MIAMI, Aug. 2 (UPI) — Eugene strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane Tuesday while churning in the eastern Pacific Ocean well off the Mexican coast, forecasters said.
The storm was heading west-northwest about 535 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 p.m. EDT advisory. Eugene had sustained winds of 105 mph and was moving forward at about 14 mph about 605 miles south of the southern tip of Baja California.
The storm’s eye had widened and its winds had picked up about 5 mph in the previous 6 hours.
It was expected to intensify further in the next 24 hours, the hurricane center in Miami said.
There were no coastal watches or warnings in effect, it said.
Eugene, rated a Category 2 storm on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, could possibly become a major hurricane, forecasters said, though they predicted some weakening would follow by late Wednesday.
“Some additional strengthening is forecast in the next 12-24 hours, and Eugene could become a major hurricane by tonight,” the hurricane center forecast said. “Weakening should occur Wednesday night and Thursday as Eugene begins to move over cooler waters.”
Eugene’s hurricane-force winds were extending outward up to 30 miles with tropical force gales up to 140 miles out from its center.