MEXICO CITY — Tropical Storm Bud has lost its powerful hurricane punch off Mexico’s Pacific coast, though it remains on track to move over the southern end of the Baja California peninsula and its popular resorts Thursday night.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Bud’s maximum sustained winds lessened to 50 mph (85 kph) as it moved over cooler waters Wednesday. That was a big drop off from the 130 mph (210 kph) winds it had as a Category 4 hurricane Tuesday.
Forecasters said the storm would likely weaken some more, but it was still expected to be a tropical storm when it reached the peninsula’s southern tip Thursday night. Bud was then projected to cross over the Gulf of California as a tropical depression Friday and make a second landfall on the Mexican mainland Friday night.
The forecast path would carry it near Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, which are popular destinations for international and domestic travelers with millions of visitors each year.
Mexican authorities issued a tropical storm warning for a stretch of the Baja coast from Santa Fe to La Paz, a stretch that includes the twin resort cities of Los Cabos.
The Baja California Sur state government said the ports of Los Cabos were closed to all craft beginning at midday Wednesday and classes were canceled at schools in Los Cabos and La Paz for Thursday afternoon and Friday.
Late Wednesday, Bud was centered about 175 miles (280 kilometers) south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas at the peninsula’s southern tip and was moving north-northwest at about 7 mph (11 kph).
The hurricane center said the storm could cause dangerous surf for the next few days and could bring 1 to 3 inches of rain to southern Baja California and Sonora state on the mainland.