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.
Aletta is the first hurricane of the 2018 season in the eastern Pacific. It grew from a Tropical Storm to a Category 3 hurricane within 24 hours. It had 75-mph maximum sustained winds and was moving west-northwest at 6 miles per hour, the NHC's 5 p.m. EDT update said.
Zoomed out view of Hurricane Aletta, June 8.
Churning over warm waters that can provide fuel and with relatively little wind shear to disrupt its towering thunderstorms, "there are no obvious reasons why Aletta should cease intensification", the National Hurricane Center said. Aletta should strengthen over the next couple days before weakening back to a tropical storm midday Sunday and a tropical depression midday Tuesday.
With the formation of Aletta, the hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific basin is off to an early start.
Forecasters are also keeping an eye on another area of low pressure to the east of Aletta. Computer models suggest moisture from this system could get drawn up into the Desert Southwest late next week feeding afternoon showers and storms.
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