Carlos becomes a hurricane over Pacific off southwest Mexico

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Hurricane Carlos formed Saturday over the Pacific Ocean south of Acapulco, Mexico, prompting a hurricane watch to be issued for a swath of that country's southwest coastline, U.S.-based forecasters said.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Carlos' eye was centered at 11 a.m. EDT Saturday about 140 miles south of the tourist resort of Acapulco and that the storm had top sustained winds of 75 mph. Forecasters said Carlos, a tropical storm only hours earlier, had gained strength overnight and was moving toward the northwest at 2 mph.

Mexico's government has issued a hurricane watch from Lazaro Cardenas to Punta San Telma along Mexico's southwest mainland coast, meaning hurricane conditions were possible within that area within 48 hours. A tropical storm warning also was in effect from Tecpan de Galeana to Lazaro Cardenas, while a tropical storm watch was in effect for areas east of Tecpan de Galeana to Acapulco.

Carlos is the third hurricane of the 2015 eastern Pacific season, and forecasters said hurricane-force winds extend outward from the eye about 25 miles (35 kilometers). The center also cautioned that ocean swells kicked up by Carlos will reach the coast in the warning and watch areas over the next days and could produce life-threatening surf and rip currents.

Carlos, which had become virtually stationary earlier in the day, was on the move and expected to increase its forward speed over coming days on a forecast track parallelingthe coast. Forecasters said the storm could see some increase in strength in coming days.