Category 3 Hurricane Bud heads north off Mexican coast

MEXICO CITY - Hurricane Bud grew to Category 3 force off Mexico's Pacific coast on Monday, but forecasters said it was likely to weaken before a possible brush with the resort-dotted southern tip of the Baja California peninsula late in the week.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Bud had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph  Monday morning. It was centered about 235 miles  southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and was moving northwest at 10 mph.

Forecasters said Bud was expected to strengthen further before a slow weakening trend starts Tuesday.

"Significantly cooler waters around the southern tip of Baja California should reduce Bud's intensity below hurricane status before it reaches that land," the center said.

The Hurricane Center said the storm could generate swells that cause life-threatening surf and rip currents over the coming days along Mexico's southwestern coast. Rainfall of 3 to 6 inches, with isolated patches of 10 inches, was possible into Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Aletta's winds were down to 40 mph and it was predicted to dissipate by late Monday or early Tuesday. The storm peaked on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 mph. It was about 600 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.

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