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Barbara becomes tropical storm again

/ Source: news services

The second named storm of the eastern Pacific hurricane season grew back to tropical storm force on Friday and it was expected to hit the coast of Mexico or Guatemala over the weekend.

A tropical storm watch was in force from Sipacate, Guatemala, to Barra de Tonala, Mexico, and the U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami warned that Tropical Storm Barbara could unleash heavy rains, life-threatening flooding and mudslides.

With maximum winds of 50 mph, the storm was centered Friday afternoon about 140 miles southwest of the Guatemala-Mexico border and was slowly moving east at 5 mph. It was forecast to turn north as early as Friday night and hit land either in Guatemala or Mexico on Saturday, the hurricane center said.

Barbara had been downgraded to a tropical depression late on Thursday but became stronger overnight.

Earlier reports had Barbara developing into a hurricane over the weekend and barreling toward Mexican coastal resorts like Puerto Escondido, a major surfing spot.

The first tropical storm of the eastern Pacific's 2007 season, Alvin, faded at sea Thursday.

The eastern Pacific hurricane season opened May 15.