Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | August 4, 2011

Hurricane Dora Reaches Category 4 Strength

Hurricane Dora reaches Category Four strength

Hurricane Dora surged to a major Category Four storm off Mexico’s Pacific coast, lashing it with driving rain and rough waves, the National Weather Service said.

“Dora is the second major hurricane of the season in the northeastern Pacific and now is a Category Four storm on the Saffir Simpson scale.

It is moving swiftly parallel to Mexico’s Pacific coast,” the service said.

Dora was packing top sustained winds of 135 mph (215 km/h), with its center about 220 miles (355 km) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, said the Miami-based US National Hurricane Center.

“The center of Dora is expected to move nearly parallel to the coast of southwestern Mexico through Thursday morning,” perhaps not weakening before Friday, the US NHC said.

“Large swells generated by Dora will affect the coast of southern and southwestern Mexico during the next couple of days. Swells will begin affecting the coast of the southern portion of the Baja California peninsula on Thursday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the NHC warned late Wednesday.

Some NHC forecast models put the hurricane on track to affect Mexico’s luxury resort of Cabo San Lucas, on the Baja California peninsula, later in the week.

Mexico’s National Weather Service issued tropical storm watches for the southern coast, warning of large waves and heavy rain and advising vessels in the vicinity to take precautions against high seas and heavy winds.

Mexican authorities prepared for possible landslides in areas already hit by torrential rains that left five dead and affected 200,000 people last weekend.

The 2011 season’s first named storm, Arlene, left at least 16 people dead in Mexico after it drenched much of the country and left hundreds of thousands homeless earlier this month.

Mexico last year suffered what the government described as the wettest rainy season on record. Tropical storms and hurricanes caused flooding and mudslides that killed 125 people, left hundreds of thousands homeless, and caused damage of more than $4 billion.


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