Hurricane Nora brushes Mexican coast

Hurricane Nora briefly made landfall in Mexico and is making its way north up the Pacific coast.
Hurricane Nora briefly made landfall in Mexico and is making its way north up the Pacific coast.

Hurricane Nora is churning northward up Mexico's Pacific coast toward the narrow Gulf of California, after making a sweep past the Puerto Vallarta area.

Authorities in Mexico's Jalisco state, where Nora made a brief landfall on Saturday night, crossing the cape south of Puerto Vallarta, said there were no early reports of serious damage.

But forecasters warned that people along Mexico's central and northern Pacific Coast should be alert to the dangers of flooding, mudslides and perilous surf.

Nora had maximum sustained winds of 120km/h late on Saturday, with tropical storm force winds extending out 165km. It was centered about 85km north-northwest of Puerto Vallarta, and heading to the north at 26km/h.

The US National Hurricane Center said Nora was likely to keep dragging along the coast and gradually weaken to a tropical storm by Sunday night before entering the Gulf of California, passing close to the mainland resort area of Mazatlan.

The storm was predicted to keep moving north up the gulf, before weakening further to a tropical depression and heading inland toward the Arizona border region. The storm's remnants could bring heavy rains by midweek to the US Southwest and central Rockies, the hurricane centre said.

The centre said some areas along the west coast of Mexico could see rainfall totals from 20 to 30cm with even more in isolated spots.

Australian Associated Press