Hurricane Bud attained major hurricane status Thursday evening, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, making Bud a Category 3 storm.
A hurricane warning was issued from Manzanillo north to Cabo Corrientes (just south of Puerto Vallarta). Such warnings typically are issued 36 hours before hurricane conditions are expected to reach a certain area.
Hurricane force winds are expected to materialize on the mainland coast, within the warning area, by Friday afternoon. But dangerously strong winds are expected to arrive Friday morning.
Heavy rain is expected in the states of Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and southern Nayarit. Rainfall accumulations could surpass 8 inches in places.
"Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion" within warning and watch areas, the National Hurricane Center stated in its 8 p.m. Thursday update.
At the time, Bud was located 170 miles southwest of Manzanillo, and expected to reach land sometime late Friday at hurricane strength.
Interestingly, Bud's surge in strength comes on a day in which NOAA predicted a "near-normal" season for the Eastern Pacific, calling for between 12-18 named storms and between 5-9 hurricanes. Between 2-5 of those storms were expected to be major hurricanes, of Category 3 strength or higher.
Bud is the season's first hurricane and he materialized somewhat early. Peak storm activity in the region, off western Mexico, is July through September.