Aletta becomes first hurricane of eastern Pacific season

GETTYHurricane Irma wrecked havoc on Florida and the Caribbean last year

Infrared satellite view of Hurricane Aletta on the morning of June 8.

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 through November 30.

In order for a hurricane to qualify as a Category 4 storm, it would have to produce winds between 130 to 156 miles per hour, according to NASA, and Aletta seems determined to top that category.

Aletta, which became a hurricane on Thursday afternoon, rapidly intensified in less than 24 hours.

Aletta is located around 450 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. It boasts a handsome presence on satellite imagery, nearly perfectly symmetric and featuring a well-defined eye. Meteorologist Travis Herzog says June is typically a quiet month in the Atlantic with 90% of all hurricane activity normally occurring after August 10th.

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Churning over warm waters that can provide fuel and with relatively little wind shear to disrupt its towering thunderstorms, "there are no obvious reasons why Aletta should cease intensification", the National Hurricane Center said. It was upgraded to a Category 3 storm on Friday.

The center said Aletta is likely to become a hurricane by Thursday as it moves westward into the Pacific. "It's happened 3 other times this decade, and a total of 9 times since 1970, per NOAA's database", he tweeted.

Forecasters are also keeping an eye on another area of low pressure to the east of Aletta.

An average Eastern Pacific hurricane season produces 15 to 16 named storms, with eight to nine becoming hurricanes and four becoming major hurricanes.

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