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Hurricane Aletta a Category 4 storm in Pacific off Mexico

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A Storm Bud Intensifies At West Of The Pacific Coast Of Mexico

The US National Hurricane Centre says Aletta is centred about 505 miles (815 kilometres) west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. It was upgraded to a Category 3 storm on Friday.

Aletta, off the Mexican coast, poses no threat to land. Strengthening rapidly overnight, the storm was rated Category 4 by Friday afternoon as it continued to churn in the waters off the west coast of Mexico.

The first hurricane, and the first major hurricane, of 2018 has formed (a major hurricane is considered a Category 3 or higher). Infrared satellite images show the storm has a distinct, 20-mile wide eye, with deep convection. It was moving west-northwest at 6 miles per hour (9 kph).

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GW Hall & Son Seafood in Maryland. VOA

Forecasters said the hurricane may gain more intensity before a combination of increased wind shear and decreasing ocean heat will cause Aletta to break down. This disturbance is now a cluster of storms, but is becoming better organized.

AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said: "Since this system will track over and through an environment very similar to what Aletta experienced, there's a good chance that it will become a hurricane".

The NHC said Aletta became a hurricane 19 days before the average date of the first eastern Pacific hurricane, which is June 26.

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