Hurricane Agatha, expected to make landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast today as a major Category 3 storm, is unlikely to enter the Yucatán Peninsula with any ferocity, forecasters said.
But the National Hurricane Center gave a 30% chance for storm development in the Caribbean over the next five days. The week ahead is likely to be, at the very least, stormy, gray and wet, thanks to Agatha.
Agatha is forecast to strengthen into a category 3 hurricane today and weaken rapidly over southern Mexico’s rugged terrain by Tuesday. If it strengthens enough over the Gulf of Mexico, it would be renamed Alex, the first name under the Atlantic’s 2022 system. But rather than a hurricane, it would possibly be just a tropical depression, said Juan Antonio Palma Solís of Meteored México. Flooding could result, he warned.
After that, forecasters will keep an eye around the Yucatán and the northwestern Caribbean Sea to see if anything develops from what was Agatha.
“Regardless of development, locally heavy rains will be possible across southern Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, and Belize through the week,” the National Hurricane Center said in its Sunday evening Tropical Weather Outlook.
“Some gradual development is possible within this system in the far southwest Gulf of Mexico by mid-week or in the northwest Caribbean by the latter part of this week as the larger low complex drifts eastward or northeastward,” the Miami-based hurricane center reported.
At 11 p.m. Sunday, Agatha was packing maximum sustained winds of 110 mph and moving northeast at 6 mph.
“Agatha has strengthened at an impressive rate of 45 kt over the past 24 hours, and it likely will intensify a little more as it is expected to remain in generally favorable conditions until it reaches the coast of Mexico. However, there is a chance of an eyewall replacement cycle that could cause the intensity of the hurricane to fluctuate,” hurricane center forecasters said.