Tropical Depression 2E Forms Southwest of Baja California

After a prolonged period of relatively quiet weather over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean, a tropical depression formed southwest of Baja California.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Depression 2E (TD2E) was located at latitude 14.7°N and longitude 116.7°W which put it about 730 miles (1170 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.  TD2E was moving toward the west-northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

A tropical wave over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean developed a well defined low level circulation and the National Hurricane Center classified the system as Tropical Depression 2E on Friday night.  Although the structure of the low level wind field is symmetrical, most of the thunderstorms are located northwest of the center of circulation.  An upper level ridge north of the depression is generating easterly winds over the top of the circulation.  The vertical wind shear is causing the asymmetrical distribution of the thunderstorms.

The environment around Tropical Depression 2E is marginal for intensification because there are both positive and negative factors.  TD2E is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  So, there is plenty of energy in the upper ocean to support intensification.  However, the air to the west of the tropical depression is very dry, which will limit the growth of thunderstorms and the formation of rain bands in that part of the system.  In addition moderate vertical wind shear will also inhibit intensification.  Tropical Depression 2E could intensify during the weekend and it has a chance to become the first named storm of the 2016 Eastern Pacific hurricane season.  However, the potential for intensification is limited.

The ridge to the north of TD2E is expected to continue to steer it toward the west-northwest during the next several days.  Tropical Depression 2E poses no threat to land during the next five days.