Earliest tropical storm on record forms in Pacific

Tropical Storm Andres on Sunday was the earliest known storm in the eastern Pacific, according to the National Weather Service.

The system formed hundreds of miles off the west coast of Mexico, had winds of 40 miles per hour and was moving at 6 miles per hour as of Sunday morning. It is not expected to threaten land and is likely to disintegrate within 48 hours, NWS predicted.

The storm is notable for its early arrival – it only beats the record set by Tropical Storm Adrian, which rose to named status on May 10, 2017, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30.

Top forecasters predicted that 2021 could fill a wallop with another active, above-average hurricane season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, although storms sometimes form outside of these dates. In fact, storms have formed in May for the past six years.

Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach and other Colorado State University experts expect there will be 17 named storms in the Atlantic – eight of which will turn into hurricanes.

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A tropical depression officially becomes a storm when the wind speed reaches 39 miles per hour and a hurricane when it reaches 74 miles per hour.

An average season has 12 tropical storms, six of which are hurricanes. There were 30 named storms in 2020, 13 of which were hurricanes.

Scientists have concluded that man-made global warming has increased the wind speed of hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones.

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A study published last year looked at satellite imagery worth 40 years and found that the likelihood of hurricanes falling into Category 3 or higher has increased, in line with expectations of storm behavior in response to a warming world.

Global warming is caused by the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, which releases greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere. This has caused the planet to warm to levels that cannot be explained by natural factors.

Contributor: Doyle Rice

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