Hurricane Jimena blew into an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm off Mexico's Pacific Coast on Sunday and was headed close to resorts on the Baja California peninsula, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Jimena, a small but powerful hurricane that has intensified quickly since it formed early on Saturday, had winds of near 135 mph (215 kmh) with higher gusts, and further strengthening was expected.
According to the five-step Saffir-Simpson intensity scale, Category 4 hurricanes can cause devastating damage if they hit land. The NHC said a hurricane watch may be required for portions of southern Baja later on Sunday.
Jimena was a safe distance from shore on Sunday but was forecast to gather strength and buffet the upscale resort of Los Cabos by Tuesday, when the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will be meeting there to discuss tax havens.
Jimena was centered about 285 miles south of Cabo Corrientes, a point on the coast near the resort of Puerto Vallarta, and 515 miles south-southeast of Los Cabos on the southern tip of Baja, California.
The storm was moving northwest, roughly parallel to Mexico's Pacific coast, at about 9 mph with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 25 miles from its center.
Mexico has no oil installations in the Pacific and for the time being ports in the area remained open.
OECD head Angel Gurria will attend the meeting Tuesday and Wednesday in Los Cabos with officials from about 70 OECD and non-OECD countries. The Paris-based group wants to use the conference to persuade more countries to agree to share information useful to tax collectors.
Jimena is the second hurricane of the 2009 eastern Pacific season to brush close to Mexico after Andres pounded the same area in June, flooding Acapulco and sweeping a fisherman to his death. Acapulco, one of many resorts along Mexico's Pacific coast, is popular with Mexican and foreign tourists.
Hurricane Carlos formed in the Mexican Pacific in July but was too far out to sea to pose a threat.
Tropical Storm Kevin also gathered strength far out in the Pacific, some 960 miles southwest of the tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula and moving north-northeast.