Thursday, August 16, 2018
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Tropical Storm Aletta has formed off of Mexico, but will not be a threat to land

MAX WEB TROP PAC2 swath 1280x720Aletta became the first tropical storm of the 2018 early Wednesday.

Aletta isn't a direct threat to land, but is expected to become a hurricane Thursday.

Another area of low pressure to the east will likely also become a named storm by this weekend.

The future of this second system is uncertain regarding potential land impact next week.

Some outer impacts such as high surf, rip currents, and bands of rain may affect the coast, regardless.

Tropical Storm Aletta has become the first named storm of the 2018 Eastern Pacific hurricane season, and another area off the Mexican coast could become the second named storm this weekend.

Aletta is just over 400 miles off the Mexican coast. Infrared satellite imagery shows impressive thunderstorms near Aletta's center, and high clouds to the north indicate the tropical cyclone has good outflow aloft to support strengthening.

Aletta is expected to strengthen to the season's first hurricane no later than late Thursday or early Friday. According to the National Hurricane Center, there is a chance Aletta could experience a period of rapid intensification, defined as an increase in maximum sustained winds of at least 35 mph in 24 hours or less.

Fortunately, a dome of high pressure aloft will steer Aletta away from the Mexican coast on a general west-northwest track into early next week.

Increased surf is expected along the Mexican coast from Puerto Vallarta to Acapulco, and some clouds and perhaps a shower or two may meander its way to the immediate coast.

Rip currents will be a threat from Jalisco to Oaxaca into the weekend even if a second system does not form.

To the east of Aletta, another area of low pressure, a tropical wave, is given high odds by the NHC to develop into at least a tropical depression this weekend south of the Mexican Riviera.

If it eventually becomes a tropical storm, it would earn the name Bud.

It's too soon to determine whether this second system will eventually pose a direct threat to parts of the Mexican Pacific coast next week.

However, there are indications among our numerical model guidance that "Future Bud" may track closer to the Mexican coast next week.

For now, 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.

At least some peripheral impacts are possible near the coast from each system, even if the centers of both systems remain offshore.

Some outer rainbands could push ashore, at times, through next week, possibly triggering local flash flooding if they persist in any area for a few hours at a time.

High surf will be generated, propagating first to the southern Mexican coast, then pushing northward toward the Baja Peninsula, including Los Cabos, late in the week or into the weekend. Breaking waves and rip currents will be a threat along those beaches into at next week.


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