'Aletta' becomes first hurricane of 2018 east Pacific season

Christopher Davidson
June 9, 2018

In its 2018 seasonal forecast, NOAA called for an 80 percent chance of a near-to-above-average season in both the Eastern and Central Pacific basins, with a total of 14-20 named storms, 7-12 hurricanes, and 3-7 major hurricanes.

The 2018 Eastern Pacific hurricane season has begun with a blast. It could grow into a Category 4 sometime Friday. It had maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (75 kph) and was moving west at 8 miles per hour (13 kph).

"The remarkable intensification of Aletta has continued through this morning", the National Hurricane Center wrote in its 11 a.m. advisory.

Zoomed out view of Hurricane Aletta, June 8. It was upgraded to a Category 3 storm on Friday.

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Forecasters expect the storm to make a turn toward the northwest over the weekend before a westerly turn Sunday or Monday. Zelinsky said there was no obvious reason for Aletta to stop gaining strength through Saturday, but he added that weather models indicate that the hurricane is likely to have reached its peak.

With the formation of Aletta, the hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific basin is off to an early start.

Centered just under 500 miles south of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, Aletta transformed from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane in just 24 hours.

If it becomes a tropical storm, it will be named Bud.

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