As predicted, Tropical Storm Hernan strengthened into Hurricane Hernan, the fifth hurricane of the 2008 season in the eastern Pacific Friday.
Five of eight named storms in the Pacific this year have formed into hurricanes. Hernan formed as a tropical storm Wednesday hundreds of miles from Baja California, and its westerly motion will take it further from land.
There have already been four hurricanes (Boris, Elida, Fausto and Genevieve) in the eastern Pacific so far in 2008, none of them major. The season there, overall, has been fairly average, according to storm trackers.
Three other low pressure systems in the eastern Pacific all have the potential to develop into tropical depressions or tropical storms, according to the National Hurricane Center. It could be an interesting few days in the Pacific Basin, with two showing medium potential for further development, and one high probability of further development.
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.
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 Atlantic so far has seen five named storms, and two hurricanes (Bertha and Dolly), one of them a major storm (Dolly).
1. Tropical Storm Alma brought heavy rains and winds to the Central American nations of Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala after forming May 29.
2. Hurricane Boris formed near Baja California and headed west into the Pacific, before reaching hurricane strength July 1.
3. Tropical Storm Cristina formed near Hawaii June 29 but dissipated before making landfall.
4. Tropical Storm Douglas formed July 2 and threatened to dump heavy rains on portions of southwest Mexico.
5. 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.
6. Hurricane Fausto formed as a tropical storm July 16 off the coast of Mexico. Like other 2008 Pacific hurricanes, the third of the year did not affect land.
7. Hurricane Genevieve formed in the Pacific Ocean, more than 580 miles off the coast of Mexico, on July 25, 2008. The fourth hurricane in the eastern Pacific, it did not affect land.
8. Hurricane Hernan formed August 6 hundreds of miles from Baja California and reached hurricane strength Aug. 8.
Iselle - Julio - Karina - Lowell - Marie - Norbert - Odile - Polo - Rachel - Simon - Trudy - Vance - Winnie - Xavier - Yolanda - Zeke
1. 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.
2. 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 3-5 inches of rain. It broke the record for longest-lived July storm and on July 18 reformed into a hurricane.
3. Tropical Storm Cristobal formed on July 19 off the coast of the Carolinas. The first named storm to threaten the U.S. coast, Cristobal threatened 3-5 inches of rain and strong storm surges across South and North Carolina.
4. Hurricane Dolly reached Category 2 strength in the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall near the Texas-Mexico border July 23, 2008. Heavy rains and wind led to at least one death, flooding and damage in Texas and in neighboring states that may exceed $1 billion.
4. Tropical Storm Edouard formed August 3 in the Gulf of Mexico and though forecasters predicted strengthening and it passed by critical oil infrastructure, it was largely welcomed for relieving drought conditions in some parts of Texas and Louisiana.
Fay - Gustav - Hanna - Ike - Josephine - Kyle - Laura - Marco - Nana - Omar - Paloma - Rene - Sally - Teddy - Vicky - Wilfred
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