Tropical Storm Julio approaches Mexico

August 24, 2008 7:07:54 AM PDT
With Tropical Storm Julio headed toward the Baja California Peninsula, the Mexican government extended the range of its tropical storm warning Sunday, weather officials said. Tropical Storm Julio formed off Mexico's Pacific coast on Saturday, shifted direction and was headed straight for Cabo San Lucas, a popular resort on the tip of the peninsula.

The Mexican government issued a tropical storm warning from Santa Fe on the west coast of the peninsula to San Evaristo on the Gulf of California.

Mexico extended the tropical storm warning northward along the west coast of Baja California to Bahia Magdalena and northward along the east coast to Loreto, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

A warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 24 hours.

Forecasters said Julio was not expected to become a hurricane, though it will likely strengthen. The storm packed maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (64 kph) and was centered Sunday morning about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the tip of the Baja Peninsula, according to the hurricane center.

"We think it's going to remain a tropical storm. There's not a zero chance of a hurricane but it's very small," said Richard Knabb, a senior hurricane specialist with the center.

Julio was moving north-northwest at 14 mph (22 kph). Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 85 miles (140 kilometers) from the center of the storm.

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