Tropical storm churns in Pacific off Mexico coast

June 19, 2011 5:43:37 PM PDT
Forecasters say Tropical Storm Beatriz is strengthening off the coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean and could become a hurricane by late Monday.

The National Hurricane Center said Sunday evening that rain bands have started hitting the coast. The storm is about 205 miles (330 kilometers) south of Zihuatanejo. It had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (64 kph) and was moving west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

A hurricane warning is in effect from Zihuatanejo to Manzanillo. A hurricane watch has been issued from Manzanillo west to La Fortuna. A tropical storm warning is in effect for other parts of the Mexican coast.