Tropical Depression 01E Forms Southwest of Baja California

Tropical Depression 01E formed southwest of Baja California on Thursday afternoon.  A distinct low level center of circulation formed inside a larger area of low pressure that was previously designated as Invest 90E.  The National Hurricane Center (NHC) determined that the system possessed sufficient organization and NHC designated it as Tropical Depression 01E.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Depression 01E was located at latitude 12.4°N and longitude 126.5°W which put it about 1310 miles (2105 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.  Tropical Depression 01E was moving toward the west-northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

Tropical Depression 01E formed in a larger area of low pressure that was moving slowly westward over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean.  More thunderstorms formed near the center of the low pressure system and a distinct low level center became apparent on visible satellite images.  An upper level trough located west of the depression was producing southwesterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear and the shear was limiting the development of thunderstorms in the western half of the depression.  Most of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring east of the center of circulation.  The bands in the western half of the depression consisted mostly of lower clouds and showers.  Storms east of the center were producing some upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the east of the depression.

Tropical Depression 01E will move through an environment only marginally favorable for intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  So, there is enough energy in the upper ocean to support intensification.  However, the upper level trough will continue to produce moderate vertical wind shear.  The upper level winds could be strong enough to prevent further intensification.  If the upper level winds slow, then there is a chance the depression could strengthen into a tropical storm during the next day or two.

Tropical Depression 01E is moving south of a subtropical ridge which is steering the depression toward the west-northwest.  The subtropical ridge is forecast to steer the depression in a general westerly direction during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Depression 01E poses no immediate threat to any land areas.

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