Here come the hurricanes - photo gallerytropical storm alex
Hurricane season is upon us and maelstroms are forming. Hurricane Celia is west of Mexico and her 160 mph winds have given her a category 5 status. Celia is moving southwest into cooler waters and is expected to weaken without coming ashore.
Meanwhile, Darby is strengthening off Mexico's west coast. The Weather Examiner reports. "To the southeast, Hurricane Darby ramped up to Category Two status with winds near 110-115 mph. Darby will continue to slowly drift NNW for the next few days, remaining over very warm sea surface temperatures good enough to support continued development. However wind shear may increase over Darby early next week that ought to lead to some weakening."
Out in the Atlantic, Alex has pulled himself together. Alex was an unnamed tropical depression, but is now the first hurricane of the season. Hurricane season is starting early. Fox News commented earlier, "And in the tropics, a very rare tropical wave for this time of year so far out in the Atlantic is getting its act together right now. It looks like we could have our first tropical depression of the 2010 season, and perhaps our first named storm - Alex in the next 12 to 24 hours. The only other time we've had a storm this early so far out in the ocean was Tropical Storm Ana back in 1979. Climatology tells us that any storm that forms this far out so early in the season shouldn't survive, but the sea surface temperatures are off the charts right now, and over the next day or so upper level winds will be pretty light, so chances are good we'll see Alex show up, and the Lesser Antilles will need to keep an eye on this for at the very least heavy rain and strong winds by weeks end."
In the US, hurricanes are named by the US National Hurricane Center. Until 1979 the names were all female and in alphabetical order. Now the names alternate from male to female in order. No names beginning with QUXY and Z are used. The names of notable hurricanes are retired by request. If the list is used, Greek letters are used next. In 2005 all the names on the list were used. There were 28 storms, 1 unnamed.
NOAA said Alex spun into a hurricane "shortly after midnight Tuesday."
"Maximum sustained winds are near 100 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 24 hours. Alex is the first hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30."
Hurricane season in the US has begun early this year. Hurricane Alex leads the pack with low winds off North Carolinas Outer Banks.
Hurricane season is here