MEXICO CITY (AP) — Agatha, the first tropical storm of the 2022 hurricane season in the Pacific, formed Saturday off Mexico’s southern coast.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Agatha is expected to become a hurricane by Sunday and head towards land.
On Saturday morning, the center of the tropical storm was located about 215 miles (345 kilometers) southwest of Puerto Angel, with winds of 45 mph (75 kph).
The storm was moving west-northwest at 5 mph (7 kph), but was expected to take a turn northward.
A hurricane watch was issued for parts of the coast of the southern states of Guerrero and Oaxaca, where Agatha could make landfall by Monday, perhaps in the area around Puerto Escondido or the resort of Huatulco.
While the storm could pack winds as high as 100 mph (160 kph) at landfall, the center cited the risk of “potentially life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides” as its rains pound the mountainous terrain of Oaxaca.
Because the storm’s current path would carry it over the narrow waist of Mexico’s Isthmus, the center said there was a chance the storm’s remnants could re-emerge over the Gulf of Mexico.