Active Pacific hurricane season could be ahead

A moderate El Nino pattern could be developing due to warming equatorial Pacific waters. These warmer waters could also mean a more active hurricane season in the Pacific basin.

May 15 marked the beginning of hurricane season in the eastern Pacific. The first hurricane typically forms around June 26. Many Pacific hurricanes never threaten land, unlike hurricanes in the Atlantic. But, historically, the Pacific basin is more active.

MORE: More signs a big El Nino is brewing

Records show only a couple of Pacific tropical systems that moved inland across the western United States. One was in 1939 near Long Beach; two more hit Arizona in 1972 and then 1976.

Hurricanes travel with the trade winds -- from east to west. In the Pacific, they enter cooler waters and typically dissipate.

The Pacific and the Atlantic basins each have their list of names. The names help in tracking and recording purposes. Once a hurricane becomes extremely costly or deadly, the name is retired.

The Pacific season ends Nov. 30.


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