In the wake of Hurricane Agatha, Tropical Storm Alex could form in the Gulf of Mexico

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Hurricane Agatha hit the Pacific coast of southern Mexico on Monday, packing winds of 105 mph. The Category 2 hurricane became the most powerful storm on record to hit the nation during the month of May.

Since then, the storm has weakened rapidly as it made landfall, but its remnants are expected to be pulled into a developing system in the Gulf of Mexico that has increased chances of becoming a new tropical depression or storm later this week.

Should a storm form, it could potentially earn the Alex name and become the first of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially begins on Wednesday. As the weekend approaches, the nascent system could head toward Cuba and Florida with heavy rain and gale-force winds.

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As it completes its transit through southern Mexico on Tuesday, Agatha’s remains are expected to produce rainfall totals of 10 and 20 inches over the higher terrain of Chiapas and Oaxaca states. The National Hurricane Center says they have Ability to cause “life-threatening floods and mudslides”.

Agatha made landfall at 4 p.m. Central time Monday, west of Puerto Angel in Oaxaca state, affecting mostly small, sparsely populated beach towns and fishing villages. This became the third hurricane to hit Mexico during the month of May.

Reuters mentioned Mexico has deployed its National Guard before the storm in the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas to provide assistance. She wrote that the storm left two highways impassable and brought down phone lines.

Once the remnants of Agatha appear near the Yucatan Peninsula or the eastern parts of Campeche Bay in the southern Gulf, they are expected to trigger new growth of storms. The National Hurricane Center places high odds, about 70 percent, of that happening.

Although it is unusual for tropical storms or hurricanes to cross from one ocean basin to another, it is completely unheard of. Typically, it happens when storms drift westward on the Caribbean journey westward over the thin spine of Central America. For example, Hurricane Otto made landfall on the Atlantic side of Costa Rica on November 24, 2016, as a Category 3 hurricane. It continued to travel westward as a tropical storm in the Pacific Ocean while retaining its name.

And that raises an important question – will any variants in the bay keep Agatha’s name from the Pacific, or will they claim the first name on the 2022 Atlantic list, Alex? It depends on the organization of the storm.

If Agatha’s vortex was a quick wilting it would somehow still be intact with a noticeable spin And the That vortex became the fulcrum of a new Atlantic storm, Agatha will remain. However, Agatha’s vortex will likely disintegrate, and its remnants will absorb a new spinning region, which will earn a new name – in this case, Alex.

Computer models generally agree that the system will develop in the bay, but they differ in how robust it is. The European model hints that the cycle will narrow late Thursday or Friday and become a tropical storm near Florida by the end of the week. On the other hand, the US GFS model is less assertive.

If the stronger models are correct and Alex’s figure, the biggest threat to Florida is likely to be torrential rain, with secondary risks from winds, coastal flooding and hurricanes. It will take at least another day or two for predictions of system strength to become more clear.

“Regardless of development, heavy rain is likely to fall locally across parts of southeastern Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, and Belize over the next few days, and spread across western Cuba, southern Florida, and the Florida Keys by the end of the week,” the Hurricane Center writes. .

Models suggest 4 to 6 inches of rain likely along Florida’s west coast over the next week.

After impacting Florida, the system—whether named Alex or not—is expected to ride parallel to the east coast and sweep north and east toward the sea, towed north by plunging into the creek. It is not uncommon for coastal areas in the southeast to be cut off by the system as it exits late into the weekend or early next week.

The possible formation of Alex is likely a harbinger of what is to come – Experts predict a very active hurricane season in the Atlantic.

Jason Samino contributed to this report.