Category 3 Hurricane Bud heads north off Mexico

Tropical Depression Three-E Forms South of Mexico; Aletta Rapidly Weakening South of Baja California

Hurricane Bud has grown to a category four hurricane but is still expected to get weaker as it approaches Mexico and the Southwestern United States, the National Hurricane Center's latest advisory says.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Bud had maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour (185 kph) Monday morning.

Bud's center is now just over 300 miles south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, moving northwestward.

The Miami-based US National Hurricane Center offered similar data, but said it would start to slowly lose steam as it continues on a northwest track on Tuesday.

As of 5 p.m. ET, Bud had winds of 75 miles per hour and was moving to the northwest at 9 miles per hour.

It's not unusual for the Eastern Pacific season's first storm to be a Category 4 hurricane.

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"Bud is moving within an environment of low wind shear, moist air, and warm ocean water", said AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

Forecasters are also watching a weather system in the Caribbean, which the hurricane center gives a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm within the next five days. Rainfall of 3 to 6 inches (75 to 150 millimetres), with isolated patches of 10 inches (250 millimetres), was possible over much of that region into Tuesday afternoon.

"These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions", the NHC said.

However, tropical-storm-force wind gusts (over 39 mph) could begin affecting southern Baja California as soon as Wednesday.

Some of the wave energy will come from Tropical Storm Aletta, which reached hurricane strength off the west coast of Mexico last week.

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