Tropical Storm Pamela strengthens off Mexico's Pacific coast

This satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows a Tropical Storm Pamela in the Pacific as it approaches Mexico at 11:30 am EST, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. (NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES via AP)

Tropical Storm Pamela rapidly strengthened as it moved along Mexico's Pacific coast Monday and it was forecast to become a major hurricane before hitting shore somewhere near the port of Mazatlan at midweek.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Pamela's center was about 435 miles (700 kilometers) south-southwest of Mazatlan at midafternoon Monday and was moving northwest at about 7 mph (11 kph). The storm had maximum winds of about 70 mph (110 kph).

Pamela was forecast to take a turn toward the north and northeast, passing south of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula late Tuesday or early Wednesday at hurricane strength. The storm was forecast to make landfall Wednesday near Mazatlan, potentially as a Category 3 hurricane.

Pamela was then expected to weaken while crossing over northern Mexico and could approach the Texas border as a tropical depression by Thursday.

The hurricane center warned of the possibility of life-threatening storm surge, flash floods and dangerous winds around the impact area.