘s Pacific coast on Monday, but forecasters said it was likely to weaken before a possible brush with the resort-dotted southern tip of the Baja California peninsula late in the week.

Bud had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph) Monday morning. It was centred about 235 miles (380 kilometres) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and was moving northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).

Forecasters said Bud was expected to strengthen further before a slow weakening trend starts Tuesday.

"Significantly cooler waters around the southern tip of Baja California should reduce Bud‘s intensity below hurricane status before it reaches that land," the centre said.

The Hurricane Center said the storm could generate swells that cause life-threatening surf and rip currents over the coming days along Mexico‘s southwestern coast. Rainfall of 3 to 6 inches (75 to 150 millimeters), with isolated patches of 10 inches (250 millimeters), was possible into Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Aletta‘s winds were down to 40 mph (65 kph) and it was predicted to dissipate by late Monday or early Tuesday. The storm peaked on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 mph (220 kph). It was about 600 miles (965 kilometres) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.