HOUSTON - Christina is the second major hurricane in the eastern Pacific to undergo rapid intensification this season.
Wednesday at 5 a.m. the storm had reached 75 mph maximum intensity. At 5 a.m. Thursday morning Cristina carried a maximum intensity of 120 mph. An increase of 35 mph or more in 24 hours is considered rapid intensification. This is the earliest point in the eastern Pacific season to have recorded a second hurricane with greater than 110 mph winds.
Looking at the satellite picture, you can see a very well-defined small eye in this hurricane. The development of a small eye is frequently associated with rapid intensification. As was the case with Amanda back in May, Cristina is a small hurricane. While small, I wouldn't want to be on a boat that inadvertently crosses its path!
Usually a storm moving westward into the eastern Pacific crosses no land. However, if Cristina continues on the forecast track, its eye will pass over Isla Socorro (circled in yellow), a sparsely inhabited island off the west coast of Mexico overnight on Friday night.
Meanwhile, in the Atlantic, all is quiet.
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