Tropical Storm Hector Forms Southwest of Baja California

Tropical Storm Hector formed southwest of Baja California on Tuesday evening.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Hector was located at latitude 13.0°N and longitude 118.2°W which put it about 875 miles (1405 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.  Hector 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 1006 mb.

A distinct low level center of circulation formed within an area of thunderstorms southwest of Baja California on Tuesday and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Storm Hector.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Hector was still organizing.  Many of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in two bands south and west of the center of circulation.  Additional bands of showers and storms were developing north and southeast of the center.  Thunderstorms near the center were beginning to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Hector will move through an environment that is mostly favorable for intensification.  Hector will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  An upper level ridge centered near Baja California was generating northeasterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were causing some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Hector will intensify over the next several days and it will likely become a hurricane by Thursday night.

Tropical Storm Hector will move south of the subtropical high pressure system over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean.  The subtropical high will steer Hector in a general westerly direction.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Hector will move away from Mexico and toward the Central Pacific Ocean.