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Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season Begins

May 15, 2014

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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The Eastern Pacific Hurricane season is underway and will continue through the end of November.

In an average Eastern Pacific season, which includes Central America`s and Mexico`s Pacific Coast, 15 to 16 tropical storms with winds of at least 39 mph form. Nine typically become hurricanes with winds in excess of 74 mph while 4 become major hurricanes with winds greater than 111 mph.

Although the season officially gets underway later this week, the first few storms don`t form, on average, until late June. The most active part of the season occurs from September into early October. The eastern Pacific typically experiences a higher number of named tropical storms than does the Atlantic Basin. Even so, east to west winds in the eastern Pacific Ocean generally steer most storms away from the U.S., Mexico and Central America coastlines.

Now is the time to make a detailed disaster plan for you and your family should a tropical system head for your area. This includes knowing storm impacts to your home such as flooding, storm surge and wind. Have a disaster supply kit readily available. Also, it`s good to have an escape route in case evacuation orders are issued as well as a list of emergency contact numbers and out-of-state emergency contacts.

The 2013 season had above average activity with 18 named storms and nine hurricanes. Only one storm became a major hurricane. One of the more noteworthy storms included Barbara, which made landfall on May 29. This marked the second-earliest hurricane landfall in the Eastern Pacific since records began in 1949. Hurricane Manuel was the first Eastern Pacific storm to make landfall in mainland Mexico, redevelop over water and proceed to become a hurricane.

Even 2012 season was a busy season for the Eastern Pacific basin. Seventeen named storms formed, with ten becoming hurricanes and five major hurricanes.

Powerful Category 2 Hurricane Carlotta made landfall near Puerto Escondido, Mexico, making it the easternmost land falling hurricane in the eastern North Pacific basin since 1966. The only other storms to make landfall during the 2012 Eastern Pacific Season were Tropical Depression Norman, as it came onshore near Topolobampo, Mexico, late in September, and Post-tropical Cyclone Paul that came onto the west coast of Baja California Sur.

The Eastern Pacific had a bit of a lull in 2011 with 11 named storms while only 7 named storms formed in 2010.

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