Hurricane Carlos strengthens. Will it reach Mexico? (+video)
Hurricane Carlos on Saturday was located 140 miles from Acapulco, Mexico. The third hurricane this year indicates a fast start to the season.
Hurricane Carlos has formed over Pacific waters south of Acapulco, Mexico, prompting a hurricane watch to be issued for a swath of that country's coastline.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Carlos' eye was located at 11 a.m. EDT Saturday about 140 miles (225 kilometers) south of Acapulco and that the storm had top sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph). Forecasters say Carlos, previously a tropical storm, was moving northwest at 2 mph (4 kph).
Where is Carlos headed? Computer models disagree. But the National Hurricane Center says:
For the rest of the weekend, a building ridge over Mexico is expected to steer Carlos generally to the west-northwest. Thereafter, a mid-level trough near the Baja California peninsula should cause Carlos to turn northwestward. However, the hurricane is now farther to the east than expected yesterday, which has moved the track closer to the southwestern coast of Mexico. Track guidance has been steadily shifting eastward, and a few models are now showing landfall in Mexico.
National Weather Service forecasters note that since Carlos is over warm waters, it's likely to intensify in strength over the the next day or two.
Mexico's government issued a hurricane watch from Lazaro Cardenas to Punta San Telma, meaning hurricane conditions were possible within that area within 48 hours. A tropical storm warning was in effect from Tecpan de Galeana to Lazaro Cardenas, while a tropical storm watch was in effect for east of Tecpan de Galeana to Acapulco.
Now that Carlos is a hurricane, this hurricane season is off to a fast start: This is the third hurricane that has occurred in the eastern Pacific season, one day behind the third hurricane of 1956.