Andres Weakens To Tropical Storm, Back Out To Sea

Wednesday, June 24th 2009, 6:56 am
By: News On 6

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – A weakening Tropical Storm Andres was heading out to sea Wednesday after flooding homes and killing at least one person on Mexico's southwestern coast, but forecasters warned the storm could still brush the tip of Baja California.

The storm skirted the coast south of the tourist resort of Puerta Vallarta on Tuesday, but by early Wednesday the Mexican government canceled a tropical storm watch stretching from Manzanillo to Cabo Corrientes.

Andres briefly flared up into the Eastern Pacific season's first hurricane on Tuesday.

At 2 a.m. PDT (5 a.m. EDT, 0900 GMT), the center of the storm was located about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Cabo Corrientes and 315 miles (505 km) southeast of the tip of Baja California, and moving to the northwest about 9 mph (15 kmh).

Its winds weakened to 60 mph (95 kph) early Wednesday and it was expected to weaken even more over the next two days as it headed back out to sea, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Forecasting models predicted the storm would pass just south of the Los Cabos resorts at the tip of the Baja California peninsula Thursday morning.

On Tuesday rain poured down on Manzanillo, where authorities opened 14 shelters amid forecasts that the storm would likely graze the port city.

To the south, rain caused flooding Monday in the resort of Acapulco that forced about 200 people to evacuate their homes. A fisherman drowned when choppy currents overturned his boat in a lagoon in Tecpan de Galeana, between Acapulco and Zihuatanejo, a state police report said.

A light rain fell Tuesday night in Puerto Vallarta as tourists emptied beaches and retreated to hotel restaurants. Port authorities said the arrival of a Carnival cruise ship was rescheduled from Wednesday to July 1.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center had predicted Andres would bring a storm surge of as much as 3 feet (nearly 1 meter) above normal while dumping as much as 8 inches (200 millimeters) of rain in a few spots.

Late Sunday, Andres became the first named storm of the eastern Pacific hurricane season, which began May 15 and ends Nov. 30. It was the latest arrival of a named storm in 40 years.


Associated Press writer Natalia Parra in Acapulco, Mexico, contributed to this report.


National Hurricane Center: