Tropical Storm Blas strengthening in the Pacific

The latest track of Tropical Storm Blas from the National Hurricane Center

MIAMI (AP) – Tropical Storm Blas is strengthening in the eastern Pacific and is expected to become a hurricane later in the morning.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds Monday morning increased to near 70 mph (110 kph) with additional strengthening expected. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to become a hurricane later Monday morning and to be near major hurricane strength by late Tuesday.

The storm is centered about 735 miles (1,185 kilometers) south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula and is moving west-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph) on a forecast track that shows it going farther out to sea.

Meanwhile farther west in the Pacific, Agatha remains a minimal tropical storm that’s expected to weaken to a tropical depression later in the day.

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