Agatha, the first named storm of the Eastern Pacific season, is expected to become a Category 3 hurricane on Monday and bring “extremely dangerous storm surge and deadly winds” to southern Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm is expected to maintain its intensity as it makes landfall on the southern coast of Mexico Monday afternoon or evening, then weaken rapidly over southeastern Mexico on Tuesday, says the center.
Agatha became a hurricane on Sunday morning.
It’s ‘far too early to say what, if anything’ Hurricane Agatha means for the United States, meteorologist Craig Setzer wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “For now, we’ll just watch,” he said.
AccuWeather meteorologists noted that they will be watching Agatha’s “remaining energy” closely as it crosses Mexico and enters the Bay of Campeche. “Here, there is a chance that it will redevelop into the first named storm in the Atlantic Basin,” the outlet reported.
The hurricane comes as federal forecasters expect another busy Atlantic hurricane season in 2022: Up to 10 hurricanes could form, meteorologists said last week. The Atlantic season begins June 1 and ends November 30; it peaks in August and September.
HURRICANE FORECAST 2022:Up to 21 named storms possible; up to 10 hurricanes could form
WHAT IS THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE? : Breaking down how we classify hurricanes
Hurricane Agatha is the oldest hurricane in the eastern North Pacific since 2015, said Colorado State University researcher Phil Klotzbach. wrote on Twitter.
From the 10 pm CDT On Sunday, the storm was about 140 miles southwest of Puerto Angel, Mexico, moving northeast at 6 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Maximum sustained winds were near 110 mph Sunday evening. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles, the center said.
The storm surge is also expected to produce “extremely dangerous coastal flooding” and “large and destructive waves”, according to the center.
WHAT IS RIGHT? These “inland hurricanes” can cause enormous damage
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden pleaded with Americans to heed hurricane warnings and follow the advice of local officials.
“We know hurricanes are coming. They’re getting more extreme every season so far,” Biden said at a press conference at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
He added: “Given the climate crisis…we are expecting another tough hurricane season. The storms are going to be more intense and we are going to have shorter notice, as we saw last year with the ‘Hurricane Ida.’
Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana last August, killed nearly 90 people in eight US states, along with other subsequent deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Contributor: Eve Chen, USA TODAY