Agatha forms as the latest first tropical storm in the eastern Pacific since Ava of 1969

Agatha forms as the latest first tropical storm in the eastern Pacific since Ava of 1969

Tropical Depression 02E formed around 03:00 UTC on July 2, 2016. By 15:00 UTC, 02E strengthened into a tropical storm and was named Agatha. This is the first named storm of the 2016 eastern Pacific hurricane season and the latest first tropical storm in the eastern Pacific since Ava of 1969.

At 15:00 UTC on July 2, the center of Tropical Storm "Agatha" was located far from land, about 1 245 km (775 miles) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico. Agatha was moving toward the WNW near 19 km/h (12 mph), and this motion is expected to continue through Sunday, July 3. A turn toward the west is expected on Monday, July 4.

Tropical Storm "Agatha" on July 2, 2016. Credit: UW-CIMSS

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 km/h (40 mph) with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is possible during the next 12 - 24 hours while Agatha remains in a light/moderate shear environment over relatively warm sea surface temperatures.

Beyond that time, a combination of strong southwesterly shear and cooler sea surface temperatures should cause a steady weakening. Agatha is expected to weaken to a depression by 48 hours, a remnant low by 72 hours, and dissipate completely by 120 hours.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 75 km (45 miles) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1 005 hPa.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Agatha is the first named storm of the 2016 eastern Pacific hurricane season. It is also the 2nd latest first named storm formation on record. The latest named storm on record is Tropical Storm "Ava" - July 3, 1969.

Featured image: Tropical Storm "Agatha" on July 2, 2016. Credit: NOAA GOES-West

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