Hurricane Celia strengthens in Pacific off Mexico
Hurricane Celia, the first hurricane of the 2010 Pacific season, formed in the eastern Pacific Ocean near Mexico on Sunday but was headed away from land, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
A Category 1 hurricane with winds up to 80 mph, Celia was 370 miles south of the tourist resort of Acapulco and was moving toward the west, away from Mexico, at 7 mph.
"Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours," the center said.
Mexico's key oil export facilities are in the Gulf of Mexico, well away from Celia's path.
The second named storm of the hurricane season, Blas, weakened and was downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression. It was 525 miles south of Baja California and was expected to keep moving west, away from the coast.
The U.S. government's weather agency has predicted the 2010 Atlantic storm season could be the most intense since 2005, when Hurricane Katrina killed more than 1,000 people and disrupted oil production by crashing through Gulf of Mexico energy facilities.
Image shows current and projected position of Celia up to Monday morning. Article continues: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65J2UY20100621
For more information from the National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_ep4+shtml/083113.shtml?5-daynl#contents