Stories

The big picture: First "major" hurricane of 2018

GIF of Hurricane Aletta forming as it approaches Mexico
Hurricane Aletta approaches Mexico as day breaks. Data: RAMMB / CIRA; GIF: Harry Stevens/Axios

Just days after President Donald Trump's hurricane forecast briefing, a rapidly intensifying major hurricane has formed in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The details: The storm, Hurricane Aletta, intensified from a Category 1 to a Category 4 storm — with maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour — in just 18 hours from Thursday into Friday morning. Such storms are classified as "major hurricanes" once they hit Category 3 intensity or greater.