Tropical cyclones seem to love forming over weekends, Rafael formed over the weekend in the Atlantic, Anais in the Southern Indian Ocean and Hurricane Paul in the eastern Pacific Ocean. NASA's Terra satellite kept on top of Paul, however, and provided forecasters with a visible look at the newborn storm.
Paul formed on Oct. 13 at 5 p.m. EDT about 660 miles (1,065 km) south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, near 14.0 North and 113.6 West.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Paul on Oct. 13 at 18:25 UTC (2:25 p.m. EDT) just before it was officially designated a tropical storm off the west coast of Mexico. The visible imagery showed powerful thunderstorms in a large, wide band wrapping around the storm from the north, around the western side and into the center from the southern quadrant. Paul has since strengthened into a hurricane.
On Monday, Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. EDT Paul strengthened into a hurricane and a Tropical Storm Warning was then posted for a part of the western coast of Baja California, Mexico.
A Tropical Storm Warning covers the west coast of the Baja Peninsula from Santa Fe northward to Puerto San Andresito, Mexico, and a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from north of Puerto San Andresito to El Pocito.
Paul had maximum sustained winds near 90 mph (150 kph). It is located about 495 miles (800 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico, near 17.3 North latitude and 114.7 West longitude. Paul is moving to the north at 13 mph (20 kph) and is expected to continue for a day or two before turning to the north-northwest and away from land.
The National Hurricane Center expects Paul to bring dangerous surf and heavy rainfall to the Baja and tropical storm conditions by the afternoon hours on Oct. 16. Rainfall is expected between 2 and 4 inches with higher isolated totals.
Explore further: Methane is leaking from permafrost offshore Siberia