Bud strengthens to Category Three hurricane

2012-05-25 08:56

Miami - Hurricane Bud off Mexico's Pacific coast gained strength late on Thursday and become a Category Three storm on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said.

Bud, which was about 270km southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, was packing sustained winds of nearly 185km/h, the Miami-based NHC said.

On the current track, "the centre of Bud is forecast to move inland along the Mexican coast by late Friday", the NHC said.

While the storm is forecast to weaken overnight on Thursday to Friday, Bud "is still expected to reach the coast of Mexico as a hurricane", the NHC said.

"Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion."

Bud is expected to drop five to 20cm of rain in the Mexican coastal states of Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and southern Nayarit, "with possible isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches [30.5cm]".

This rainfall "could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides", the NHC said.

Also, a "dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding" near and to the east of where the epicentre makes landfall.