The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Pamela has formed in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Baja California, Mexico peninsula. The storm system is expected to be close to major hurricane strength by Wednesday.

In its latest report, forecasters say the storm is centered 455 kilometers southwest of Mazatlan, Mexico, and about 345 kilometers south-southeast of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. Pamela currently has maximum sustained winds of about 130 kilometers per hour, making it a Category 1 storm on a scale of hurricane intensity.

Pamela is expected to move north Tuesday, veer northeast and pick up speed while strengthening. It is expected to come ashore in west-central Mexico early Wednesday.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Mexico’s Pacific coast from Bahia Tempehuaya on the north to Escuinapa on the south, with storm surge, heavy rains, and damaging winds expected. The storm is expected to bring heavy rain to the Mexican states of Sinaloa and western Durango and could bring downpours to the southwestern U.S. states of Texas and Oklahoma later in the week.

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