As predicted, Hurricane Fausto became 2008's third eastern Pacific hurricane, and the fourth American hurricane.
The hurricane is expected to gain strength as it moves off the coast of Mexico. At this point, it is not forecast to affect land.
It follows on the heels of Tropical Storm Elida, which is weakening and could dissipate into a tropical depression Saturday, had also been categorized as a hurricane. It also coincides with Tropical Storm Bertha, which was the Atlantic's first and only hurricane, and which will go down in history as the longest-lived July hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin. Forecasters now say Bertha could lose tropical storm strength Saturday.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center have predicted that conditions will spawn a below-average storm season in the eastern Pacific, with 11-16 named storms, including five to eight hurricanes, as many as three of them major (Category 3 or greater) storms.
In just the last several weeks, there have been five named storms and three hurricanes, none of them major hurricanes.
Forecasters have predicted an above-average hurricane season for the Atlantic, where the storms most damaging to the U.S. form, could spawn 12 to 16 named storms, including six to nine hurricanes and as many as five major hurricanes. The peak of the Atlantic season isn't until late summer.
National Hurricane Center
Tropical Storm Alma brought heavy rains and winds to the Central American nations of Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala after forming May 29.
Hurricane Boris formed near Baja California and headed west into the Pacific, before reaching hurricane strength July 1.
Tropical Storm Cristina formed near Hawaii June 29 but dissipated before making landfall.
Tropical Storm Douglas formed July 2 and threatened to dump heavy rains on portions of southwest Mexico.
Hurricane Elida formed July 12 as a tropical storm and became the season's second Pacific hurricane July 14 when it became a weak Category 1 storm tracking westward from Mexico.
Hurricane Fausto formed July 18. The tropical storm that spawned it formed July 16 off the coast of Mexico, and the storm was not expected to affect land.
Tropical Storm Arthur formed quickly on May 31 off Belize, lost tropical storm strength in fewer than 24 hours, and brought punishing rains of 10-15 inches to parts of the Yucatán Peninsula, including Mexico and Guatemala.
Hurricane Bertha formed as a tropical storm July 3 in the far eastern Atlantic, then debuted as the Atlantic's first hurricane July 7 and quickly grew to major hurricane status. By the time it affected land, July 14 in Bermuda, it was a strong tropical storm, causing rough surf and threatening 3-5 inches of rain, and it had already broken the record for longest-lived July storm by July 18, when forecasters expected it still had a day or two's worth of life in it.
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