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Erick weakens to tropical storm off Mexico coast

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An image obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Hurricane Erick moving up the western coast of Mexico on July 6, 2013. Erick was downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday after losing some of its punch without having touched land.NOAA/AFP/File

Hurricane Erick was downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday after losing some of its punch without having touched land.

At 1800 GMT, Erick was about 245 miles (395 kilometers) southeast of the southern tip of Baja California, according to the Miami based National Hurricane Center.

"Gradual weakening is forecast over the next 48 hours," the NHC said.

Maximum sustained winds for Erick were 65 miles (100 kilometers) per hour, moving toward the northwest at 10 miles (17 kilometers) per hour.

US weather forecasters said they still anticipate that the effects of the storm would be palpable even though Erick remains offshore, with "tropical storm conditions... in Baja California" by early Monday.

Some areas are also likely to experience heavy rains, mudslides and flash floods, the NHC said.

Erick is the fourth hurricane of the current storm season, after Barbara, Cosme and Dalila.