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Hurricane Max

Hurricane Max is expected to strengthen before reaching Mexico's coast

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Updated September 14, 2017 10:48 AM EDT

The Mexican government has issued a Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch as Hurricane Max moves east just south of Acapulco.

The warning and watch were put into effect east of Punta Maldonado to Lagunas de Chacahua, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Hurricane Max is expected to bring heavy rain to the Mexican states of Guerrero and Oaxaca.

It is currently centered about 40 miles south of Acapulco and is moving east at 7 mph.

Max's maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph, with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles from its center, and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles.

"Some strengthening is expected today before Max reaches the coast this evening or tonight," the NHC said. "Weakening is forecast once Max makes landfall, and it is expected to dissipate over the mountains of southern Mexico by late Friday."

Hurricane Max on Thursday formed off southern Mexico’s Pacific coast, with forecasters predicting it will eventually strike land.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory that it expected Max to move east and ultimately making landfall in Mexico.

“Max is moving toward the east near 6 mph (9 km/h),” it said. “An east or east-northeast motion is expected to continue until Max moves inland along the southwestern coast of Mexico later today.”

“Maximum sustained winds have increased near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts,” the NHC added.

“Some additional strengthening is possible before Max moves inland. Weakening is forecast after landfall.”

Some Twitter users on Thursday responded to Max’s formation with humor, while other people on the social media platform voiced alarm at the latest hurricane in North America.

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The NHC said that Max’s “hurricane-force winds extend outward to 10 miles (20 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km).

The organization also predicted that significant rainfall could cause dangerous conditions in several Mexican states.

“Max is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches in the Mexican state of Guerrero and western portions of the state of Oaxaca,” the NHC said.

“Maximum amounts locally in excess of 20 inches are possible over coastal areas of Guerrero,” it added. “These torrential rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.”

The NHC additionally suggested that storm surge conditions in several of Mexico’s coastal states may put people there at risk.

“A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.”

The U.S. is still recovering after Hurricane Irma made landfall in southeast parts of the nation last weekend, shortly after Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas coast late last month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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