MIAMI — Tropical Storm Alvin, the first named storm of the east Pacific hurricane season is gradually strengthening off the coast of Mexico.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Alvin's maximum sustained winds early Thursday are near 50 mph (85 kph). The storm, which currently isn't a threat to land, could become a hurricane in the next day or two.

As of 5 a.m. EDT, Alvin was centered about 705 miles (1,135 kilometers) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and moving west-northwest near 10 mph (17 kph) on a path that's expected to take it farther out to sea.

The eastern and north Pacific hurricane season began Wednesday and runs through Nov. 30.

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  • This NOAA satellite image taken Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM EDT shows Hurricane Leslie south of Bermuda. In the Caribbean Sea, the monsoon trough is producing showers and thunderstorms over Colombia, Venezuela and the southwestern Caribbean Sea. Farther north, an area of low pressure off the coast of Alabama and western Florida Panhandle is producing showers and thunderstorms. This system has a low chance of development into a tropical cyclone. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)

  • This NOAA satellite image taken Monday, September 03, 2012 at 01:45 PM EDT shows Tropical Storm Leslie located about 510 miles north of the Leeward Islands. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)

  • This NOAA satellite image taken Monday, September 03, 2012 at 01:45 PM EDT shows Tropical Storm Leslie located about 510 miles north of the Leeward Islands. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)

  • Senior Hurricane Specialist Lixion Avila checks the paths of tropical weather systems at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • This NOAA satellite image taken on Thursday, September 06, 2012 at 10:45 AM EDT shows an area of low pressure over southeastern Canada, with a cold front extending southward through the eastern United States. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)