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East Pacific Hurricane Season May Start Early

AccuWeather.com meteorologists are monitoring an area of the East Pacific for a potential tropical development this week. The usual hurricane season in the East Pacific begins on May 15, but conditions are favorable this year for an early start.

Through the first half of this week, low pressure likely will develop in the East Pacific about a thousand miles southwest of Acapulco, Mexico.

Thanks to warmer than usual sea surface temperatures attributable to a developing El Nino in the East Pacific, there is a good chance that this area of low pressure acquires tropical characteristics.

Current computer model guidance shows the potential track of a storm, which would be named Amanda if it reaches tropical storm strength, generally toward the middle of the Mexican Riviera with a threat for excessive rainfall and potentially strong wind for this area, including Acapulco.

However, there remains considerable uncertainty at this point, and most of our guidance currently indicates a relatively weak and disorganized storm system.

The reason for the northeastward track is that a storm system now moving into the western U.S. and Mexico will create a southwesterly steering flow for this system. This means that any potential tropical cyclone in this area will likely track toward the Mexican Riviera.

The track of this potential storm will play a role in how intense it can get. The waters in this area are running 2-3 degrees Fahrenheit (1-1.5 degrees Celsius) warmer than usual for this time of year, in the low to middle 80s Fahrenheit (28-29 degrees Celsius). However, the warmest waters and the greatest depth of warm waters are found over the southern end of the Mexican Riviera.

Therefore, should the storm track toward Acapulco or especially toward areas southeast of there, it has the potential to be stronger than if it were to track more toward Manzanillo or points to the northwest where waters are cooler.

At this point, residents of the Mexican Riviera and others with interests in the area should keep in touch with further developments and make sure that early preparations for the hurricane season are complete by midweek.