Weakening Hurricane Norma still poses threat to Mexico's Pacific Coast

(Reuters) – Hurricane Norma has slightly weakened but remains a major storm poised to deliver heavy rainfall and flooding to the popular tourist coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula over the next few days, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said on Friday.

Currently a category 3 hurricane, it is carrying maximum winds of nearly 115 mph (185 kph), NHC said in an advisory, and moving north-northwest towards the peninsula at approximately 7 mph (11 kph).

A gradual weakening is anticipated over the next few days, but Norma is forecast to still be a hurricane when it approaches the southern portion of Baja California Sur, said the NHC.

Mexico’s government has issued tropical storm warnings for various areas, including La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, and extending north from Todos Santos to the Santa Fe district. The hurricane center predicts that these regions will experience tropical storm conditions within a 36-hour time frame.

The storm could result in up to 15 inches (38 cm) of rain in parts of Baja California, potentially causing flooding and landslides. Moreover, strong swells could lead to life-threatening surf conditions along parts of the western coastline, the US hurricane agency said.

(Reporting by Natalia Siniawski; Editing by Deborah Kyvrikosaios)

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