Tag Archives: Bay of Campeche

Franklin Strengthens Into a Hurricane Northeast of Veracruz

Formerly Tropical Storm Franklin strengthened into a hurricane northeast of Veracruz on Friday afternoon.  Franklin is the first hurricane to form over the Atlantic basin in 2017.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT the center of Hurricane Franklin was located at latitude 20.1°N and longitude 94.9°W which put it about 105 miles (170 km) northeast of Veracruz, Mexico.  Franklin was moving toward the west at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 984 mb.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Puerto de Veracruz to Cabo Rojo, Mexico.  A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the portion of the coast from Cabo Rojo to Rio Panuco.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Puerto Dos Bocas to Puerto de Veracruz and from Tuxpan to Barra del Tordo.

An elliptical eye formed at the center of Hurricane Franklin and a reconnaissance plane detected surface winds in excess of 74 m.p.h. (119 km/h).  Based on data from the plane and an improved appearance on satellite imagery, the National Hurricane Center upgrade Franklin to hurricane status in its 5:00 p.m. EDT advisory.

The structure of Hurricane Franklin improved on Friday.  An elliptical eye oriented north to south formed at the center of circulation.  A ring of thunderstorms completely surrounded the eye.  The strongest winds were occurring in the northeastern part of the ring of storms.  Storms in the core of the circulation were generating upper level divergence which was pumping out mass and allowing the surface pressure to decrease.  A primary band of showers and thunderstorms coiled inward toward the core of Hurricane Franklin,  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Franklin.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 35 miles (55 km) northeast of the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 140 miles (225 km) on the northern side of Franklin and about 100 miles (160 km) on the southern side of the hurricane).

Hurricane Franklin could intensify further before it makes landfall.  It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level ridge over northern Mexico is generating northerly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  However, those winds are not very strong and the vertical wind shear is minor and it did not prevent Franklin from becoming a hurricane.  Hurricane Franklin has about another 6 to 12 hours to strengthen.  Once Franklin makes landfall and moves into the mountains, the surface circulation will weaken quickly.

A subtropical ridge is steering Hurricane Franklin toward the west and that general motion is expected to continue.  Hurricanes often turn slightly south of west when the approach the coast of the southwestern Bay of Campeche.  On its anticipated track the center Hurricane Franklin could make landfall on the coast of Mexico north of Veracruz in less than 12 hours.  The most likely landfall would be between Veracruz and Nautla.

Hurricane Franklin will bring strong gusty winds, a storm surge and heavy rain at the coast.  The storm surge could reach 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 meters) near and just to the north of where the center makes landfall.  Franklin could produce very heavy rain when it reaches the mountains and flash flooding is a serious risk.

Tropical Storm Franklin Moves Over Bay of Campeche and Strengthens

Tropical Storm Franklin moved off the Yucatan peninsula over the Bay of Campeche and began to strengthen on Tuesday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Franklin was located at latitude 20.3°N and longitude 91.3°W which put it about 325 miles (525 km) east-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico.  Franklin was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 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 996 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Puerto de Veracruz to Tuxpan, Mexico.  A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Tuxpan to Rio Panuco.  A Tropical Storm Waring was in effect for the portion of the coast from Celestun to Puerto de Veracruz and from Tuxpan to Rio Panuco.

Although Tropical Storm Franklin weakened as it moved across the Yucatan peninsula on Tuesday, its circulation maintained its structural integrity.  In fact, a tighter inner core developed at the center of the circulation while the tropical storm moved over land.  New thunderstorms began to form near the center of Tropical Storm Franklin as soon as the center moved back over water.  A primary band of thunderstorms began to wrap tightly around the eastern and northern sides of the center.  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms began to form over the Bay of Campeche.  Thunderstorms in the core were generating upper level divergence which is pumping away mass.

Tropical Storm Franklin will move over an environment very favorable for intensification on Wednesday.  Franklin will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  An upper level trough over the Bahamas may enhance the upper divergence by creating an outflow channel to the east of Franklin.  Tropical Storm Franklin will intensify on Wednesday and there could be a period of rapid intensification.  Franklin is likely to become a hurricane.

Tropical Storm Franklin is being steered to the west by a subtropical high to its northeast.  A general westerly motion is expected to continue for another day or two.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Franklin will approach the coast of Mexico north of Veracruz on Wednesday night.  Franklin will bring gusty winds, heavy rain and a storm surge at the coast.  When Franklin moves inland the mountains will enhance the rising motion and very heavy rain could fall.  The heavy rain could cause flash floods.

Tropical Storm Earl Strengthens Near Veracruz

Tropical Storm Earl regained strength on Friday after the center moved over the southern Bay of Campeche near Veracruz, Mexico.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Earl was located at latitude 18.8°N and longitude 95.0°W which put it about 85 miles (135 km) east-southeast of Veracruz, Mexico.  Earl was moving toward the west at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 70 m.p.h. (115 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1001 mb.

Because Tropical Storm Earl re-intensified and the radius of tropical storm force winds expanded to the north, the government of Mexico extended Tropical Storm Warnings farther north along the coast.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Puerto Dos Bocas to Tecolutla, Mexico.

Most of the circulation of Tropical Storm Earl remained intact while it moved over land from Belize to the Bay of Campeche.  As a result, the surface part of the circulation on the northern side of Earl began to redevelop quickly as the center approached the water in the Bay of Campeche.  A primary rainband wrapped most of the way around the center of circulation and other rainbands reformed over the Bay of Campeche.  There have been hints on an incipient eye forming at the center of circulation on recent visible satellite images.  Earl is a very well organized tropical storm.

The Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C in the southern Bay of Campeche.  The upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  Upper level divergence is well formed in Tropical Storm Earl and it is pumping out mass.  The environment is favorable for further intensification.  However, the center of circulation is close to the coast and approximately 40% of the circulation is over land.  So, the proximity to land is the main factor inhibiting further strengthening.  Tropical Storm Earl does have a few hours to intensify and it could get stronger.

A subtropical ridge north of Earl is steering the tropical storm toward the west and that general motion is expected to continue.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Earl will be very near Veracruz, Mexico in 10-12 hours.

The winds in Tropical Storm Earl are strong enough to create a storm surge of several feet (1-2 m) near where the center makes landfall and north of that location.  The primary risks from Tropical Storm Earl will be very heavy rainfall and flash flooding.

Tropical Storm Earl Nearing Southern Bay of Campeche

Tropical Storm Earl was maintaining its intensity as it approached the southern Bay of Campeche on Thursday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Earl was located at latitude 18.1°N and longitude 91.7°W which put it about 40 miles (65 km/h) south-southeast of Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico.  Earl was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 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 1000 mb.

The government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the portion of the coast from Ciudad del Carmen to Laguna Verde.

Despite moving over land for almost 24 hours the structure of Tropical Storm Earl retained much of its integrity.  A primary rainband wrapped around three quarters of the way around the southern and eastern portions of the center center.  A weather station at Ciudad del Carmen reported wind gusts to tropical storm force.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Earl is still generating upper level divergence, especially to the east of Earl.  The upper level divergence pumped out enough mass to allow the surface pressure to remain near 1000 mb.

The center of Tropical Storm Earl could move near the southern Bay of Campeche on Friday morning.  The Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C in that part of the Bay of Campeche.  If Earl moves along the coast, it is likely to maintain tropical storm intensity for another 24 to 36 hours.  If the center of Earl moves out over the southern Bay of Campeche it could intensify given the organization that still exists in the tropical storm.

A ridge of high pressure is steering Tropical Storm Earl toward the west-northwest and that general motion is expected to continue.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Earl could be near Veracruz, Mexico in another 24 hours.  The primary risk associated with Tropical Storm Earl is heavy rain and flooding.  Tropical Storm Earl is still causing heavy rain over parts of Mexico, Honduras and Belize.  However, Earl could also generate some storm surge along portions of the southern Bay of Campeche.

TD 4 Intensifies to Tropical Storm Danielle As It Nears Mexico

A large area of thunderstorms developed near the center of Tropical Depression 4 during during the overnight hours.  An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft found sustained winds to tropical storm force and at 8:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the National Hurricane Center classified the system as Tropical Storm Danielle.

At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Danielle was located at latitude 20.6°N and longitude 96.0°W which put it about 95 miles (150 km) east-southeast of Tuxpan, Mexico.  Danielle was moving toward the west-northwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 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 1008 mb.  The government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm warning for the portion of the coast from Laguna Verde to Rio Panuco.

The center of an upper level ridge moved near the center of Danielle on Sunday night, which caused the upper level winds to be weaker over the core of the circulation.  As a result, a large area of thunderstorms was able to develop and persist around the center of circulation.  Since Danielle was over water where the Sea Surface Temperature was near 30°C, the circulation was able to extract energy from the ocean and Danielle intensified into a tropical storm.

The thunderstorms at the core of Danielle are generating upper level divergence that is pumping mass out in all direction.  The pressure at the surface is likely to decrease which should produce an additional increase in the wind speed.  Danielle will be over very warm water until it makes landfall on the coast of Mexico later today.  It is likely to intensify further before it reaches the coast.

An ridge of high pressure extends from the Atlantic Ocean into the Gulf of Mexico.  The ridge is steering Danielle toward the west-northwest and that general motion is expected to continue.  On its anticipated track the center of Danielle could be very near Tuxpan on the coast of Mexico in about 12 hours.  Danielle could produce a storm surge of several feet along the coast.  It could also cause some wind damage, although that should be minimal.  The increase in thunderstorms near the center of circulation means that Danielle will produce locally heavy rain when it moves inland.  The heavy rain will create the risk of flash floods and mudslides on steeper slopes.

Danielle was designated a tropical storm on June 20, which makes it the fourth Atlantic tropical storm of 2016.  June 20th is the earliest date on record on which the fourth Atlantic tropical storm has formed.  The previous record was June 23, which was the date when Tropical Storm Debbie was named in 2012.   During the record setting year of 2005, the fourth Atlantic tropical storm was not named until July 5.

Tropical Depression Five

A low pressure system over the southern Bay of Campeche has been classified as Tropical Depression Five (TD5).  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of TD5 was located at latitude 20.1°N and longitude 93.6°W which put it about 255 miles east-southeast of Tuxpan, Mexico and about 465 miles south-southeast of Brownsville, Texas.  TD5 was moving toward the west-northwest at 13 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. and the minimum surface pressure was 1009 mb.  A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the portion of the coast from Tuxpan to La Pesca, Mexico.

TD5 is expected to move toward the west-northwest and intensify into tropical storm Dolly before it makes landfall.  The circulation of TD5 is interacting with a small upper level low north of the system, which is creating some northwesterly shear over it.  The shear is causing most of the thunderstorms and stronger winds to occur southeast of the center.  The shear will also limit intensification over the short term.  Heavy rain may be possible to the north of the center when the system makes landfall.

Possible Bay of Campeche TC

An area of low pressure associated with the northern edge of a tropical wave has moved out over the southern Bay of Campeche.  An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft is flying through the the system and the plane has found southwesterly winds to 35 m.p.h. on the south side of the disturbance.  The strongest winds are currently on the southern side of the circulation.  If the plane is able to identify a well defined center of circulation at the surface, then the system could be classified as a tropical depression or tropical storm at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

The low pressure system is moving toward the west-northwest at 13 m.p.h.  Many models are predicting that the motion will continue and the system will make landfall in Mexico in the 36-48 hours.  Some intensification is predicted before the system makes landfall.  However, confidence in the model forecasts will increase once a center of circulation is identified and is used to initialize the models.