Hurricane Aletta: 2018's first major Pacific storm already Category 4, no threat to land… yet

Hurricane season is on. Hurricane Aletta is now a Category 4 storm, and is the first major hurricane of the 2018 Eastern Pacific hurricane season. A second, as-yet-unnamed and still-forming storm is right behind it. That storm could become the year's second named hurricane within the next few days.

The highest cloud tops, corresponding to the most vigorous convection, are shown in the brightest red colors. Clustering, deep convection around the center is a sign of a healthy tropical cyclone.

The storm poses no current threat to any land area. Recorded maximum sustained winds are at 140 mph. The winds increased by 65 mph in 18 hours, between 5 p.m. Thursday, when it was first named a hurricane, and 11 a.m. Friday, when its rating shot up to Category 4.

"The remarkable intensification of Aletta has continued through this morning," the National Hurricane Center's 11 a.m. advisory reads.

As it circulates over warm ocean water that provides fuel and minimal wind shear, "there are no obvious reasons why Aletta should cease intensification," the National Hurricane Center says.

Intensity is expected to peak late Friday, with maximum winds of 145 mph, about 10 miles per hour short of the levels that would classify it as a Category 5 hurricane.

Separately, another area off the coast of Mexico may become a second hurricane within the next few days.

Aletta is centered just under 500 miles south of Mexico's Baja Peninsula.

In just 24 hours, Aletta went from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane, doubling its maximum sustained winds (70 mph to 140 mph) by the 9 a.m. MDT Friday National Hurricane Center advisory.

Infrared satellite imagery now shows a distinct, 20-mile diameter eye, with deep convection surrounding it.

No hurricane strike predicted at land, but… surf will be WAYYY up in Baja Sur.



SURF: Swells generated by Aletta will begin to affect portions of

the coast of west-central mainland Mexico and the west coast of

Baja California Sur later today and will continue through the

weekend. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and

rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local

weather office.