A tropical storm forms off the Pacific coast of Mexico

MEXICO CITY — Agatha, the first tropical storm of the 2022 Pacific hurricane season, formed off the southern coast of Mexico on Saturday.

The US National Hurricane Center said Agatha is expected to become a hurricane and head for land.

On Saturday morning, the center of the tropical storm was located about 220 miles (355 kilometers) southwest of Puerto Angel, with winds of 45 mph (75 km/h).

The storm was moving west at 5 mph (7 km/h), but was expected to take a northerly turn.

A hurricane watch has been issued for parts of the southern state of Oaxaca’s coast, where Agatha could make landfall by Tuesday.

While the storm could blow up to 100 mph (160 km/h) on landfall, the center spoke of the risk of “flash flooding and life-threatening mudslides” as its rains hit the mountainous terrain of Oaxaca.

Because the storm’s current track would carry it across the narrow waist of the Mexican Isthmus, the center said there was a chance remnants of the storm could reappear over the Gulf of Mexico.

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