Agatha, the first tropical storm of the 2022 hurricane season in the Pacific, formed Saturday off Mexico’s southern coast.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Agatha is expected to become a hurricane and head toward 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 kph). The storm was moving west at 5 mph (7 kph) but was expected to take a turn northward.
A hurricane watch was issued for parts of the coast of the southern state of Oaxaca, where Agatha could make landfall by Tuesday.
While the storm could pack winds as high as 100 mph (160 kph) at landfall, the center cited the risk of “potentially life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides” as its rains pound the mountainous terrain of Oaxaca.
Because the storm’s current path would carry it over the narrow waist of Mexico’s Isthmus, the center said there was a chance the storm’s remnants could reemerge over the Gulf of Mexico.