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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tropical Storm Agatha forms in the Pacific

The first named storm of the Eastern Pacific season formed this morning moving quickly from a disturbance, to a tropical depression to a named storm. Tropical Storm Agatha is threatening Guatemala with winds, heavy rains and the potential for floods and mudslides.

Tropical Storm Agatha Forms in Eastern Pacific (AccuWeather)
At 11 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Agatha was nearly 270 miles west of San Salvador, El Salvador and 170 miles west southwest of San Jose, Guatemala. The depression has maximum-sustained winds of 40 mph, and is moving to the east-northeast at 5 mph.

Agatha will slowly creep toward the Central American coastline over the next few days, strengthening in the process and could be close to hurricane strength upon landfall.

Tropical Storm Agatha will unleash heavy rainfall across far southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and western Honduras over the next few days. In addition to life-threatening flooding, a serious danger of mudslides exists due to the mountainous terrain of the area.

An added threat to Guatemala is that a volcano 15 miles from Guatemala City erupted last week spewing ash over the area. The ash mixed with floods and heavy rain could make a bad situation even worse.

Pacaya Volcano and Tropical Storm Agatha Target Guatemala (AccuWeather)
Flooding rain and mudslides from Tropical Storm Agatha and possible additional eruptions from Pacaya Volcano are threatening Guatemala this weekend.

A volcano, named Pacaya, located about 15 miles south of Guatemala City erupted Thursday, showering the capital city with up to 3 inches of ash.

The ash covered the landscape in Guatemala City and nearby areas, including runways and aircraft at La Aurora airport, which remained closed into the weekend.

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