Aletta becomes first hurricane of 2018 Pacific season

Infrared satellite view of Hurricane Aletta on the morning of June 8

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 through November 30, with peak activity from July through September.

The center of the storm was located about 455 miles west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. Fortunately for Mexicans and travellers alike, the storm's track keeps it well offshore throughout its life cycle.

Hurricane Aletta rapidly intensified on Friday morning, becoming a major category four hurricane as it moved further away from Mexico's Pacific coast, forecasters said. In 2017, the basin saw 18 named storms, 9 of which become hurricanes, with 4 classified as major storms (category 3 or higher).

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Hurricane Aletta is centered about 500 miles south of Mexico's Baja Peninsula and is tracking west-northwest away from land. Infrared satellite images show the storm has a distinct, 20-mile wide eye, with deep convection.

Forecasters expect the storm to make a turn toward the northwest over the weekend before a westerly turn Sunday or Monday.

If it becomes a tropical storm, it will be named Bud. The NHC said it's too early to tell whether the second system will pose a threat to the Pacific coast next week. The first eastern Pacific hurricane forms on June 26 on average.

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