Carlotta Becomes Hurricane In Eastern Pacific

Third Named Storm In EPAC Becomes 2012’s First Hurricane

The Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season always seems to get off to a fast start. Thanks to a start that comes two weeks before the Atlantic season gets underway, the EPAC doesn’t have take long to get named storms up on the board. So far this season, there have already been three including the latest, Carlotta, which just became the first hurricane in 2012.

As of the 11:00 AM EDT, or 8:00 AM PDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Carlotta was located approximately 120 miles South-Southeast of Puerto Angel, Mexico, or about 330 miles Southeast of Acapulco, Mexico. Maximum sustained winds are estimated at 80 miles per hour with gusts in upwards of 100 miles per hour. Barometric pressure is estimated to be at 985 millibars, or 29.09 inches of Hg. Carlotta is a Category One Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

The storm is currently moving to the Northwest at 12 miles per hour. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Pacific Coast of Mexico from Salina Cruz to Acapulco. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for two parts of the Pacific Coast of Mexico. One watch extends east of Salina Cruz to Barra De Tonala while the other extends from west of Acapulco to Tecpan De Galeana. Interests along the Mexican Coast from west of Tecpan De Galeana to Cabo Corrientes should closely monitor the progress of this storm.

Looking at the latest forecast discussion from the NHC, the storm has become much better organized with a well defined central dense overcast, and a newly formed eyewall. Carlotta also has good outflow. The discussion goes on further to say that Carlotta is in a rapid intensification phase, and should be at least a Category Two Hurricane by the time it approaches the West Coast of Mexico. It is very possible that we could have our first major hurricane of 2012 as well.

Moving on to the forecast track, the guidance has shifted more to the north with Carlotta. A mid-level ridge east of the hurricane is expected to keep pushing the storm to the Northwest. A ridge is then forecast to build to the north of Carlotta, and that will turn the storm more toward the west after 24 hours.