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Tropical Storm Carlotta Poses Threat to Mexico Coast

The predicted path of Tropical Storm Carlotta
The predicted path of Tropical Storm Carlotta, which is expected to become a hurricane by Friday (June 15) and threaten the west coast of Mexico. (Image credit: NHC/NOAA)

Tropical Storm Carlotta has formed in the East Pacific and is expected to become a hurricane sometime tomorrow (June 15), posing a threat to the west coast of Mexico.

Carlotta first formed as a tropical depression late last night about 515 miles (830 kilometers) south-southeast of Puerto Angel, Mexico. Bt the wee hours of this morning, it had strengthened into a tropical storm, the third of the season for the East Pacific basin, and received its name.

The storm is currently about 385 miles (620 km) south-southeast of Puerto Angel and has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph). Carlotta is expected to strengthen over the next 48 hours, becoming a hurricane, as it heads toward the northwest and the Mexican coast, according to the latest forecast from the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The Mexican government has issued a hurricane warning from Salina Cruz to Punta Maldonado and a hurricane watch from Salina Cruz to Barra de Tonala and Punta Maldonado to Acapulco. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected in the warning area and is typically issued about 36 hours before those conditions are expected. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible and is issued about 48 hours in advance.

Meanwhile, the Atlantic Ocean basin is quiet in terms of storm activity. Two tropical storms, Alberto and Beryl, have already formed there; both formed before the official June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season. The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season is forecasted to be a normal one, with 15 named storms (tropical storms and hurricanes), with between or to eight hurricanes.

Andrea Thompson

Andrea Thompson is an associate editor at Scientific American, where she covers sustainability, energy and the environment. Prior to that, she was a senior writer covering climate science at Climate Central and a reporter and editor at Live Science, where she primarily covered Earth science and the environment. She holds a graduate degree in science health and environmental reporting from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science and and masters of science in atmospheric chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.