Speed Reads

wild weather

Pamela expected to strengthen into hurricane before striking Mexico

Tropical Storm Pamela weakened on Tuesday afternoon, but forecasters expect it to strengthen into a hurricane before slamming into Mexico's Sinaloa state on Wednesday morning.

As of 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, Pamela was about 200 miles southwest of the resort town of Mazatlan, moving north-northeast at 9 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. It has sustained winds of 70 mph. Forecasters have warned that the storm could bring "large and destructive waves" to the west-central coast of Mexico, dropping 4 to 12 inches of rain in Sinaloa and the neighboring state of Durango.

Sinaloa is home to many farms, and is Mexico's top producer of corn. The region has been going through a dry spell, leaving farmers concerned over dying crops.

When Pamela formed Sunday evening south of Mexico, it was the 16th named storm of this year's East Pacific hurricane season. On Tuesday, when it briefly strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, Pamela became the season's seventh East Pacific hurricane.