Hurricane Jova weakens off Mexico's coast

By the Associated Press | October 11, 2011 | 2:10 PM EDT

A pedestrian walks on a flooded street in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Monday Oct. 10, 2011. Hurricane Jova strengthened to a major, Category 3 hurricane Monday as it marched toward Mexico's Pacific coast. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MIAMI (AP) — Hurricane Jova has lost some power and dropped one notch to a Category 2 storm as it nears a vulnerable Mexican coastline dotted with tourist resorts and flood-prone mountain villages.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Tuesday that its aircraft found top sustained winds had weakened to near 100 miles per hour (160 kph) from 115 mph (185 kph) earlier, when Jova was a Category 3 hurricane.

The storm's strength can still fluctuate before landfall, and it is expected to start weakening when the center comes ashore.

Jova's center was about 110 miles (175 km) from Manzanillo and its forecast path would lead it to landfall on a stretch of coast between Barra de Navidad and the larger resort of Puerto Vallarta, to the north, late Tuesday.