Storm off Mexico likely to be east Pacific's first hurricane

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Tropical Storm Cristina formed Thursday off Mexico's western coast and was forecast to grow into the first hurricane of the eastern Pacific season by Friday morning, though it was unlikely to pose any threat to land.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm had near hurricane-force winds Thursday night and was expected to become a hurricane soon, but would begin weakening by Friday night.

Cristina had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph) and was centered about 335 miles (574 kilometers) south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula. It was moving to the west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

The hurricane center said the storm was expected to turn westward over the weekend and head farther into the Pacific.