Hurricane Sandra weakens to Category 3 as it nears Mexico

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -- Hurricane Sandra weakened to a Category 3 storm on Thursday as it headed toward Mexico's coast, though it is the strongest recorded in the eastern Pacific Ocean this late in the year, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Sandra, about 420 miles (675 km) south of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula on Thursday afternoon, had maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (193 kph), the NHC said.

Earlier on AOL.com:

Hurricane Sandra Becomes Category 4 Storm
Hurricane Sandra Becomes Category 4 Storm

A tropical storm watch was in effect for the southernmost portion of Baja California, from Todos Santos to Los Barriles, it said.

"Rapid weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Sandra is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm Friday night and become a remnant low on Saturday," the NHC said.

Related images:

Sandra, moving north at almost 12 miles per hour (19 kph), is expected to close in on the Baja California coast on Friday night.

Last month, Hurricane Patricia, which at one point registered as one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded, landed on Mexico's Pacific coast, but did not inflict major damage.

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