Hurricane Agatha is rapidly intensifying in the eastern Pacific Ocean as it heads toward Mexico


Agatha, the first hurricane of the season in the eastern Pacific, had maximum sustained winds of 110 mph as of 10 p.m. Sunday, The National Hurricane Center said, up from 60 mph with sustained winds at the same time Saturday night. Winds of up to 130 mph have been reported.

Agatha is now completely shy of a Category 3 storm and is expected to continue to gain strength before making landfall Monday evening near Salina Cruz, Mexico.

The storm is located 125 miles southwest of Puerto Angel, Mexico, according to a Sunday night update.

The projected path of Agatha through Mexico.

A hurricane warning is in effect from Salina Cruz to Lagunas de Chacahua. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Salina Cruz eastward to Boca de Pijijiapan and Lagunas de Chacahua westward to Punta Maldonado.

Tropical storm conditions are expected across southern Mexico Sunday night with hurricane status reaching the warning zone on Monday.

“Storms may result in coastal flooding near and to the east as the center passes the coast in areas of onshore winds,” the National Hurricane Center said. “The increase may be accompanied by large and destructive waves.”

In addition to storms, heavy rain from Agatha will hit parts of southern Mexico by Sunday through Tuesday night.

“Heavy rain is expected across Mexico’s state of Oaxaca, with 10 to 16 inches expected, but isolated totals likely to be 20 inches,” the hurricane center said.

Forecasters are watching the development of storms in the Gulf of Mexico in the middle of the week.

After crossing land, the remaining bottom of the scattered Agatha could reappear in the southern Gulf of Mexico by the middle of this week.

The National Hurricane Center highlighted a 30% chance of development over the next five days across the region.