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Tropical Storm Gilma Forms in East Pacific

The forecasted path of Tropical Storm Gilma as of the morning of Aug. 7, 2012.
The forecasted path of Tropical Storm Gilma as of the morning of Aug. 7, 2012. (Image credit: NHC/NOAA)

After a flurry of storm activity earlier this summer, the East Pacific has remained relatively quiet in recent weeks, but that calm has been broken with the formation of Tropical Storm Gilma.

Gilma became the seventh named storm of the East Pacific season when it strengthened from a tropical depression into a tropical storm early this morning (Aug. 7).

The storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) and is situated about 585 miles (945 kilometers) south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. It is moving toward the west-northwest at about 12 mph (19 kph).

Gilma is expected to strengthen some over the next two days, but is far out to sea and isn't expected to pose a threat to land.

The last named storm to form in the East Pacific was Tropical Storm Fabio in early July. So far this season, four storms have strengthened into hurricanes in that basin.

Meanwhile in the Atlantic basin, Tropical Storm Ernesto is set to make landfall over the Yucatan Peninsula and could strengthen into a hurricane before it does so. If it does, it will be only the second hurricane for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, which has seen six named storms.

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.