Aletta becomes first hurricane of eastern Pacific season

NASA peers into the rainfall of Eastern Pacific' Tropical Storm Aletta

First Pacific hurricane of 2018 explodes to Category 4

The storm formed weeks earlier before June 26, the average date of the first eastern Pacific hurricane.

Hurricane Aletta is centered about 500 miles south of Mexico's Baja Peninsula and is tracking west-northwest away from land. Strengthening rapidly overnight, the storm was rated Category 4 by Friday afternoon as it continued to churn in the waters off the west coast of Mexico. If this next disturbance becomes a Tropical Storm it will be named Bud. Both storms could cause high surf, rip currents, rainbands and possibly flash flooding to occur.

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.

Infrared satellite imagery now shows that Aletta continues to lose organization and is rapidly weakening. Rapid weakening is then expected through the weekend.

Aletta was first named a hurricane on Thursday, June 7, which is over two weeks earlier than normal.

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It's not unusual for the Eastern Pacific season's first storm to be a Category 4 hurricane.

The east Pacific hurricane season, which starts on May 15 each year, has its first official hurricane.

The center said Aletta is likely to become a hurricane by Thursday as it moves westward into the Pacific. "It's happened 3 other times this decade, and a total of 9 times since 1970, per NOAA's database", he tweeted.

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

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