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Tropical depression forms off Mexico’s Pacific coast

Tropical Depression 21-E formed far off Mexico's Pacific coast on Wednesday, and the system is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Rick within hours, forecasters say. The late-season storm is not expected to pose a threat to land.

The depression formed about 455 miles (735 kilometers) south-southwest of Manzanillo, a municipality in the Mexican state of Colima which is also home to the country's busiest port. The system was nearly stationary by Wednesday afternoon, but 21-E is expected to turn toward the northwest on Thursday and then toward the west-northwest with an increase in forward speed. This will take it well away from land.

Maximum sustained winds of 21-E were near 35 miles (55 kilometers) per hour with higher gusts on Wednesday afternoon, and the system is expected to become Tropical Storm Rick as early as Wednesday night.

"Since the cyclone should be over anomalously warm waters during this (72 hours) period, intensification is forecast, especially after the shear decreases," said Todd Kimberlain, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center. "After 72 hours, a tremendous increase in southwesterly shear ahead of the trough advancing from the west should result in rapid weakening, with remnant low status likely in 96 to 120 hours."

No watches or warnings are in effect.

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