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Hurricane Bud Loses Strength, But Still Powerful

NOAA Satellite image of Hurricane Bud in the Pacific Ocean, May 25, 2012
Hurricane Bud has slightly weakened as it continues on a path across the Pacific Ocean toward the southwestern coast of Mexico.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the storm is carrying maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers an hour, making it a Category Two storm on the five level scale that measures a storm's potential destructive power.

Hurricane and tropical storm warnings are in effect for Manzanillo north to Cabo Corrientes and the surrounding areas. Forecasters say Bud will continue to weaken during the day, but expect the storm to make landfall late Friday as a hurricane.

Hurricane Bud is expected to produce between 15 to 25 centimeters of rain along the area, with some parts getting as much as 30 centimeters, which could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Forecasters are predicting a near-normal hurricane season for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific coasts.

They expect four to eight hurricanes in the Atlantic with at least one turning into a Category 3 storm or higher.

The experts predict as many as nine hurricanes in the Pacific with at least two becoming major storms.

The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and lasts until November 30. The Pacific season began on May 15 and ends November 30.