Agatha to strengthen into a hurricane before striking Mexico_freckle removal ottawa

Renee Duff·4 min read

An area of disturbed weather that AccuWeather meteorologists were closely scrutinizing all week over the waters south of Mexico became the first named storm of the 2022 East Pacific hurricane season -- Agatha -- early Saturday morning. Although Agatha is a small tropical storm, forecasters expect the storm to strengthen to a hurricane as it turns toward the Mexican coast into early week.

Within six hours of being designated Tropical Depression One-E by the National Hurricane Center late Friday, Tropical Storm Agatha formed early Saturday morning amid a cluster of showers and thunderstorms in the East Pacific. Winds within the center of the storm stood at 60 mph (97 km/h) at 4 p.m. CDT Saturday, up from 50 mph (80 km/h) during the afternoon hours.

Agatha could be seen swirling south of Mexico on this GOES-East satellite imagery from Saturday afternoon, May 28, 2022. (CIRA/RAMMB)

Forecasters say the system will remain in an environment conducive for continued strengthening up until it moves onshore in Mexico. By early Sunday morning, Agatha is forecast to reach Category 1 hurricane strength (maximum sustained winds of 74-95 mph, or 119-153 km/h).

Sea-surface temperatures in the area are more than sufficient for continued strengthening, and as of Saturday, the ocean water in this part of the Pacific Ocean was around 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). At a minimum, a sea-surface temperature of 79-80 F (26-27 C) is needed for the formation and maintenance of tropical systems. In addition, wind shear in the area is very light across this part of the basin, which will also contribute to the strengthening of the storm.

AccuWeather meteorologists expect Agatha to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane (maximum sustained winds of 96-110 mph, or 154-177 km/h) Monday evening along the southern coast of Mexico in the state of Oaxaca.

Hurricane watches have been hoisted along the southern coast of Mexico from Salina Cruz to Punta Maldonado.

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