The official start of the eastern Pacific hurricane season is May 15, but the first tropical system of the year has already formed.
An area of showers and thunderstorms rapidly organized on Tuesday, becoming the earliest tropical depression and tropical storm on record in the eastern Pacific Ocean since reliable data began in 1966. The previous record for the earliest tropical depression was on May 12, 1990. This depression strengthened to Tropical Storm Alma on May 14.
Strong winds high in the atmosphere have caused Adrian to since weaken back down to a tropical depression. A hostile environment may cause the storm to weaken further into the weekend.
The storm is currently located well off the coast of Mexico and Central America and moving northwest. Latest indications show that a more westward track is likely into the weekend, which would keep the storm away from land.
However, areas along the southern Mexico coast will be at greatest risk to experience an increase in rain and rougher seas due to the proximity of the storm.
The exact track of Adrian will determine the extent of impacts, but flooding rain and mudslides are still possible along the southern Mexico coast.
The threat for damaging winds and an inundating storm surge has lessened significantly given the weaker nature of the storm.
This early tropical system is kicking off what AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski states will be “at least a normal to slightly above-normal season” in the eastern Pacific.
“This prediction does not include storms that will develop in the central Pacific Ocean, including in the Hawaii area," he explained.
An average season in the eastern Pacific Ocean yields 15 named tropical storms and eight hurricanes, four of which become major hurricanes.
“There are also one to two tropical impacts on the United States from the eastern Pacific during an average year,” Kottlowski said. “This would mainly be in the form of flooding rain affecting the region from Southern California to Texas."