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The first hurricane of the 2021 hurricane season formed overnight more than 150 miles offshore of Manzanillo, Mexico.
Hurricane “Enrique” is expected to strengthen over the next day, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center (NHC).
“Overnight, #Enrique became a hurricane more than 150 miles offshore of Manzanillo, Mexico. Additional strengthening is forecast. Enrique could become a Category 2 hurricane by Sunday while remaining offshore, parallel to the Mexican coastline,” the NHC’s Eastern Pacific region tweeted Saturday morning.
In an earlier Facebook post, the agency said the storm was moving to the west-northwest near 8 mph before it gradually slows, turns northwest tonight or Sunday and continues on a northwesterly through Monday.
Enrique’s core is anticipated to remain offshore and “roughly parallel” to Mexico’s southwestern coast over the coming two to three days.
The hurricane’s maximum sustained winds have increased to almost 75 mph with higher gusts, hurricane-force winds are extending outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds are extending outward up to 140 miles.
Hurricane Enrique is also forecast to produce rainfall of six to 12 inches, with additional isolated maximum amounts of 18 inches in Colima and along the coasts of Michoacan and Jalisco.
“These amounts would likely produce life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides over portions of southwestern Mexico,” the NHC warned, also noting that dangerous swells along the southwestern coast of Mexico would likely “cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”
Advisories for the Category 1 hurricane were in effect including a Tropical Storm Warning from Zihuatanejo to Cabo Corrientes and a Tropical Storm Watch for Cabo Corrientes to San Blas, Mexico.
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The NHC cautioned that a Hurricane Watch may be required for portions of the southwestern coast of Mexico later on Saturday.
In May, NOAA predicted that the 2021 eastern Pacific hurricane season would produce 12 to 18 named storms, with 5 to 10 hurricanes and two to five major hurricanes.