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Cat 5 hurricane unprecedented for being so far north, east

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MEXICO CITY — Tropical Storm Narda pounded the Mexican coast near the resort of Zihuatanejo Sunday, bringing heavy rains and a threat of flooding.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was centered about 15 miles (25 kilometers) west of the beach town Sunday morning, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph). It was moving to the northwest at 15 mph (24 kph) and the forecast track would keep it right along Mexico’s Pacific coast in the coming days.

The biggest threat appeared to be rain. The Hurricane Center said Narda was expected to produce 5 to 10 inches (12.5 to 25 centimeters) of rainfall along the coast from Oaxaca to Nayarit — a stretch that includes Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Lorenzo slipped back to Category 4 force in the central Atlantic Ocean after several hours as a Category 5 — which made it the strongest storm ever observed so far north and east in the Atlantic basin.

The Hurricane Center said early Sunday that the storm had maximum sustained winds of 155 mph (250 kph).

Lorenzo is moving north at 10 mph (16 kph) and is centered about 1,360 miles (2,190 kilometers) southwest of the Azores, a Portuguese island chain.

There were no coastal watches or warnings in effect, although forecasters expected the storm to remain strong as it approaches the Azores over the next few days, and it might eventually reach the Ireland or Britain at tropical storm force.

Officials said swells produced by the storm were affecting parts of the northeastern coast of South America and the Lesser Antilles.

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