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Tropical Storm Carlotta to become a hurricane: US

MEXICO CITY -- Tropical Storm Carlotta strengthened off Mexico's Pacific coast on Thursday and was expected to become a hurricane on Friday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Carlotta, the third named storm of the Pacific hurricane season, is set to graze the coastline south of tourist city Acapulco and pass north of Mexico's largest oil refinery.

State oil company Pemex said it was monitoring the storm and the 330,000 barrel-per-day refinery was operating normally on Thursday.

Carlotta's path is far from the Baja California resort of Los Cabos where world leaders are set convene for the Group of 20 leaders of top economies on Monday and Tuesday.

With maximum sustained winds of almost 65 mph (100 kph), Carlotta was 460 miles (745 km) southeast of Acapulco and moving northwest at 10 mph (17 kph), the Miami-based hurricane center said.

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