Eugene Becomes a Hurricane Southwest of Baja California

Tropical Storm Eugene strengthened rapidly into a hurricane on Saturday as it moved southwest of Baja California.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Hurricane Eugene was located at latitude 14.4°N and longitude 113.5°W which put it about 630 miles (1020 km) south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.  Eugene was moving toward the northwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 990 mb.

A primary raindband wrapped around the center of Hurricane Eugene on Saturday and an eye formed at the center of circulation.  The eye had a diameter of 30 miles (50 km).  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of the circulation.  Thunderstorms were generating well developed upper level divergence which was pumping mass away in all directions.  The circulation of Hurricane Eugene was symmetrical and well organized.

Hurricane Eugene was moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) was near 29°C.  Eugene was underneath the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge was producing southerly winds which were blowing toward the top of the hurricane, but the vertical wind shear was not very strong.  Eugene is likely to intensify on Sunday.  It will gradually move over cooler SSTs and Hurricane Eugene will move over water where the water is cooler than 26°C on Monday.  When Eugene reaches the cooler SSTs, it will begin a steady weakening trend.

Hurricane Eugene is moving around the western end of a subtropical ridge which is steering it toward the northwest.  Eugene is expected to continue to move toward the northwest during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Eugene will move parallel to the west coast of Baja California.