MEXICO CITY – Newly formed Tropical Storm Lidia is swirling over the Pacific toward the southern end of Mexico's Baja California peninsula and is expected to be closing in on the coastal area that includes the twin resort cities of Los Cabos on Thursday night.
Mexican authorities warned residents of lower Baja to prepare for high winds, heavy rain and a dangerous storm surge after Lidia formed Wednesday. Heavy rain also was reported falling on southwestern Mexico. Forecasters said Lidia could produce total accumulations of as much as 8 to 12 inches across much of Baja California Sur state and western Jalisco state on the mainland, threatening flash floods and landslides.
Another tropical storm, Irma, also formed far out in the eastern Atlantic on Wednesday but forecasters said it posed no immediate threat to land.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Lidia was expected to approach the southern tip of Baja California on Thursday night. It said some strengthening was expected during the day and the storm "still has the opportunity to be near hurricane strength" before making landfall.
Lidia had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) Wednesday night. Its center was about 160 miles (255 kilometers) south-southeast of the peninsula's tip Wednesday evening and it was heading north-northwest at 7 mph (11 kph).
Tropical Storm Irma formed over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean and was predicted to become a hurricane Thursday. It was on a general path that could bring it near the eastern entrance to the Caribbean Sea by early next week.
Irma's center was about 545 miles (875 kilometers) west of the Cape Verde Islands. Maximum sustained winds were 65 mph (100 kph) with higher gusts. It was heading west at 12 mph (19 kph), and no coastal watches or warnings were in effect.