Tropical Storm Xavier makes eastern Pacific Ocean most active season since 1992

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
November 05, 2018, 8:08:49 AM EST

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The eastern Pacific hurricane season hasn't been this active since 1992 with Tropical Storm Xavier churning offshore of Mexico.

The 22nd named tropical storm of the 2018 eastern Pacific hurricane season formed on Friday night. On average, 15 tropical storms form in the eastern Pacific each year.

After tracking northward toward the Mexico coastline this weekend, Xavier will move westward and weaken into the middle of the week.

Xavier 11/5


Rough seas building around the storm will continue to create dangers for boaters and swimmers. This includes residents and vacationers in Manzanillo.

Downpours and strong winds can also continue to affect the Mexican states of western Michoacán, Colima and Jalisco into Monday night. Localized flash flooding and mudslides may occur.

Total rainfall of 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) will fall through Monday night with local amounts up to 100 mm (4 inches)

The demise of Xavier will come as the storm tracks westward and encounters hostile wind shear. Wind shear is the changing of speed and direction of winds at different layers of the atmosphere. Strong wind shear can shred apart mature tropical storms or hurricanes.

Xavier may weaken to a tropical depression on Tuesday before dissipating over the open waters west of Mexico by late Wednesday or Thursday.

Elsewhere in the eastern Pacific Ocean, the window for development is beginning to close on an area of disturbed weather west of Xavier.

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The 1992 hurricane season holds the record as the most active in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean with 28 named storms (official records include the central Pacific). Of those storms, 24 formed in the eastern Pacific.

Tropical Storm Xavier of 1992 took shape in mid-October. That year’s season ended with Tropical Storm Zeke in late October.

Typically, the list of names for tropical storms and hurricanes is on a six-year rotation in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans.

However, the name Xavier is used every other year with Xina being the other in the eastern Pacific. The names that begin with the letters Y and Z are also on a two-year rotation.

In addition to the 22 named storms from the eastern Pacific this year, Hurricane Walaka tracked through the central Pacific Ocean.

AccuWeather’s long-range forecasting team anticipated that the eastern Pacific would be more active than normal back in the spring.

"The combination of warmer-than-normal water temperatures and frequent episodes of lower wind shear in the basin’s main development region contributed to the active season," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido.

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