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Aletta weakens to Category 3 hurricane

11 June 2018
Aletta weakens to Category 3 hurricane

This is the first tropical storm of the 2018 eastern North Pacific season.

David Zelinsky, a forecaster at the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC), said Aletta's maximum sustained winds have increased to 220 kilometers (140 miles) per hour. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour (220 kph) and is moving toward the west-northwest at five miles per hour (seven kph).

There is a tropical depression that could strengthen to a hurricane while moving northwest toward the West Coast of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said.

An average Eastern Pacific hurricane season produces 15 to 16 named storms, with eight to nine becoming hurricanes and four becoming major hurricanes. Breaking waves and rip currents will be a threat along those beaches into at next week.

Interests along the Mexican coast from Acapulco to Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos should monitor the progress of this second system into next week. Rapid weakening is then expected through the weekend.

The first hurricane, and the first major hurricane, of 2018 has formed (a major hurricane is considered a Category 3 or higher). It's happened seven other times since 1970, according to NOAA's historical hurricanes database.

With strengthening, Bud is expected to become a hurricane late Sunday or early Monday.

While it may seem unusual for the Pacific's first storm to be so strong, meteorologist Jonathan Erdman discovered it's not all that uncommon.