Tropical Storm Nora a hurricane threat to Mexico's coast

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— A strengthening Tropical Storm Nora was rolling Thursday toward a possible hurricane hit on Mexico’s Pacific Coast over the weekend and later on the Baja California Peninsula.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm could bring dangerous flash floods and mudslides through the weekend as it parallels the coast, likely grazing the point below the Puerto Vallarta region on Saturday and then possibly the Los Cabos resort region on Monday.

The storm was centered about 290 miles 465 kilometers) south of the port city of Lazaro Cardenas on Thursday evening and it was heading to the west-northwest at 11 mph (18 kph).

Nora had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph) and it was expected to reach hurricane force on Saturday. It was a big system, with tropical storm-force winds extending as far as 205 miles (335 kilometers) from the center.

The hurricane center said the storm could dump 8-12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) of rain over the central Mexican coast, with isolated maximums of up to 20 inches (50 centimeters.

It was also kicking up heavy surf.