Tropical Storm Rachel moving in Pacific off Mexico

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Tropical Storm Rachel strengthened Thursday over open waters off Mexico's Pacific coast, but was expected to pose little threat to land.

The storm's maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph (85 kph) Thursday night, and some slow strengthening was expected, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Rachel, which reached tropical storm force late Wednesday, was centered about 380 miles (615 kilometers) south of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula and moving west-northwest at 14 mph (22 kph).

The forecast track would carry the storm a little farther out to sea at just below hurricane strength, then curve it back toward the Baja peninsula next week as a fading tropical depression.

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