Agatha, first Pacific hurricane of 2022, strikes Mexico
Hurricane Agatha — the first 2022 hurricane in either the Atlantic or the eastern Pacific — came ashore in southern Mexico on Monday as a high-end Category 2 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Threat level: "Although Agatha is weakening, life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides from heavy rains are still possible through Tuesday," said the National Hurricane Center in a forecast discussion Monday night, after it became a tropical storm.
- "Heavy rains associated with Agatha will continue over portions of southern Mexico through Tuesday. This will pose a threat of life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides," the NHC said.
- "Tropical storm conditions will continue within the warning area through Tuesday morning," it added.
Of note: Agatha was the strongest hurricane on record to strike land in the eastern Pacific during the month of May, according to the National Hurricane Center.
- The first named Pacific hurricane of 2022 formed Sunday.
- Agatha came ashore with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph near Puerto Angel, Mexico, as it moved toward the northeast at close to 8 mph Monday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center.
State of play: The tropical storm was still packing winds of 70 mph and dumping heavy rains near Puerto Angel, Mexico, as it moved northeastwards inland on Monday night.
- The Mexican state of Oaxaca was the worst-affected area for rain and facing the threat of life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides, forecasters warned.
- Oaxaca could expect 10 to 16 inches overnight, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches possible.
- A tropical storm warning was in effect for Puerto Escondido eastward to Boca de Pijijiapan.
What to watch: There is an increasing chance the storm's general circulation could survive the trek across Mexico and redevelop in the Gulf of Mexico later this week.
The big picture: The storm went through a period of rapid intensification on Sunday, taking it to the brink of major hurricane status.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest information about the storm's winds, rains, movement and outlook for the Gulf of Mexico.