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Friday, June 10, 2011

Hurricane Adrian heads away from Mexican coast (AFP)

MIAMI (AFP) – Adrian, a major hurricane off the Pacific coast of Mexico, was veering on a northwesterly path Friday and posing no immediate threat to land, the US National Hurricane Center said.

The first hurricane of the 2011 season, Adrian is a category four storm with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour (220 kph) centered around 310 miles (505 kilometers) south-southeast of Manzanillo, Mexico.

"This general motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours," the NHC said in an update, noting that the storm was keeping away from the Mexican coast.

Adrian was expected to begin weakening later Friday after hitting its peak intensity.

While the storm was not expected to hit land, the hurricane center said swells from Adrian "will continue to affect a portion of the southwestern Mexico coast (and) could cause life-threatening surf and rip currents."

The hurricane season, which started on June 1 and runs until November 30, will feature atmospheric conditions which experts predict will lead to the formation of 12 to 18 named tropical storms in the Atlantic zone, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA forecasts an elevated threat this year to the United States and Caribbean nations, and predicts between three and six major storms of Category three intensity or higher on the five-level Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.

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