Tropical Storm Ernesto hugged the southern edge of the Bay of Campeche early Thursday, quickly strengthening in its warm waters, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm's forecast map shows it regaining hurricane status by mid-morning.
As of 2 a.m. ET, the storm was about 30 miles (50 km) north-northeast of Paraiso and about 100 miles (160 km) east-northeast of Coatzacoalcos, the center reported. Ernesto was moving west at 16 mph with packing maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
"Some additional strengthening is expected and Ernesto is forecast to become a hurricane before making landfall," forecasters said. "Weakening is expected after the center moves over land."
A storm becomes a hurricane when its winds reach 74 mph.
After crossing the Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday, Ernesto is expected to make landfall a second time on Mexico's coast by Thursday night.FULL STORY