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Powerful hurricane picks up steam off Mexican coast

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:50 PM EDT, Mon July 9, 2012
Hurricane Emilia is moving west-northwest in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico and may become a Category 3 storm.
Hurricane Emilia is moving west-northwest in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico and may become a Category 3 storm.
  • Hurricane Emilia has 110 mph sustained winds, having gotten stronger on Monday
  • It may "become a major hurricane" later in the day, the National Hurricane Center says
  • Centered 680 miles south of Baja California's southern tip, it's moving west-northwest
  • Hurricane Daniel is also in the eastern Pacific, but it's not posing any threat to land

(CNN) -- Already packing 110 mph winds, a hurricane churning in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico is forecast to get even stronger -- though, as of now, it poses no direct threat to those onshore.

Hurricane Emilia may "become a major hurricane" -- or a Category 3 storm, with sustained winds in excess of 111 mph -- "later today or tonight," the National Hurricane Center reported in its 2 p.m. (5 p.m. ET) advisory.

At that time, the eye of the storm was about 680 miles (1,095 kilometers) south of the southern tip of Baja California in western Mexico. It was progressing west-northwest at 15 mph, a rate of movement that is expected to slow slightly "over the next couple of days," according to the Miami-based weather agency.

No coastal watches or warnings have been issued because of Emilia, and the hurricane center did not indicate if it is expected to hit or even approach land.

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As is, steady tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or stronger extend out up to 125 miles from the hurricane's eye. Hurricane winds of 74 mph and more are blowing within 35 miles of the storm's center.

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Emilia isn't the only hurricane spinning in the eastern Pacific.

The other is Hurricane Daniel, which had sustained winds of 75 mph as of 2 p.m. But that storm was even farther from land -- its eye situated about 1,450 miles west-southwest of Baja California's southern tip and 1,635 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii -- and likewise hadn't prompted any coastal watches or warnings.

Daniel weakened over the course of the day Monday and was expected to lose even more potency over the next two days, according to the National Hurricane Center.