Aletta rapidly strengthens into a Category 4 hurricane

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Aletta strengthened from a tropical storm to a hurricane - the first of the Pacific hurricane season - Thursday afternoon off the coast of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said.

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 through November 30. It grew from a Tropical Storm to a Category 3 hurricane within 24 hours.

The storm, which is no threat to any land area, is packing maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour. It boasts a attractive presence on satellite imagery, nearly perfectly symmetric and featuring a well-defined eye. In 2017, the basin saw 18 named storms, 9 of which become hurricanes, with 4 classified as major storms (category 3 or higher). Meteorologist Travis Herzog says June is typically a quiet month in the Atlantic with 90% of all hurricane activity normally occurring after August 10th.

However, over the weekend, the storm is forecast to steadily decay.

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Meanwhile, forecasters are also keeping an eye on a broad area of low pressure a few hundred kilometers (miles) southwest of Guatemala.

With the formation of Aletta, the hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific basin is off to an early start. The first eastern Pacific hurricane forms on June 26 on average.

If it becomes a tropical storm, it will be named Bud.

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