Hurricane Patricia has formed in the Pacific Ocean, upgraded from a tropical storm as it heads toward the western coast of Mexico.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Thursday the storm picked up strength as it moved toward the Mexican coast with maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour. Forecasters expect the storm will strengthen further.
Current forecast maps show Patricia making landfall late Friday or early Saturday and progressing over the Mexican mainland by Saturday.
Hurricane warnings are in effect for Cabo Correintes to Punta San Telmo, and a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning are in effect for east of Punta San Telmo to Lazaro Cardenas. The tropical storm warning extends all the way to Tecpan de Galeana, just north of Acapulco.