Hurricane Bud strengthens off Mexico's Pacific coast

Description of the 5 categories in the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale

Hurricane Bud on Monday strengthened into a category three storm in the Pacific off the Mexican coast, but was still expected to remain well offshore, US and Mexican meteorologists said.

At 1300 GMT, Bud was 380 kilometers (235 miles), southwest of Manzanillo, packing sustained winds of 185 kilometers (115 miles) an hour, Mexico's national weather service said.

A category three storm is at the middle of the five-point Saffir-Simpson wind scale.

The Miami-based US National Hurricane Center offered similar data, but said it would start to slowly lose steam as it continues on a northwest track on Tuesday.

Mexican experts said Bud -- the second hurricane of the Pacific season -- could make landfall on Friday in the tourist haven of Cabo San Lucas, but as a tropical storm.

A tropical storm watch was issued for the southwestern coast of Mexico from Manzanillo to Cabo Corrientes, popular resort areas.