Eintime Conversion for education and research 05-14-2006 @ 17:21:35
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Hurricane Record Early Pacific*

Eastern Pacific's first tropical storm forms, could hit land

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The first tropical storm of the season formed off the Pacific coast of Central America on Tuesday and forecasters said it could hit Central America by the weekend, dumping potentially dangerous amounts of rain as it nears.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said that Tropical Storm Adrian seems to be on an unusual early-season path toward the coasts of Guatemala or El Salvador and that it could cause dangerous rains over Central America, starting as early as Wednesday. (Related: Current track chart, position)

By Tuesday evening, the storm had winds of 40 mph, surpassing the 39 mph benchmark for tropical storms. Forecasters earlier said there was some chance it could meet hurricane strength winds of 74 mph before hitting land.

Adrian is centered about 440 miles southwest of the coast of Guatemala and El Salvador and is headed to the northeast at about 5 mph.

After hitting land, the storm is likely to be weakened by Central America's mountains, but very preliminary forecasts suggest it could emerge over the Caribbean as a tropical depression and move toward the Cayman Islands and Cuba.

Most Pacific storms tend toward the northwest, marching roughly parallel to the coastline and then edging out to sea or veering inland.

The Center said that since 1966, only one tropical depression has ever hit the coasts of Guatemala or El Salvador in May and none have done it so early.


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