Hurricane Aletta strengthens to Category 4 in Pacific

Hurricane Aletta strengthens to Category 4 in Pacific
Hurricane Aletta is centered about 500 miles south of Mexico's Baja Peninsula and is tracking west-northwest away from land. It was upgraded to a Category 4 storm on Friday.

Hurricane Aletta quickly intensified in the eastern Pacific Ocean to a Category 4 storm late Friday, but the National Hurricane Center says it is beginning to weaken as it reaches cooler Pacific waters.

Aletta poses no direct threat to Mexico or the United States. A Category 4 hurricane is listed as being able to cause “devastating damage” with sustained winds 130-156 mph. The Weather Channel reported Aletta is centered just over 500 miles south of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.

The Weather Channel reported infrared satellite imagery showed Aletta continues to break up and has become less symmetric, and is expected to rapidly weaken.

Forecasters are still keeping an eye on another area of low pressure to the east of Aletta. The National Hurricane Center is giving the tropical depression a good chance to develop into a tropical storm this weekend south of the Mexican Riveria.

If it becomes a tropical storm, it will be named Bud. The NHC said it’s too early to tell whether the second system will pose a threat to the Pacific coast next week. Regardless, forecasters expect some impacts, such as high surf, rip currents and bands of rain along the coast will develop.

The Weather Channel reported the average date when the first named storm forms in the Eastern Pacific Basin is June 10, according to NHS data from 1971 to 2009.