ENVIRONMENT

Fernanda becomes a powerful, Category 3 hurricane in Pacific

Hurricane Fernanda strengthened into a powerful, Category 3 hurricane well off Mexico's west coast on Friday but did not pose any immediate threat to land as it headed farther out into the Pacific.

The U.S National Hurricane Center reported that Fernanda's maximum sustained winds had increased to 115 mph (185 kph). It is the second major hurricane of the season.

The center said Fernanda could continue to strengthen to Category 4 as it heads west in the general direction of Hawaii, though the storm is expected to weaken within three days.

Fernanda was centered about 1,020 miles (1,640 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula and was moving westward at 12 mph (19 kph).