Andres weakens to tropical storm in eastern Pacific; Hurricane Blanca rapidly strengthening



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MIAMI — Andres has weakened to a tropical storm in the eastern Pacific while Hurricane Blanca is rapidly strengthening and is expected to become a major hurricane.

Andres' maximum sustained winds early Wednesday decreased to near 70 mph (110 kph) with continued weakening expected. The storm is centered about 995 miles (1,600 kilometers) west-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Blanca is gaining strength and the U.S. National Hurricane Center says it's expected to become a major Category 3 storm later in the day. Blanca's maximum sustained winds are near 110 mph (175 kph).

Blanca is centered about 410 miles (655 kilometers) south-southwest of Zihuatanejo, Mexico, and is nearly stationary but expected to move north-northwest on Thursday.

Swells from Blanca will begin affecting parts of Mexico's southwestern coast during the next few days.

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