Hurricane Kay seen strengthening to Category 2, could intensify further

MEXICO CITY, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Hurricane Kay, which killed three people in Mexico over the weekend, is expected to intensify to a Category 2 storm later in the day and could further strengthen to “major” storm over the next day and a half, authorities said on Tuesday.

The storm is currently located over the Pacific Ocean some 320 miles (515 km) south-southwest from the tip of Baja California, home to the popular tourist town Cabo San Lucas, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC).

“It’s expected that Kay will continue to intensify, and will reach hurricane Category 2 this Tuesday afternoon and evening,” a spokesperson for Mexico’s National Water Commission, CONAGUA said in a press conference.

A Category 2 storm packs sustained winds of 96-110 miles per hour (154-177 km per hour).

The NHC said strengthening is forecast during the next 36 hours, and over that time Kay could become a major hurricane, defined as a Category 3 storm or stronger.

Kay is expected to reach near the west-central coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula by Thursday and Friday.

Heavy rainfall from Kay could lead to flash flooding, including landslides, across portions of western Mexico, including the peninsula, through Thursday night, said the NHC.

Mexico’s government has issued a tropical storm watch on the east coast of the peninsula from Loreto to Santa Rosalia.

Over the weekend Kay damaged houses, felled trees, and overflowed rivers in the state of Guerrero and in the port of Acapulco on the Pacific Coast, as well as Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

“Three people have died since the beginning of this cyclonic condition, and the climatic phenomenon is moving away from the coasts of Guerrero,” said Roberto Arroyo, Guerrero’s secretary of civil protection.

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