Hurricane Agatha, the first named storm of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, made landfall Monday afternoon in southern Mexico.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the Category 2 storm had winds of 105 mph as the eye plowed into the Mexican state of Oaxaca, just west of Puerto Angel. That makes it the strongest hurricane on record to hit the Pacific coast of Mexico during the month of May. Record-keeping began in 1949.
Hurricane and tropical storm alerts are still in effect as powerful winds tear across the region.
Hurricane Agatha is expected to produce heavy rain, which could lead to flash flooding and mudslides across southern Mexico over the next few days.
In Oaxaca, 10 to 16 inches of rain, with some areas receiving up to 20 inches of rain, are possible. The NHC said life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides might occur in this region.
In Chiapas, 5 to 10 inches of rain is expected to fall through at least Tuesday, according to the NHC. Some areas could see up to 15 inches of rain, and flash flooding and mudslide may also occur in this region of southern Mexico.
Veracruz, Tabasco and eastern portions of Guerrero could see 2 to 4 inches of rain from Hurricane Agatha, with some areas seeing up to a half-foot of rain.
Agatha is forecast to quickly weaken as it moves inland over the mountainous terrain of the region and become a tropical depression by Tuesday night. However, the lingering circulation of the storm will likely help develop a system in the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean later this week.
The formation of Hurricane Agatha before June 10 beat the climatological date of the naming of the first cyclone in the Eastern Pacific.
The Atlantic basin will officially enter its annual hurricane season on June 1, and for the first time in eight years, there will likely not be any preseason development.
Forecasters warn even though the basin appears quiet now, they are anticipating the season to be busier than average.
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