As Hurricane Pamela gains strength along Mexico’s Pacific coast on Tuesday, forecasts warn that the storm could hit Mazatlan on Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its forecast that “significant and life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides” are likely to threaten rural communities that are at higher risk of heavy rainfalls. The city of more than half a million could also experience destructive winds, inland flooding and a dangerous coastal storm surge, The Washington Post noted.

“Steady to rapid strengthening is forecast, and Pamela is expected to be near major hurricane strength when it reaches the coast of Mexico early Wednesday,” the NHC said in a Tuesday update.

Pamela was moving north at about 13 mph (20 kph), with maximum winds of about 80 mph (130 kph).

The hurricane center said that Pamela is expected to weaken as it passes through Mexico and it could hit the south-central United States as a tropical depression sometime “late Wednesday or Thursday.”

“A potentially significant heavy rainfall event begins to unfold today through Thursday over the Central/Southern Plains as a surge of tropical moisture from the Pacific will lead to widespread storms likely to produce several inches of rain from very heavy and intense downpours,” NHC said in a Tweet.

States like Texas and Oklahoma could be seeing alerts of flash and urban flooding as the storm nears the area late Wednesday.