Hurricane Blanca strengthens again as it heads for Mexico
Hurricane Blanca gained strength Saturday to reach Category 3 as it headed toward Mexico’s northwest, forecasters said, though they added it could weaken before arriving on the southern end of the Baja California peninsula.
Mexico’s national weather service said Blanca was moving at 19 kilometers (12 miles) per hour. As of 1200 GMT, it was situated 300 kilometers (185 miles) from Socorro Island in the Pacific.
After briefly weakening Friday, the storm was packing powerful sustained winds of 195 kilometers (120 miles) per hour with gusts up to 240 kilometers (150 miles) per hour, forecasters said.
Blanca was expected to arrive Monday off the Baja coast as a tropical storm, and could be downgraded to a tropical depression as it makes landfall around Cabo San Lucas on Tuesday.
Last September, the resort of Los Cabos, with about 240,000 residents and popular with American tourists, suffered the brunt of Hurricane Odile, which left six people dead and caused massive property damage.
Blanca was expected to bring torrential rains and hail.