Hurricane approaching Baja California drops in strength. Tropical Storm Erika could near Northern Leeward Islands.

Hurricane Jimena has weakened from Cat 4 yesterday to Cat 2.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the southern part of the Baja California peninsular. AT 0600 GMT, the centre of Hurricane Jimena was located near Lat 23.4 N Long 111.7 W, which is 95 miles west southwest of La Paz, Mexico.

Jimena is moving north northwest at 13mph. Its core will be over the southern part of the Baja California peninsular on late Wednesday and Thursday, it is forecast. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to to 110mph. Rain of 5 to 10 inches is expected over the southern southern part of the Baja California peninsular during the next two days. Flash floods and mud slides could occur.

Hurricane Jimena has weakened from Cat 4 with winds as high as 155 mph. "Jimena is the most powerful hurricane to have developed so far this year," said Dr. Tim Doggett, principal scientist at AIR Worldwide, yesterday.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Erika was at 0600 hrs GMT about Lat 17.0 N, Long 58.7 W, which is about 200 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands. Though having appeared to have moved westwards over the past few hours, forecasters expect it to resume a west-northwest direction today. Its centre, which is poorly defined, could pass near the Northern Leeward Islands later today. Most of the strong winds are occuring well to the northeast of the centre. Maximum sustained winds are 60mph. Strenthening is possible.