*UPDATE 1:05 PM – August 24, 2014
It’s important to note that the Hurricane Center in Miami has no coastal warnings and has reported hurricane Marie is moving away from the Mexico coast, however Mexico’s National Weather Services maintain a warning for 6 states. Michoacan, Colima, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Jalisco and Nayarit.
*** ORIGINAL RELEASE ***
Hurricane Marie rapidly intensified Sunday in the Pacific Ocean, becoming a category four event, forecasters said, as six Mexican states braced for torrential rain and dangerous waves.
Marie, the eighth hurricane of the eastern Pacific season, was packing maximum sustained winds of 135 miles (215 kilometers) per hour, according to the 0900 GMT bulletin from the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The center said the storm could continue to gain strength over the next day or two.
Marie was far from land — some 470 miles south of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula — and no storm watches or warnings were in effect for the coast.
However, the NHC said portions of Mexico’s southwestern coast were already seeing powerful waves as a result of Marie, and the impact was likely to spread toward the southern Baja California peninsula and the Gulf of California as the storm moves to the northwest.
“These swells are likely to cause extremely dangerous life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the forecasters warned.
In Mexico, the national weather service said Saturday heavy rains threatened the states of Michoacan, Colima, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Jalisco and Nayarit, warning they could trigger mudslides and cause rivers to overflow their banks.
It urged the millions of people living in those states to “exercise caution” and to stay tuned for updates.
**** UPDATE ****
From our Partners at the Associated Press
Hurricane Marie has grown in strength as it moves out into the Pacific, reaching Category 4 status and provoking dangerous waves along Mexico’s western coast.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday that Marie had sustained winds of 150 mph (240 kph) and was located 485 miles (785 kilometers) south-southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. The storm was moving west-northwest at 15 mph (24 kmh).
Hurricane-force winds extended up to 45 miles (75 kilometers) away from the storm’s center, with tropical storm-force winds reaching out to 255 miles (405 kilometers).
Swells provoked by the storm affected the southwestern coast of Mexico and the southern part of the Baja California Peninsula and could cause dangerous surf and rip current conditions, the center said.