Orlene weakens into tropical depression over western Mexico

Hurricane Orlene approaches Mexico

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Orlene weakened into a tropical depression as it crawled farther inland, dumping heavy rains across parts of western and central Mexico on Monday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Orlene had made landfall from the Pacific Ocean earlier in the day as a Category 1 hurricane before weakening into a tropical storm.

At 4:00 p.m. Central Time (2100 GMT), the Miami-based NHC said Orlene was packing maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (56 km/h) as it inched north-northeast at 9 mph.

The NHC warned that heavy rainfall from Orlene could lead to flash flooding and possible landslides in parts of southwest Mexico with rugged terrain through Tuesday.

Orlene arrived onshore just north of the border between the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Nayarit at around 7:45 a.m. local time (1345 GMT), according to the NHC.

It predicted that Nayarit and Sinaloa may see three to six inches (7-15 cm) of rain with isolated areas receiving up to 10 inches, and the southwest of the state of Durango could see one to three inches with local amounts of five inches.

Meanwhile, a disturbance in the Pacific some 500 miles off the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula strengthened into Tropical Storm Paine, the NHC said, though it is expected to gradually turn westward throughout the week.

(Reporting by Kylie Madry and Sarah Morland, editing by Ed Osmond, Marguerita Choy and Aurora Ellis)