Hurricane Agatha is first named storm of Atlantic season after hitting Mexico with 105mph winds

·2-min read
Hurricane Agatha is first named storm of Atlantic season after hitting Mexico with 105mph winds

Hurricane season got underway on Monday with the strongest storm ever to make landfall in the month of May.

Hurricane Agatha slammed into a coastal region in southern Mexico as a Category-2 storm with sustained winds of 105mph.

Heavy rains are continuing over parts of southern Mexico, posing a threat of life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides for the next few days, the US National Hurricane Center reported.

A report early on Tuesday said that the remnants of Agatha will move inland over southern Mexico with maximum wind speeds dropping to 30mph. The storm is expected to weaken throughout the day.

However Agatha will produce heavy rains over portions of southern Mexico through Tuesday evening. In the Mexican state of Oaxaca, 10 to 16 inches were expected with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches possible. In Chiapas, 5 to 10 inches of rain was forecast, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches possible.

Swells generated by Agatha are also expected to impact the coastline of southern Mexico through Tuesday, causing life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Agatha is the first named hurricane of the Atlantic season which forecasters expect to be an above-average year.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported last week that 2022 would be the seventh year in a row with a higher-than-average number of hurricanes.

NOAA predicts there will be up to 21 named storms, where wind speeds over 39mph, with six to ten becoming hurricanes, with winds more than 74 mph.

Part of the reason is the ongoing La Niña phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, which can increase hurricane frequency in the Atlantic. In addition, the agency blames warmer surface water temperatures on the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, which can help power up a storm’s intensity.

Hurricane season begins in June and usually peaks in early autumn. The average season has around 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three hurricanes at Category 3 or stronger.

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