Hurricane Agatha formed in the Pacific Ocean days before the official start of hurricane season on Wednesday, and is expected to continue to strengthen before making landfall in southern Mexico on Monday.
Agatha’s maximum sustained winds were at 75 mph early Sunday, making it a Category 1 hurricane. After crossing southern Mexico, Agatha is expected to emerge in Mexico’s Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico or Sea Caribbean, forecasters from the National Hurricane Center said.
If Agatha or its remains cross the Gulf of Mexico, conditions could be favorable for further development.
The Loop Current, a mass of warm water that begins between Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and the western tip of Cuba, runs north into the Gulf of Mexico and then southeast to the Straits of Florida , is particularly hot at this time of year. The loop current could provide fuel in the form of hot water for the development of the tropical system.
“Agatha is expected to traverse quite mountainous terrain in Mexico, so she may not survive in the gulf,” said National Weather Service senior meteorologist Robert Garcia. “One of the things we’ll have to keep an eye out for is the remnants of this storm, what could potentially come out of it.
“But it’s so far back in time at this point that it’s very difficult to discuss it with any precision.”
A broad area of low pressure, believed to be a remnant of Agatha, is expected to emerge from the southwestern Gulf of Mexico by mid-week and may gradually develop and drift eastward to the south of the Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.
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The system, which the center of the hurricane gives a 30% chance of developing, is currently in the eastern Pacific and is expected to strengthen before making landfall in southeastern Mexico on Monday.
“For us in South Florida, it’s still unclear if there will be impacts from any of the remains and from Agatha,” Garcia said.
He also said the most immediate thing to watch in South Florida is the weekend weather.
“It’s something people should keep in mind when making their plans,” he said.
Rip current warnings are in effect for South Florida beaches this Memorial Day weekend, and afternoon rain and thunderstorms are expected Sunday and Monday.
Garcia said we’ll have to watch Agatha because we’re entering our unstable summer weather.
“I would say that would be something to watch as we head into the middle and end of the week, just to see what happens as the storm approaches on the Pacific side of Mexico,” he said. he declares. “It’s expected to make landfall there as a hurricane, and then we’ll see how it emerges as it crosses Mexico.”