Hurricane Dora reaches Cat. 4 strength off Mexico

Mexico: Hurricane Dora rapidly grew into a Category 4 storm off Mexico’s Pacific coast Wednesday while keeping out to sea and threatening coastal areas only with rain and tropical storm-strength winds.The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said late Wednesday that the storm’s top sustained winds had reached 135 mph (215 kph). It said Dora’s center was about 220 miles (355 kilometers) south-southwest of Lazaro Cardenas and moving west-northwest at 15 mph (24 kph).

The fourth hurricane of the eastern Pacific season was forecast to stay offshore as it moved parallel to the coast for the next day or so. It could strengthen more before weakening begins Friday, forecasters said.Mexican authorities issued a tropical storm watch from Lazaro Cardenas to Cabo Corrientes, meaning tropical storm conditions were possible within 12 to 24 hours.

The hurricane’s outer bands brought rains to much of Mexico’s southern coast, including the resort city of Acapulco. Police walked the beaches advising swimmers about the risk of strong waves.In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Cindy formed well out to sea and posed no threat to land. Its center was 800 miles (1,290 kilometers) east-northeast of Bermuda.

Tropical Storm Bret was forecast to weaken to a tropical depression by Thursday as it moved northeast away from the Bahamas and well off the U.S. Atlantic coast.Bret’s maximum sustained winds were 40 mph (65 kph). Its center was about 235 miles (380 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and 455 miles (735 kilometers) west of Bermuda. – Yahoonews