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Agatha makes landfall in Oaxaca as the strongest May hurricane to hit the Pacific coast of Mexico

Hurricane "Agatha" at 21:20 UTC on May 30, 2022

Hurricane “Agatha” made landfall just west of Puerto Angel, Mexico at 21:00 UTC on May 30, 2022, with maximum sustained winds of 165 km/h (105 mph), making it the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall along the Pacific coast of Mexico in May. Agatha is the first named storm and the first hurricane of the 2022 Pacific hurricane season (May 15 – November 30).

Agatha rapidly weakened after making landfall and became a tropical depression at 12:00 UTC today with its center located about 90 km (50 miles) N of Salina Cruz, Mexico.

The storm is moving NE at 13 km/h (8 mph).

Wind gusts to tropical storm force are possible along the coast of southern Mexico through this morning.

The system will continue producing heavy rains over portions of southern Mexico through tonight. Oaxaca is forecast to receive 250 – 400 mm (10 – 16 inches), with isolated maximum amounts of 500 mm (20 inches) possible.

Life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides may still occur.

Hurricane "Agatha" at 21:20 UTC on May 30, 2022
Hurricane “Agatha” at 21:20 UTC on May 30, 2022. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

Swells generated by Agatha will affect the coast of southern Mexico through the rest of the day.

These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

The Governor of Oaxaca said classes had been canceled along the coast on Monday and Tuesday, adding that the country’s national defense, the military, the Mexican National Guard and the Navy had been deployed to respond to the hurricane.

Update (June 1): Oaxaca officials said at least 11 people have been killed and 33 others remain missing.

Agatha is the strongest May hurricane to hit Mexico’s Pacific coast since record keeping began in 1949. Only two Category 1 hurricanes had made landfall in the region prior to Agatha – Hurricane “Barbara” on May 29, 2013, and another Agatha on May 24, 1971.

tropical depression agatha at 1320z on may 31 2022 bg
Tropical Depression “Agatha” at 13:20 UTC on May 31, 2022. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

A large and complex area of low pressure is expected to develop near the Yucatan Peninsula and the northwestern Caribbean Sea in a couple of days, partially related to the remnants of Agatha from the eastern Pacific, NHC said.2

Despite strong upper-level winds over the area, this system could become a tropical depression while it moves northeastward over the northwestern Caribbean Sea and the southeastern Gulf of Mexico late this week.

Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is likely across portions of southeastern Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, and Belize during the next few days, spreading across western Cuba, southern Florida, and the Florida Keys by the end of the week.

Formation chance through the next 2 days is low at 10 percent; and medium at 60% over the next 5 days.

References:

1 Tropical Depression Agatha – Intermediate Advisory Number 14A – NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL EP012022 – 700 AM CDT Tue May 31 2022

2 Tropical Weather Outlook – NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL – 800 AM EDT Tue May 31 2022

Featured image: Hurricane “Agatha” at 21:20 UTC on May 30, 2022. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

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2 Comments

  1. This is what happens when evil men and woman manipulate the weather. People who don’t believe in God. And people’s of the world that never look up don’t realize what is happening and blame God for it.

    1. “Science is a way to call the bluff of those who only pretend to knowledge. It is a bulwark against mysticism, against superstition, against religion misapplied to where it has no business being.” – Carl Sagan

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