Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Aletta Intensifies as Hemisphere's First Major Hurricane

Aletta Intensifies as Hemisphere's First Major Hurricane

The 2018 Eastern Pacific hurricane season has begun with a blast. 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).

Aletta, which became a hurricane on Thursday afternoon, rapidly intensified in less than 24 hours.

As of 9 a.m. MT on Friday, the center of Aletta was located about 815 kilometers (505 miles) southwest of Manzanillo in Mexico. It boasts a attractive presence on satellite imagery, nearly perfectly symmetric and featuring a well-defined eye. It was upgraded to a Category 3 storm on Friday.

Forecasters said the hurricane may gain more intensity before a combination of increased wind shear and decreasing ocean heat will cause Aletta to break down.

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However, over the weekend, the storm is forecast to steadily decay. Aletta should strengthen over the next couple days before weakening back to a tropical storm midday Sunday and a tropical depression midday Tuesday.

Hurricane Aletta erupted into a major hurricane in the East Pacific overnight.

Aletta was first named a hurricane on Thursday, June 7, which is over two weeks earlier than normal. If the disturbance earns a name, it will be called Bud.

The Weather Channel reported the average date when the first named storm forms in the Eastern Pacific Basin is June 10, according to NHS data from 1971 to 2009.

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