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Celia, Category 4 Hurricane, STRENGTHENS At Sea, Darby Forms

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MEXICO CITY — Hurricane Darby formed in the Pacific off Mexico's southwest coast Thursday, while Hurricane Celia strengthened into a powerful Category 5 storm farther out at sea.

Neither posed an immediate threat to land.

Darby, a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 90 mph (150 kph), was located about 255 miles (410 kilometers) south of Acapulco on Thursday night, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

It was expected to strengthen over the next two days as it heads west-northwest, well away from land.

The hurricane center projected the storm could take a sudden eastward turn early next week, putting it on a path toward Mexico's southern Pacific coast.

That prediction is tentative and depends on a tropical wave of pressure forming in the western Caribbean, said John Cangialosi, a hurricane specialist at the center. Otherwise, Darby could continue on its northwestern path out to sea.

"It's a low-confidence forecast at this point," Cangialosi said. "It's not going to have great impact on land over next few days so there is certainly time to watch it."

Meanwhile, Celia became a Category 5 hurricane – the strongest designation on the Saffir-Simpson scale, used to measure wind speed_ as it headed west across the open Pacific. Its maximum sustained winds increased to 160 mph (260 kph).

It was located about 785 miles (1,260 kilometers) south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

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