Mexico authorities keep wary eye on Hurricane Carlos keeps brushing along Pacific coast

Officials are keeping a close watch on Hurricane Carlos as it spins just out to sea, brushing by fishing villages, port cities and tourist resorts on Mexico's southwestern coast.

Civil Protection officials in Michoacan, the next state in Carlos' sights after it battered the shoreline of neighboring Guerrero, warned of heavy rain and possible hail. Waves were forecast to reach nearly 15 feet (4.5 meters).

Farther to the north in Jalisco state, home to the resort city of Puerto Vallarta, officials were inspecting coastal areas and preparations ahead of rains predicted for Tuesday, but ports, schools and airports remained open.

Late Monday, Carlos was centered about 100 miles (165 kilometers) southwest of the port city of Lazaro Cardenas with top sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The storm was moving west-northwest about 6 mph (9 kph).

The center predicted Carlos would lose strength and become a tropical storm by Wednesday.

Over the weekend, high surf kicked up by Carlos swamped some boats and washed away small palm-frond beach huts in Acapulco, while strong winds knocked down trees and billboards. No major damage or deaths were reported.

Rain accumulations of 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 centimeters) were possible in southwestern Mexico, with a chance for up to 15 inches (37 centimeters) in some areas, the Hurricane Center said.

A tropical storm warning was in effect from Punta San Telmo to Cabo Corrientes. A hurricane watch was posted from Punta San Telmo to Playa Perula.