Hurricane Sandra weakens slightly, but still powerful Category 3 storm in the eastern Pacific

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MIAMI — Hurricane Sandra has weakened slightly but is still a powerful Category 3 storm in the eastern Pacific off Mexico's coast.

The hurricane's maximum sustained winds Thursday afternoon were 120 mph (195 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says rapid weakening is expected: Sandra is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm Friday night and become a remnant low on Saturday.

Sandra is centered about 420 miles (680 kilometers) south of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula and is moving north near 12 mph (19 kph).

The Mexican government has issued a tropical storm watch for the southern portion of the Baja California peninsula.

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