Weather Wise

The last two days have seen the development of a major hurricane off the coast of Mexico. Here's a diary of the event as reported by the news agencies:

6 October, 22.32: Tropical storm Pauline is some 220 miles south west of Tapachula, Mexico, with sustained winds of 62mph and gusts of 74mph. Heavy rains are predicted.

7 October, 03.51: Pauline is upgraded to a hurricane. Wind gusts have risen to 92 mph.

7 October, 18.38: Reuters report that Hurricane Pauline has gained strength and begun "trekking ominously toward already rain-soaked parts of southern Mexico". Sustained winds are now 134 mph, with gusts reaching 161 mph. Winds extend 35 miles from the epicentre.

8 October, 01.09: Pauline is now a Class Four hurricane on the five- point Saffir-Simpson scale. Waves on Mexico's Pacific coast are reported to be between 23ft and 26ft high. The hurricane's path seems to lead directly through tourist areas of Oaxaca state.

8 October, 07.23: Slightly calmer and still 100 miles offshore. Hurricane experts say the exact course of Pauline is unpredictable: it could hit the Oaxaca coastline or veer back out to sea. Luxury hotels tape their windows shut. Mexico waits and trembles.