Hurricane Rick rapidly intensifies in eastern Pacific

U.S. impacts from back-to-back tropical cyclones in the eastern Pacific is a rarity during La Niña events.

Hurricane Rick in the eastern Pacific could become the season’s next major hurricane before impacting Mexico and spreading moisture towards the United States.

The strengthening hurricane is about 185 miles southwest of Acapulco, Mexico, and has winds of around 85 mph.

The National Hurricane Center expects the system to quickly strengthen into a category three hurricane before coming ashore near Manzanillo, Mexico, on Monday.

Meteorologists expect heavy rains and damaging winds to be the main impacts.

The flooding rains could cause significant issues and lead to mudslides in the mountainous regions.

Meteorologists say the system will quickly weaken as it makes its way inland, but similar to Hurricane Pamela, its remnants will help drive moisture into the South.

Pacific cyclones impact U.S. mainland

For the second time in a month, the remnants of a Pacific hurricane will impact parts of the United States.

Similar to Pamela in mid-October, forecast models show moisture from Rick streaming northward into parts of the western Gulf of Mexico.

Meteorologists don’t anticipate the rains associated with Rick’s remnants to produce as many problems as what Texans saw during the previous system.

Forecast models show as much as two inches of rain impacting isolated spots along the Gulf Coast starting Tuesday.

Meteorologists say seeing back-to-back impacts from Pacific cyclones in the U.S. mainland is a rare event, especially during a La Niña year.

Despite La Niña, Pacific remains active

During a La Niña year, typically, moisture is absent in the eastern Pacific, which leads to fewer tropical cyclones.

But the steady development of systems in 2021 means that the basin will finish the season near average.

A normal year in the eastern Pacific sees 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

So far in 2021, 17 named storms have formed, eight have gone on to become hurricanes, and only two have strengthened to major hurricane status with winds of at least 115 mph.

Similar to the Atlantic, the eastern Pacific’s hurricane season will run through November 30.