Hurricane season has started early: the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season has come and gone even before the official start of the season on June 1, and now a storm has developed enough to be named off the coast of Mexico, and another depression farther out in the Pacific also shows signs of developing into an organized storm. Tropical Storm Barbara has formed off Mexico's Pacific coast. It is expected to move out to sea while gaining strength, then be pushed back toward land over the next two days, and strike in the area of the Mexican resort city of Acapulco. It is not anticipated that the storm will become a typhoon, because the waters in the area are still too cool, but they are warmer than normal across both the Atlantic and the Pacific, and, if theory is correct, this means that the tropical storm season worldwide is going to be extremely active. In addition, any time a system enters an enclosed gulf where the waters are, in general, at or approaching record warmth, fast strengthening can be expected. The two sea areas most vulnerable to this phenomenon are the Gulf of Mexico and the Bay of Bengal.
Art credit: NOAA
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