Tropical Storm Hilary Develops South of Acapulco

More thunderstorms formed near the center of Tropical Depression Nine-E and the National Hurricane Center upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Hilary.  At 11:00 p.m EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Hilary was located at latitude 11.5°N and longitude 100.2°W which put it about 375 miles (600 km) south of Acapulco, Mexico.  Hilary was moving toward the west-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1005 mb.

The circulation of Tropical Depression Nine-E was not well organized during the past several days as the depression moved over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean.  Thunderstorms began to form close to the center of circulation late on Saturday.  The formation of a core of thunderstorms was evidence of a more organized circulation and the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Hilary.  Some bands of showers and thunderstorms also began to develop outside the core of the tropical storm.  The circulation is still somewhat asymmetrical.  More showers and thunderstorms were forming in the northern half of the circulation.  The thunderstorms near the center were starting to generate upper level divergence which is pumping out mass.

Tropical Storm Hilary will be moving through an environment that is favorable for intensification.  Hilary will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The tropical storm will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will not be a lot of vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Hilary should strengthen and it could intensify rapidly if the core of the circulation develops an eye.  Tropical Storm Hilary is likely to become a hurricane and it strengthen into a major hurricane early next week.

Tropical Storm Hilary is moving south of a subtropical ridge which is steering the tropical storm toward the west-northwest.  A general west-northwesterly motion is expected to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Hilary will pass west of the west coast of Mexico.