Trop. depression heads toward Mexico coast

June 19, 2009 5:27:40 AM PDT
The first tropical depression of the Pacific hurricane headed toward Mexico's Pacific coast on Friday and forecasters said it might grow into a tropical storm before hitting land. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the depression was centered about 215 miles (345 kilometers) south-southwest of the coastal city of Mazatlan at 5 a.m. PDT (8 a.m. EDT; 1200 GMT).

Maximum sustained winds remain near 35 mph (55 kph). Forecasters say the depression could strengthen to a tropical storm sometime Friday with wind speeds of 39 mph (63 kph) or more. The center of the storm is expected to near the Mexican coast Saturday.

The depression was moving toward the north-northeast at about 12 mph (19 kph).

Mexican authorities issued a tropical storm warning for the Islas Marias, a group of islands housing a prison facility about 85 miles (135 kilometers) off the Pacific coast, as well as a tropical storm watch for the Pacific coast from Topolobampo south to El Roblito.

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