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  1. This thread could be used to discuss tropical cyclone development in the 2014 Eastern Pacific (EPAC) hurricane season in general and individual tropical systems (up to and including invest formation). El Nino An El Nino is forecast to emerge in the summer/autumn of 2014 (the CPC indicates a more than 50% chance of an El Nino developing in the summer of 2014). An El Nino results on average in slightly enhanced hurricane activity in the EPAC. This is most likely a result of enhanced sea surface temperatures (SSTS) in the basin1,2. The SST anomalies during an El Nino can be seen below: Average SST anomalies during an El Nino event (courtesy: NOAA). Furthermore, an El Nino also decreases the average wind shear values over the Eastern Pacific, which is favourable for tropical cyclone development.3 First tropical development in the EPAC possibly already underway There are signs that we might see tropical development as early as next week. This would be about 5-10 days before the official start of the season at May 15.4 The first sign comes from the Climate Prediction Center. They state that5: Of note is that this statement came from Tuesday April 29. Therefore, with week 2 the week from May 5 onward is meant. Secondly, the GFS model shows a possible tropical cyclone developing near 10N, 106W. The forecasted cyclone is still quite far out (about 4 days at least), and therefore, confidence in this cyclone is rather low. The forecasted track of the possible cyclone is indicated below: GFS forecast track of a possible tropical cyclone emerging as of May 6. (Courtesy: Florida State University) What can be noted on the image above as well is that the SSTS are very favourable for development (29-30*C). The UKMET and CMC have also picked up the possible cyclone, but they do currently very little with the cyclone. Some significant shifts in the track and intensity of the low are to be expected. Hopefully this is a possible start of an exciting hurricane season! Sources: 1:http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/hurr/enso.rxml 2:http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf 3:http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensofaq.shtml#HURRICANES 4:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Pacific_hurricane_season 5: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/ghazards/ http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cyclonephase/gfs/fcst/archive/14050212/106.html
  2. 1st major hurricane of the season for E(north)PAC, Blas is only being slowed somewhat by moderate shear but it will be interesting too see how intense this becomes before cooler waters diminish it?
  3. The very busy 2014 season is not over yet, with the 21st tropical depression of the season forming today, south of Acapulco, Mexico. 21E has winds if 30kts, and has some deep convection over the LLCC but very little in the way of banding. Shear is low and waters warm. However, the airmass is a little dry. Therefore, NHC forecast gradual intensification. In terms of track, 21E should head just south of due west as ridging remains strong to the depression's north. The ridge is expected to gradually retreat eastwards, especially as a trough begins to move in from the west. This will steer 21E to the northwest then north by day 4 and 5. This means we will most likely have a hurricane approaching the coast in this time frame.
  4. Tropical Depression 20E has formed about 100 miles south-southeast of Acapulco, Mexico. The depression has a well defined circulation with multiple bands wrapping into it. The depression is heading north towards the coast, so doesn't have much time to strengthen. It should become a moderate tropical storm before landfall in a day or so however.
  5. Yet another tropical depression has formed in the Eastern Pacific, south of Manzanillo, Mexico. 19E has winds of 25kts. The depression consists of a partially exposed LLC, with some deep convection to the west of the centre. Moderate shear is affecting 19E, but is expected to ease in about 24hrs time, which should allow some strengthening. Just how much is uncertain as always; NHC are forecasting a peak of 55kts. If 19E stays away from the coast, I think it could become stronger. Rachel did the same and became the 10th consecutive named storm to become a hurricane. Will 19E become the 11th? Track wise, a generally west to west-northwest track away from Mexico is predicted for the next few days. There is considerably more uncertainty after that due to model disagreement. 19E should reach it's peak in a few days then start to weaken as it encounters cooler waters west of Baja California. I'm hoping this one defies forecasts and becomes a decent hurricane. The next name on the list is Simon, which is my name! The previous two incarnations of Simon in 1984 and 1990 peaked at strong tropical storm intensity, failing to make hurricane status.
  6. The eighteenth tropical depression of this very busy season has formed about 285 miles south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. Some moderately deep convection is persisting near the LLCC, but it isn't particularly well organised. Moderate to strong northeasterly shear is affecting 18E and should do so for at least another 24hrs, and as a result, 18E is not expected to strengthen in this time. After this, shear should ease a little bit, allowing some modest intensification. NHC are only forecasting a peak of 45kts however, as the environment isn't expected to ever be particularly favourable. A typical west-northwest to northwest track is expected, so 18E should remain offshore of Mexico.
  7. Invest 97E has become Tropical Storm Polo, with winds of 35kts. Polo is located a few hundred miles south-southeast of Acapulco, Mexico. The storm has some building convection mainly southwest of the centre due to moderate northeasterly shear. The shear is expected to ease over the next day or two, allowing Polo to strengthen as it pushes northwestwards near the coast. Some models depict Polo moving inland and others have Polo staying offshore. The NHC forecast keeps Polo offshore whilst strengthening it into a stronflg tropical storm. Shear is forecast to rise again after 72hrs, which could them begin to weaken the storm as it veers towards the west well south of Baja California.
  8. The fifteenth tropical depression of this very active season has formed a couple hundred miles southwest of Acapulco, Mexico. Winds are at 30kts currently. 15E consists of a well defined LLCC, partially embedded in a dense convective mass. The centre is located on the eastern edge of the mass due to moderate easterly shear. This shear will keep strengthening slow over the next day or two. Beyond this, shear is expected to ease which will allow for a quicker rate of intensification. 15E is expected to therefore become a hurricane, in about 60hrs time. 15E is in a weak steering environment currently. Therefore, little motion is expected over the next couple of days, perhaps a small northwesterly drift. Beyond this, things get tricky with detail, but a faster northwestwards motion is expected as a ridge builds to the east. There are a couple things here which could make a difference to 15E's eventual track. Models are disagreeing a little on the strength of the building ridge to the east. A stronger ridge would push 15E on a more easterly track closer to the Mexican coast, meaning more land interaction, and a weaker storm. The second thing which is causing track uncertainty is developing invest 95E to the west. If there was some interaction between 15E and 95E, 15E would likely develop a track with a more westerly component. Although the current track forecast from NHC points to an 80kt hurricane making landfall on the southern tip of Baja California, the track forecast is far from certain, and there are bound to be changes. Nevertheless, Baja California need to closely monitor 15E, especially so soon after the rains here from Major Hurricane Norbert. Communities northwest of Acapulco need to watch 15E too, NHC say a tropical storm watch may need to be issued soon for southwest Mexico, especially if a more easterly track eventualises.
  9. Another tropical depression has formed in the eastern Pacific, out to sea, several hundred miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. 16E has winds of 30kts. The future looks bleak for this system. Shear is moderate, but is expected to rise significantly as 16E veers northeastwards in 24hrs. The shear may just about be weak enough to allow 16E to become a weak tropical storm in the next 24hrs, but weakening and dissipation is expected soon after as the depression gets drawn towards TS Odile to the east.
  10. After a few days of quiet in the Eastern Pacific, the season has resumed with the formation of Tropical Storm Norbert, located south of the southern tip of Baja California. Norbert has winds of 35kts, and has some deep convection over the LLCC, along with formative banding in the southwest quadrant. Waters are warm, and shear is moderate, so Norbert should at least intensify steadily over the next few days. Norbert is expected to get close to the west coast of Baja over the next few days so it is worth watching.
  11. The thirteenth tropical depression of the season has formed a few hundred miles south-southeast of Acapulco, Mexico. The depression has winds of 30kts, increasing convection over the LLCC, and convective banding features wrapping towards the centre. 13E is expected to head west-northwestwards over the next several days, as ridging to the north over Mexico remains in control of the cyclone. This track keeps 13E away from the coast of Mexico. Which is just as well really, as the depression is expected to become a potent hurricane. The environment is highly favourable, with low shear, increasing outflow and very warm waters along track. Barring any surprises re. shear, 13E should strengthen throughout the next 5 days. With such a favourable environment persisting for so long, this cyclone could become a biggie. NHC forecast 13E to become a 95kt cat 2 hurricane in 5 days, which is quite aggressive for a first forecast. 13E could in fact become a lot stronger than this, which some models have been eluding to.
  12. Invest 99E, mentioned by Vorticity in the Eastern Pacific Hurricane thread, has become the season's eleventh tropical depression, a few hundred miles west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. The depression has increasing convection near the LLCC, and banding features wrapping towards the centre. Shear is set to remain low for several days on the westward track, and waters warm. Though NHC only forecast a peak of 70kts, they say this a conservative forecast, and IMO, barring any premature rises in shear or jogging northwards into cooler water, 11E will probably get stronger than what is forecast. 11E is moving away from Mexico, so should be of no threat to land, at least yet. Who knows with this season? It seems the tropical cyclones are tending towards surviving much further north and moving into the Central Pacific basin, so this one still needs watching.
  13. The twelfth tropical depression of the season has formed, well southwest of the south coast of Mexico, a few hundred miles west-southwest of Socorro Island. 12E has winds of 30kts. The depression is quite broad, with only a small amount of convection over the LLCC, and large, sprawling bands. Because of the broad structure of the depression, strengthening should be quite slow, despite the favourable environment. 12E should push west over the next day, before turning quite sharply north as a trough erodes the ridging to the north, allowing 12E to turn into the weakness.
  14. Invest 97E, located several hundred miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, has become Tropical Depression 10E, with winds of 30kts. The system has had a well defined circulation for a couple days now, but moderate shear has prevented convection from persisting. Convection has built closer to the LLCC now, prompting the upgrade to tropical depression. 10E is still under moderate shear, and this will slow the intensifcation of the depression, but isn't expected to stop it all together. In a couple days, shear is expected to ease on the westwards track along the south side of a strong ridge to the north. This should allow at least some steadier intensification at this time. NHC forecast 10E to become a hurricane as it moves toward the Central Pacific.
  15. Tropical Storm Genevieve has formed in the far west of the basin, a long way out to sea. Winds are at 40kts. Genevieve has probably peaked, as shear is increasing over the storm, already displacing convection from the LLCC. Even stronger shear lies on Genevieve's generally westwards path, which will cause Genevieve to weaken soon, as it moves into the Central Pacific.
  16. The Eastern Pacific continues to produce storms with ernest with the formation of Tropical Storm Iselle this evening, located at 12.7N, 122.3E, about 1100 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Winds are at 35kts. Convection is wrapping nicely around the LLCC of Iselle, with good banding features in the southern and western quadrants. Shear is low on the west-northwest then westward track, and waters warm. Therefore, Iselle is forecast to become a hurricane. Just when this may occur is open to question. NHC mention a signifcant chance of rapid intensification over the next 24hrs, which would not be surprising given the rapidly improving structure and favourable environment. By day 5, Iselle will be nearing the Central Pacific basin, where it's likely to enter as a weakening storm.
  17. Tropical Storm Hernan has formed off the south coast of Mexico. Winds are at 35kts. The storm has well developed banding and deep convection over the LLCC. Hernan looks like it may rapidly intensify, as it is in an area of low shear and very warm water, and already has an impressive structure. Hernan is forecast to head northwestwards, and has a few days before reaching cooler waters, so the storm is likely to become a hurricane. The outer rainbands are affecting Mexico, but the storm will remain offshore.
  18. Invest 99E, located a 1000 nautical miles south-southwest of Baja California, has rapidly become better organised today. The low has been largely convectionless since it's inception, but today, convection has blown up over the well defined centre, and banding features are taking shape nicely. NHC have just upgraded the invest to Tropical Storm Fausto, with winds of 35kts. Tropical Storm Fausto is quite a long way out to sea, and is expected to take a rather typical west-northwesterly track further out to sea. Fausto is at quite low lattitude also, which means it is over very warm water. Shear is low also, so Fausto should strengthen for at least the next few days. The west-northwest track should take Fausto over gradually decreasing sea temps after this time, which will initiate weakening if this occurs. However, NHC mention the possibility of Fausto taking a more westerly track- if this were to occur and Fausto remains at low lattitude, it could remain over warmer water for longer than currently forecast. NHC expect a peak of 55kts, which is a fair first forecast, but if Fausto remains over warmer water it could get stronger than this. Fausto is quite a small system, which does mean strengthening could be quite quick unless shear rises.
  19. Invest 96E has become the season's fourth tropical depression, southwest of Mexico. The circulation is broad, but there is some banding convection. Due to 04E's large size, strengthening should be slow while further consolidation takes place. In a few days time, the westward track will probably take 04E over cooler waters. NHC forecast 04E to become a mid-range tropical storm before conditions deteriorate, but if the inner core can get it's act together, it may have the cchance to become stronger than this.
  20. Invest 97E has become Tropical Storm Elida, with winds of 45kts. Elida is located just off the coast of Mexico, east of Tropical Storm Douglas. Elida is a sheared storm, and the LLCC is partially exposed from the convective mass. Shear is not expected to ease over the next day or two, as Elida meanders near the coast. As Douglas moves away, ridging should build north of Elida, allowing the storm to move westwards away from the coast. Shear is forecast to ease at when this occurs, but Elida probably won't strengthen as it heads into a drier, more stable airmass at the same time. A tropical storm warning has been issued for a portion of the south Mexico coastline. Although Elida should remain offshore, rains and storm force winds will affect coastal areas over the next day or so until Elida moves away westwards.
  21. The third tropical cyclone has developed in the Eastern Pacific to the south of Mexico. The cyclone is forecast to move generally westward with a gradual west-northwestward turn in a few days. The NHC anticipates 03E to become a category 1 tropical cyclone in about 48 hours, with a leveling off in intensity afterwards. In about 90 hours, the forecast track brings the cyclone over sub-26*C sea surface temperatures (SSTS). This, along with strong shear and dry air, will initiate steady weakening around that time. Forecast track of 03E. Source: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_ep3+shtml/203148.shtml?5-daynl#contents
  22. A new tropical depression has formed in the Eastern Pacific, just to the south of eastern Mexico. 02E is a large system, and may therefore have a difficult time to organize itself quickly. Track forecast of 02E (Courtesy: NOAA) Source: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters.html
  23. The first tropical depression of the 2014 Eastern Pacific season has formed several hundred miles south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, from invest 92E. 01E has a well defined LLCC, and convection has become persistant over this centre. 01E is being steered slowly west by a ridge over Mexico, but the influence is weak, therefore, motion is expected to be slow. Shear is low, and waters warm, so strengthening seems likely. Just how much strengthening is uncertain, but given the increasingly impressive structure of the depression and favourable environment, rapid strengthening is a possibility in the near term, as evidenced by the ships rapid intensification index indicating a 42% chance of a 25kt increase in intensity in the next 24hrs. 01E looks to have about 4 days in this favourable envrionment, so I think 01E does have a shot at becoming a hurricane unless shear increases prematurely.
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