MIAMI (AP) - Tropical Storm Barbara in the Pacific is strengthening as it moves closer to coastal areas in the southernmost parts of Mexico, which are under a tropical storm warning.

The National Hurricane Center said late Tuesday that Barbara was about 120 miles (193 kilometers) south-southwest of Salina Cruz, Mexico.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (80 kph) and is moving northeast at 3 mph (5 kph).

Forecasters said the storm is expected to accelerate northeast and further strengthen, with its center reaching the coast of southern Mexico on Wednesday afternoon or night.

A tropical storm warning is in effect in Mexico from Lagunas de Chacahua to Boca de Pijijiapan.

The storm is expected to bring 3 to 6 inches of rain over southern Oaxaca, Mexico.

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