Tag Archives: El Salvador

Tropical Storm Selma Makes Landfall in El Salvador

Tropical Storm Selma made landfall in El Salvador on Saturday morning.  Selma weakened to a tropical depression after it moved inland.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Depression Selma was located at latitude 13.7°N and longitude 88.5°W which put it about 45 miles (75 km) east of San Salvador, El Salvador.  Selma was moving toward the northeast at 8 m.p.h. (13 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 1006 mb.

The coastal warnings and watches for El Salvador and Honduras have been discontinued.

Tropical Depression Selma will continue to weaken as it moves farther inland.  The higher mountains will disrupt the circulation in the lower levels, but the circulation in the middle and upper levels could persist longer.  Tropical Depression Selma will drop locally heavy rain over El Salvador, western Honduras and eastern Guatemala.  The heavy rain could produce flash floods and mudslides.

Tropical Storm Selma Forms South of El Salvador

Tropical Storm Selma formed south of El Salvador on Friday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Selma was located at latitude 11.1°N and longitude 89.5°W which put it about 180 miles (290 km) south of San Salvador, El Salvador.  Selma was moving toward the northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 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.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the entire coast of El Salvador.  A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the entire Pacific Coast of Guatemala.

A distinct low level center of circulation formed in a larger area of thunderstorms south of El Salvador on Friday morning and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Storm Selma.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Selma is very asymmetrical.  Most of the showers and thunderstorms are located in the western half of the circulation.  There are bands of showers in the eastern half of the circulation.  An upper level ridge centered over the Yucatan Peninsula is producing easterly winds which are blowing over the top of the circulation.  Those winds are causing moderate vertical wind shear which is the primary reason for the asymmetrical structure of the circulation.  Selma is a small tropical storm.  Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Selma will be moving through an environment that is neutral for intensification.  Selma will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  The upper level ridge will continue to cause moderate vertical wind shear.  The shear will inhibit further intensification.  If the upper level winds weaken, then some intensification may be possible.  However, if the upper level winds get stronger, then Selma could weaken to a tropical depression.

A large counterclockwise circulation centered over Nicaragua and Honduras is steering Tropical Storm Selma slowly toward the northwest and the general motion is expected to continue on Friday.  The upper level ridge over the Yucatan Peninsula will weaken on Saturday and that will allow Tropical Storm Selma to move more toward the north.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Selma will make landfall on the coast of El Salvador or Guatemala on Saturday.

Tropical Storm Selma will bring some gusty winds to the coast.  However, locally heavy rain and flash floods will be the primary risks associated with Tropical Storm Selma when it makes landfall.

Strong Shear Weakens Adrian to a Tropical Depression

Strong vertical wind shear weakened Tropical Storm Adrian to a tropical depression on Wednesday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Depression Adrian was located at latitude 10.5°N and longitude 93.1°W which put it about 420 miles (675 km) south-southeast of Salina Cruz, Mexico.  Adrian was moving toward the northwest at 5 m.p.h. (7 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.

An upper level ridge east of Adrian generated strong southeasterly winds which produced strong vertical wind shear and literally blew the top off of the tropical storm.  The upper half of the circulation was carried well to the northwest of low level circulation.  The low level circulation consists low clouds and weak showers.  No new thunderstorms have formed in the low level circulation since it decoupled from the upper half of the circulation.

Strong upper level winds are likely to continue to create strong vertical wind shear on Thursday.  Tropical Depression Adrian is likely to remain weak on Thursday.  If the low level circulation persists for several more days, then the upper level winds could weaken.  The Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  So, if there is still a low level circulation, some strengthening could occur when the upper level winds diminish.

Tropical Storm Adrian Develops South of Guatemala

Tropical Storm Adrian developed south of Guatemala on Tuesday.  Adrian became the earliest tropical storm to form over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean during the satellite era.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Adrian was located at latitude 9.5°N and longitude 92.3°W which put it about 360 miles (575 km) southwest of San Salvador, El Salvador.  Adrian 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 1005 mb.

A well defined low level center of circulation developed within a large area of thunderstorms over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean on Tuesday and the National Hurricane Center classified the system as Tropical Storm Adrian.  A primary rainband wrapped about half way around the western side of the center of circulation.  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms formed farther away from the center.  There were more thunderstorms west of the center, but bands were forming in all quadrants of Tropical Storm Adrian.  The strongest winds were occurring close to the center of circulation, which is the typical structure of a tropical cyclone.  Thunderstorms near the core of Adrian were beginning to generate upper level divergence which was pumping away mass.

Tropical Storm Adrian will be moving through an environment that will be favorable for intensification.  Adrian will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature will be about 30.5°C.  An upper level ridge east of Adrian is producing southeasterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds are causing some vertical wind shear, but the shear should not be great enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Storm Adrian is likely to intensify during the next several days and it could become a hurricane later this week.

Adrian is moving around the southwestern part 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.  When Adrian reaches the western end of the ridge later this week, the tropical storm will turn toward the north and it will move closer toward the coast.

Possible Tropical Development South of El Salvador

A broad area of low pressure has formed over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean south of El Salvador.  The environment is favorable for the development of a tropical cyclone.  The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has designated the low pressure system as Invest 90E.  NHC is indicating that there is a 50% probability of the formation of a tropical depression during the next 48 hours and an 80% probability of formation during the next five days.

At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Invest 90E was located at latitude 7.9°N and longitude 89.5°W which put it about 370 miles (595 km) south of San Salvador, El Salvador.  Invest 90E was stationary.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

More thunderstorms formed on Monday around a broad area of low pressure south of El Salvador.  Visible satellite imagery suggested a broad counterclockwise rotation of the area of thunderstorms, but there were no indications of a well developed core of the circulation.  Several smaller centers of rotation were visible within the broad low pressure system, but these may be transient features.  The broad area of thunderstorms was producing upper level divergence.  The divergence is pumping out mass and if that continues, then the surface pressure will decrease.

The area of low pressure is in an environment favorable for tropical development.  It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The low is sitting underneath an upper level ridge and the winds in the upper level are weak.  There is little vertical wind shear and there is nothing to inhibit upper level divergence.  The circulation should continue to organize, which is why the probability of formation of a tropical cyclone is high.

The area of low pressure is in an area where the steering currents are weak and Invest 90E was nearly stationary on Monday.  A high pressure system northeast of the broad area of low pressure system is expected to strengthen.  When that happens, the high is likely to steer the area of low pressure toward the northwest.

Tropical Storm Otto Crosses Into the Eastern North Pacific Ocean

Tropical Storm Otto moved steadily along the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica and crossed into the eastern North Pacific Ocean on Thursday night.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Otto was located at latitude 10.9°N and longitude 85.6°W which put it about 20 miles (30 km) north of Liberia, Costa Rica.  Otto was moving toward the west at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (140 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 990 mb.

The structure of Tropical Storm Otto remained intact as it crossed from the southwestern Caribbean Sea to the eastern North Pacific Ocean.  Radar images from Nicaragua and infrared satellite images both showed that the eye continued to exist.  A ring of strong thunderstorms still surrounds the eye and those storms are generating upper level divergence.

Tropical Storm Otto will be moving through an environment favorable for intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C on Friday, and it will move over warmer water during the weekend.  The upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Otto is likely to strengthen back into a hurricane once the entire circulation moves over the eastern North Pacific Ocean and a period of rapid intensification is possible.

A ridge north of Otto is steering the tropical storm toward the west and that general motion is expected to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Otto is expected to move steadily away from the west coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Hurricane Otto Strengthens As It Nears Nicaragua and Costa Rica

Hurricane Otto strengthened quickly on Thursday morning as it neared the coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  At 7:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Otto was located at latitude 11.0°N and longitude 82.9°W which put it about 90 miles (150 km) southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua.  Otto was moving toward the west at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 976 mb.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Limon, Costa Rica to Bluefields, Nicaragua.  A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the portions of the coast from Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua and from the Panama/Costa Rica border to Limon, Costa Rica.  Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the portions of the coast from Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua and from Puntarenas, Costa Rica to Puerto Sandino, Nicaragua.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft found that Hurricane Otto strengthened quickly during the overnight hours.  The reconnaissance plane found a circular eye with a diameter of 23 miles (37 km).  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms.  Additional bands of thunderstorms are occurring north and west of the center of circulation.  Thunderstorms in the core of Hurricane Otto are generating upper level divergence which is pumping mass away from the center.

Hurricane Otto is a small hurricane.  Winds to hurricane force extend out about 20 miles (32 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) is 17.8.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 8.4 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 26.2.  These indices indicate that Hurricane Otto is capable of causing localized serious wind damage.

Hurricane Otto is moving through a favorable environment and it could strengthen further before it reaches the coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  Otto is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  The upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.

A ridge of high pressure north of Otto is steering the hurricane toward the west and that general motion is expected to continue today.  On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Otto will make landfall over southern Nicaragua or northern Costa Rica later today.

In addition to localized serious wind damage Hurricane Otto will produce a storm surge along the coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  The surge will be highest north of where the center makes landfall because that is where the wind will push the water toward the coast.  Hurricane Otto will produce very heavy rain over parts of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  The heavy could cause serious flooding and mudslides in some locations.  Outer rainbands could also produce heavy rain over portions of Honduras and El Salvador.

Hurricane Otto Approaching Nicaragua and Costa Rica

After weakening to a tropical storm earlier on Wednesday Hurricane Otto intensified as it approached the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Otto was located at latitude 11.2°N and longitude 82.2°W which put it about 120 miles east-southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua.  Otto was moving toward the west at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 85 m.p.h. (140 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 981 mb.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Limon, Costa Rica to Bluefields, Nicaragua.  Hurricane Watches have been issued for the portions of the coast from Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua and from the Panama/Costa Rica border to Limon, Costa Rica.  Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the  portions of the coast from Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua, from Puntarenas, Costa Rica to Puerto Sandino, Nicaragua and for San Andres Island.

Hurricane Otto had meandered over the same water long enough to mix cooler water to the surface.  The cooler water reduced the energy transfer to the atmosphere and the inner core of Otto weakened.  The eye disappeared and Otto weakened below hurricane intensity.  When Otto began to move west, the core of the circulation moved away from the cooler water.  Thunderstorms developed rapidly near the center of circulation and the inner core began to redevelop.  A reconnaissance plane found that the wind speed had increased above hurricane intensity again.

Hurricane Otto has a very small circulation.  Winds to hurricane force only extend out about 12 miles (19 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) is 12.7.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 4.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 17.4.  These indices indicated that Hurricane Otto is capable of causing localized minor wind damage.

The small circulation of Hurricane Otto is more symmetrical.   There are indications that a circular eye and eyewall could be reforming at the center of the hurricane.  Several bands of thunderstorms are rotating around the core of Otto.  Thunderstorms at the core were generating upper level divergence which pumped out mass and allowed the surface pressure to decrease on Wednesday evening.

Hurricane Otto will be moving through an environment that is favorable for intensification until it makes landfall.  Otto will be moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  An upper level ridge east of the hurricane is producing southeasterly winds which are flowing near the top of the circulation.  However, those winds are weaker than they were yesterday and the vertical wind shear is less.  Hurricane Otto could strengthen further during the next few hours.

A ridge to the north of Otto is steering the hurricane toward the west and that general motion is expected to continue for another day or two.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Otto will make a landfall on the coast between the Nicaragua/Costa Rica border and Monkey Point, Nicaragua.  Winds blowing toward the coast will produce a storm surge along the southern coast of Nicaragua.  Otto could drop heavy rain over Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  Outer bands may also produce locally heavy rain over parts of Honduras and El Salvador.  The rain may be heavy enough to cause flooding and mudslides.

Otto Becomes a Hurricane, Watches and Warnings Issued

Tropical Storm Otto intensified into a hurricane on Tuesday as it meandered over the southwestern Caribbean Sea.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Otto was located at latitude 10.5°N and longitude 79.6°W which put it about 235 miles (375 km) east of Limon, Costa Rica.  Otto was moving toward the west at 2 m.p.h. (3 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 984 mb.

Hurricane Watches have been issued for the portion of the coast from the Costa Rica/Panama border to Bluefields, Nicaragua.  Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for the portion of the coast from Nargana to Colon, Panama and for San Andres Island, Colombia.  Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for the portions of the coast from Colon, Panama to the Panama/Costa Rica border and from Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua.

The inner core of Hurricane Otto became more circular and symmetrical on Tuesday.  An eyelike feature appeared on microwave satellite imagery and hints of an eye were seen intermittently on visible imagery during the day.  There appeared to be breaks in the eyewall on the southeast side of the eye.  Most of the stronger thunderstorms are forming northwest of the eye.  Convective activity outside the core of Hurricane Otto is more asymmetrical.  There are some thinner rainbands north and west of the center where winds from a high pressure system are converging into the circulation of Otto.  There are fewer showers and thunderstorms in the southeastern quadrant of the circulation.  Thunderstorms around the center of the hurricane are generating upper level divergence at the very top of the circulation.

Hurricane Otto has a very small circulation.  Winds to hurricane force only extend out about 10 miles (15 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Otto is 10.4.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 3.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 13.6.

Hurricane Otto will be moving through an environment that will be favorable for intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is 29°C.  An upper level ridge located east of Otto is generating southeasterly winds which are blowing against the upper portion of the circulation of the hurricane.  Those winds appear to be hitting Otto just under the level of upper level divergence at the top of the circulation.  So, the upper level winds and vertical wind shear appear to be restricting upper level divergence to the south of the circulation, but they do not appear to be completely blocking divergence.  The speed of the upper level winds is forecast to decrease.  If the vertical shear decreases, then Hurricane Otto could strengthen.

A ridge of high pressure is forecast to build north of Hurricane Otto.  That ridge will steer Otto toward the west and the hurricane could start to move faster on Wednesday.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Otto could approach the coast of Costa Rica and Nicaragua on Thursday.

Hurricane Otto is a small hurricane, but it could cause localized minor wind damage.  Heavy rain, flash floods and mudslides are a much greater threat.  Hurricane Otto could bring flooding rains to portions of Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador.

On a historical note Hurricane Martha formed during this time of year in 1969 in almost exactly the same area where Hurricane Otto formed.  Hurricane Martha moved southward and weakened.  Martha officially made landfall in Panama as a tropical storm, but it did cause flooding rains and fatalities in parts of Costa Rica.

TD 16 Becomes Tropical Storm Otto

The National Hurricane Center named former Tropical Depression 16 as Tropical Storm Otto on Monday afternoon based on data from satellites.  At 4:00 p.m. EST the center of Tropical Storm Otto was located at latitude 11.3°N and longitude 79.2°W which put it about 315 miles (505 km) east of Bluefields, Nicaragua.  Otto was stationary.  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.

The structure of Tropical Storm Otto has not changed appreciably during today.  Most of the thunderstorms are occurring in bands north and west of the center of circulation.  There are fewer thunderstorms in the southeastern quadrant of the circulation.  Otto is a small tropical storm.  Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 35 miles (55 km) from the center.  Thunderstorms are generating upper level divergence which is pumping mass out north and west of the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Otto will move through an environment that will be favorable for intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature will be near 29°C unless Otto moves so slowly that its own circulation mixes cooler water to the surface.  Southerly winds in the upper levels are generating moderate vertical wind shear, but those winds are expected to weaken.  When the vertical shear diminishes, Tropical Storm Otto will be likely to intensify and it could become a hurricane.

Tropical Storm Otto is currently in a region where the steering currents are weak.  However, a ridge of high pressure is forecast to build north of Otto, and the ridge is likely to steer the tropical storm toward the west.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Otto could approach the coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica in 48 to 72 hours.

Tropical Storm Otto could be a hurricane by the time it reaches the coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  Otto will be capable of bringing gusty winds and heavy rain to portions of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, northern Panama, Honduras, El Salvador and southern Guatemala.  The locally heavy rain could produce flash floods and mudslides in areas of steep terrain.