The Weather Channel
A hurricane warning was issued as Tropical Storm Barbara approached southeastern Mexico on Wednesday.
Pacific Tropical Storm Barbara strengthened on Wednesday as it bore down on southern Mexico, prompting the government to issue a hurricane warning for coastal areas near Salina Cruz.
Just before 6:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the storm was producing sustained 65 mph winds as it churned slowly northeastward through the Gulf of Tehuantepec, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The storm, about 85 miles south of the shore, was gathering strength as it lumbered northeastward at 6 mph, according to the hurricane center.
A hurricane watch was also in effect from Puerto Angel in the north to Barra de Tonala in the south.
The center of the storm was expected to strike just east of Salina Cruz, the third-largest city in Oaxaca state, on Wednesday afternoon.
Sustained winds of potentially reaching hurricane force -- 74 mph and above -- with gusts of up to 85 mph were forecast.
The storm’s current track would carry it across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, where it was expected to diminish significantly before reaching the Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane center said.
Its path was well southeast of the region’s largest cities, including Mexico City, though it had potential to bring heavy rains and gusty winds to the large port city of Coatzacoalcos in Veracruz state as it neared the Gulf of Mexico, according to forecast maps.