Storm Lester becomes a hurricane in the pacific

Tropical Storm Lester is strengthening in the Pacific Ocean well off the coast of Mexico, US meterologists said August 25, 2016. (AFP)

Tropical Storm Lester off the northwest Mexican coast strengthened to hurricane status on Friday, the US National Hurricane Center said.

The center of Lester is located some 550 miles (885 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California and is packing winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour, the NHC said in its 0300 GMT bulletin.

However, there are no coastal watches or warnings because Lester is moving west into the Pacific at a speed of nine miles (15 kilometers) per hour.

“This motion is expected to continue for the next few days,” the Miami-based NHC said.

Lester’s hurricane-force winds extend up to 25 miles (35 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 kilometers).

“Some additional strengthening is forecast in the next 48 hours,” the NHC said.

Also at 0300 GMT the Hurricane Center announced the formation of Tropical Storm Madeline, also in the Pacific -- a storm that could become a hurricane and strike Hawaii.

Madeline’s center is located about 1,235 miles (1,990 kilometers) east of Hilo, Hawaii and moving towards the west-northwest at a speed of 12 miles (19 kilometers) per hour.

The storm currently packs sustained winds of 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour, but could gain strength and become a hurricane by Monday.

According to the NHC’s five-day forecast cone, Madeline’s center could reach the Island of Hawaii -- the largest island in the archipelago -- by Wednesday.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49