Norman strengthens into a major hurricane off Mexico, no threat to land

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Hurricane Norman rapidly intensified on Thursday morning, becoming a major category three hurricane as it moved further away from Mexico’s Pacific coast, forecasters said. There is no threat to land.

Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC), said Norman’s maximum sustained winds have increased to 115 miles (185 kilometers) per hour. Additional strengthening is forecast through Friday morning.

As of 2 a.m. PT on Thursday, the center of Hurricane Norman was located about 600 miles (965 kilometers) south of the southern tip of Baja California. It is moving towards the west, taking it further away from any land.

“Barring any unforeseen structural changes like an eyewall replacement, Norman is likely to continue strengthening for the next 24 hours or so, and nearly all of the intensity models depict the current rapid intensification phase persisting for the next 12 hours,” Berg said.

Norman is forecast to become a category four hurricane before it starts to weaken on Saturday.

Although Norman is currently moving in the direction of Hawaii, long-term computer models predict that the storm will turn towards the northwest, which should keep it well off the islands.

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 through November 30, with peak activity from July through September.

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