MEXICO CITY - Tropical storm Carlos threatened Mexico's southwest Pacific coast with heavy rains on Sunday, and may become a hurricane again as it barrels toward land, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Bracing for high winds, strong waves and downpours, Acapulco, the biggest city in the southwestern state of Guerrero, closed its port, and school classes were suspended in the state for Monday, local government authorities said.
Shelters for people at risk from the rainfall were opened, and the weather front knocked down trees and fences in parts of the state.
On the other side of the country, a low pressure system in the southern Gulf of Mexico that could become a tropical storm in the next two days was producing some showers.
By late evening, Carlos was 95 miles (153 km) west of Acapulco, blowing maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour (113 kph) with higher gusts, and moving northwest at around 6 mph (10 kph), the Miami-based center said.
Carlos was a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday, but was downgraded to a tropical storm after weakening overnight. The NHC said late on Sunday it expected Carlos to strengthen little over the next two days, but added it would not take much for the storm to become a hurricane again.
The NHC projections showed Carlos could hit the coast near the industrial port of Manzanillo by Tuesday afternoon, before moving toward the tourist resort of Puerto Vallarta the next day. By then it was predicted to be only a tropical depression.
Rain from Carlos is expected to fall in the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco, with 15 inches (38 cm) possible in some areas through Tuesday, the center said.
A hurricane watch was in effect from Punta San Telmo to Playa Perula, with warnings also out in Guerrero.