Powerful Hurricane Hector Approaches Central Pacific, Ileana Forms South of Mexico

Powerful Hurricane Hector approached the Central Pacific Ocean on Sunday while Tropical Storm Ileana and Tropical Depression Twelve-E formed south of Mexico.  The government of Mexico issued a Tropical Storm Watch for a portion of the coast because of the potential impacts of Tropical Storm Ileana.  At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Hector was located at latitude 14.5°N and longitude 138.6°W which put it about 1170 miles (1885 km) east-southeast of South Point, Hawaii.  Hector was moving toward the west at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 140 m.p.h. (220 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 165 m.p.h. (270 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 947 mb.

The circulation of Hurricane Hector was very well organized.  There was a circular eye with a diameter of 18 miles (29 km) at the center of circulation.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Hector.  Storms in the core of Hector were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane.

The circulation of Hurricane Hector remained compact.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 30 miles (50 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 100 miles (160 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Hector was 28.3.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 9,9 and The Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 38.2.

Hurricane Hector will move through an environment capable of supporting a strong hurricane during the next day or two.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C and 28°C.  Hector will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  An eyewall replacement cycle could occur if a rainband wraps around the existing eye and eyewall.  It would cause fluctuations in the intensity of Hurricane Hector.

Hurricane Hector will move south of the subtropical high pressure system over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Hurricane Hector toward the west during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Hector will be southeast of Hawaii in about three days.

Tropical Storm Ileana developed south of Mexico on Sunday.  The government of Mexico issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the portion of the coast from Lazaro Cardenas to Cabo Corrientes.  At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Ileana was located at latitude 13.9°N and longitude 98.9°W which put it about 210 miles (335 km) south-southeast of Acapulco, Mexico.  Ileana was moving toward the west-northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Tropical Depression Twelve-E formed west of Tropical Storm Ileana on Sunday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Depression Twelve-E was located at latitude 14.6°N and longitude 105.8°W which put it about 320 miles (515 km) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.  It was moving toward the northwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

There is uncertainty about the future interaction of Tropical Storm Ileana and Tropical Depression Twelve-E.  The circulation of Tropical Depression Twelve-E is much larger than the circulation of Tropical Storm Ileana.  In addition, upper level divergence form the depression could cause vertical wind shear over Tropical Storm Ileana.  In one possible scenario Tropical Storm Ileana moves toward Tropical Depression Twelve-E and it is absorbed by the larger circulation.  Another possibility is that Tropical Storm Ileana moves around the eastern periphery of the circulation of the tropical depression,  The second scenario would bring Tropical Storm Ileana close to the west coast of Mexico which is why the Tropical Storm Watch was issued.

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