Tag Archives: New Mexico

Hurricane Bud Weakens, Watch Issued for Baja California

Hurricane Bud weakened significantly on Tuesday, but it prompted the issuance of a Tropical Storm Watch for the southern portion of Baja California.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Bud was located at latitude 18.7°N and longitude 108.6°W which put it about 300 miles (485 km) south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  Bud was moving toward the north-northwest at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 973 mb.  The government of Mexico issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the portion of the coast from Santa Fe to La Paz, Mexico including Cabo San Lucas.

Hurricane Bud weakened to a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on Tuesday.  The center of Hurricane Bud was over water where the Sea Surface Temperature was near 27°C, but much of the northern half of the circulation was over cooler water.  The slow movement of Bud may have also allowed the winds to mix cooler water to the surface.  Thunderstorms were not as tall and the bands in the northern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and low clouds.  The stronger thunderstorms were occurring mainly south and east of the center of Hurricane Bud.

Hurricane Bud is forecast to spin down slowly during the next several days.  Cooler water at the surface of the ocean is not likely to supply sufficient energy to maintain the circulation.  The upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear, but the lack of shear will be less important than effects of the cooler water.  The lack of stronger thunderstorms in the northern half of the circulation will limit the downdrafts that could transport stronger winds to the surface.  Hurricane Bud could weaken to a tropical storm on Wednesday if new thunderstorms do not form in the core of the circulation.

A ridge in the middle troposphere over the southwestern U.S. almost blocked the forward motion of Hurricane Bud on Tuesday.  Bud moved slowly toward the north-northwest.  A slow motion toward the north-northwest is forecast to continue for another 24 to 36 hours.  After that time a trough over the Pacific Ocean is forecast to push the ridge eastward.  When the trough approaches, stronger southerly winds will steer Bud northward more quickly.  On its anticipated track Bud is forecast to approach the southern tip of Baja California in 36 to 48 hours.

Hurricane Bud is likely to be a tropical storm when it nears Baja California.  Bud will bring gusty winds, but the bigger risk will be locally heavy rain.  Heavy rain falling on steep terrain could cause flash floods.  Bud or its remnants could also bring rain to parts of the southwestern U.S.

Tropical Storm Pilar Forms Near Mexico

Tropical Storm Pilar formed just west of Mexico on Saturday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Pilar was located at latitude 18.7°N and longitude 105.3°W which put it about 120 miles (195 km) south-southeast of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico.  Pilar was moving toward the north 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 1003 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the portion of the coast from Manzanillo to El Roblito including the Islas Marias.

A distinct center of circulation developed within a larger area of low pressure near the west coast of Mexico on Saturday and the system was classified as Tropical Storm Pilar.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms began to form around the center.  Storms near the center started to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the west of Tropical Storm Pilar.

Tropical Storm Pilar will move through an environment that will be somewhat favorable for intensification on Sunday.  Pilar will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.   An upper level high over Mexico is producing easterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds are producing some vertical wind shear, but the shear was not strong enough to prevent the formation of Tropical Storm Pilar.  The eastern part of the circulation will be moving over western Mexico and increased friction will be the primary factor inhibiting strengthening.  Tropical Storm Pilar is likely to intensify on Sunday.

A ridge in the middle levels of the atmosphere over Mexico is steering Tropical Storm Pilar slowly toward the north.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Pilar will be very near Cabo Corrientes on Sunday night.  The center could move inland or it could remain just west of the coast.  Tropical Storm Pilar will drop very heavy rain over parts of the states of Colima and Jalisco.  The heavy rain could cause flash flooding in some locations.

Tropical Storm Lidia Weakens, Still Raining on Baja California

Tropical Storm Lidia has weakened but it is producing rain over Baja California.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Lidia was located at latitude 28.3°N and longitude 114.6°W which put it about 40 miles (65 km) northeast of Punta Eugenia, Mexico.  Lidia was moving toward the northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 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 999 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Punta Abreojos to San Jose de Las Palomas, from Mulege to Isla San Luis and from Guaymas to Puerto Libertad, Mexico.

Tropical Storm Lidia weakened during the past 24 hours as it slowly moved northwest over Baja California.  There are some indications that the upper portion of the circulation may have decoupled from the lower half of Tropical Storm Lidia.  The upper portion of the circulation appears to be over the Gulf of California.  There are stronger thunderstorms over the Gulf of California because the Sea Surface Temperature is near 32°C in that body of water.  Those thunderstorms are producing heavy rain over parts of the eastern side of Baja California and the western part of Mexico adjacent to the Gulf of California.  The lower level center appears to be located northeast of Punta Eugenia over the Pacific Ocean just west of Baja California.  There are showers and thunderstorms near the low level center and they are dropping heavy rain in that area.  The potential for flash floods still exists in the areas where heavy rain is falling.

The low level center of Tropical Storm Lidia is forecast to continue to move toward the northwest.  Lidia will continue to weaken because the low level center is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 23°C.  It will take several more days for the low level center to spin down and it could still produce locally heavy rain over the northern part of Baja California during that time.  The upper level portion of the circulation will likely be absorbed by the larger scale environmental flow in those levels.  Some clouds and moisture in the upper levels could flow over the southwestern U.S.

Hurricane Newton Brings Wind and Heavy Rain to Baja California

Hurricane Newton is bringing wind and heavy rain as it moves over southern Baja California.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Newton was located at latitude 24.7°N and longitude 111.4°W which put it about 75 miles (120 km) west-northwest of La Paz, Mexico.  Newton was moving toward the northwest at 17 m.p.h. (28 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 986 mb.

There are Hurricane Warnings in effect for the portions of the coast from Cabo San Lazaro to Todos Santos, from Los Barriles to Mulege and from Guaymas to Bahia Kino.  Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the portions of the coast from Cabo San Lazaro to Punta Abreojos, from Mulege to Bahia San Juan Bautista, from Bahia Tempehuaya to Guaymas and from Bahia Kino to Puerto Libertad.  A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the portion of the coast form Bahia Kino to Puerto Libertad.

Hurricane Newton made landfall on the southern tip of Baja California on Tuesday morning.  It moved along the western coast of the peninsula and the center passed to the west of La Paz, Mexico.  Newton is now moving north across Baja California near Ciudad Constitucion.  Newton is generating winds to hurricane force.  Areas of heavier rain are occurring near La Paz and Mulege.  Very heavy rain is falling where the wind is pushing air up the slopes of mountains and there is a substantial risk of flash flooding in those areas.

The structure of Hurricane Newton is beginning to deteriorate as it interacts with the mountains on Baja California.  The circulation is starting to tilt toward the north as the low level circulation is partially blocked by west coast of Baja while the middle and upper portions of the circulation continue to move north.  The strongest thunderstorms are occurring south of the center of circulation.  Additional strong thunderstorms are occurring rain bands north of the center over the Gulf of California.

Hurricane Newton will weaken as long as the center of circulation is moving over the mountains in southern Baja California.  It is possible that the middle and upper parts of the circulation could temporarily become detached from the existing low level center.  A new low level center could form under the middle and upper parts of the circulation when they emerge over the Gulf of California.  The Sea Surface Temperature in the Gulf of California is 32°C, but Newton will only be over the water for a few hours.  So, the potential for significant re-intensification is slight.

Hurricane Newton is moving around the western end of a ridge of high pressure.  The ridge is steering Newton toward the north.  That general motion is expected to continue for the next few hours and then Hurricane Newton could turn more toward the north-northeast.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Newton will emerge over the Gulf of California near Loreto in about 12 hours.  Newton will make a landfall on the west coast of Mexico in about 18 hours.

Hurricane Newton will continue to bring strong winds and heavy rain to the southern part of Baja California for the rest of Tuesday.  It will also produce heavy rain over portions of western Mexico on Wednesday.  Flash flooding will continue to be a risk in areas of steep terrain.  The remnants of Hurricane Newton could transport moist air over southeastern Arizona and western New Mexico.

Rapidly Intensifying Hurricane Newton Threatens Baja California

Hurricane Newton intensified rapidly from a tropical depression on Monday into a powerful hurricane that threatens Baja California.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Newton was located at latitude 21.3°N and longitude 109.0°W which put it about 125 miles (200 km) south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  Newton was moving toward the northwest at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 979 mb.

The government of Mexico has issued a Hurricane Warning for the portion of the coast from Cabo San Lazaro to Mulege including Cabo San Lucas.  A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the portions of the coast from Cabo San Lazaro to Punta Abreojos, from Mulege to Bahia San Juan Bautista and from Mazatlan to Puerto Libertad.  A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the portion of the coast from Guaymas to Puerto Libertad.

The circulation of Hurricane Newton organized very rapidly on Monday.  A primary rainband wrapped most of the way around an eye.  Multiple bands of thunderstorms developed outside the eyewall.  Thunderstorms near the core of Hurricane Newton generated strong upper level divergence which pumped out mass and allowed the winds speeds to increased rapidly.  Newton intensified from a tropical depression into a hurricane in 24 hours.  The maximum sustained wind speed has increased from 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) 24 hours ago to 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h).

Hurricane Newton is in an environment that could allow it to strengthen until it reaches the southern tip of Baja California.  It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is 29°C.  The upper level winds are light and there is little vertical wind shear.  When Hurricane Newton reaches Baja California, it will weaken as it crossed over the mountains.  However, it could still be a hurricane when it reaches the warm water in the Gulf of California.

Hurricane Newton is moving around the western end of a mid-level ridge.  The ridge should steer it toward the north-northwest for another 12 hours.  When Newton reaches the end of the ridge, it will turn toward the north-northeast.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Newton will reach the southern portion of Baja California in less than 12 hours.  Newton could emerge over the Gulf of California in about 24 hours.  Newton could still be a hurricane when it reaches the western coast of Mexico near Guaymas on Wednesday.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Newton is 13.9.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 12.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index is 26.1.  Given that Hurricane Newton is likely to intensify until it makes landfall in Baja California, it has the potential to cause regional serious wind damage.  Heavy rain and flash flooding will pose an even greater threat in areas of steep terrain.  Newton has the potential to be a destructive hurricane.

Tropical Storm Javier Near Southern Tip of Baja California

Tropical Storm Javier moved slowly toward the southern tip of Baja California on Monday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Javier was located at latitude 22.5°N and longitude 109.7°W which put it about 30 miles (50 km) south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  Javier was moving toward the northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.

The government of Mexico has discontinued all Hurricane Warnings and Watches.  A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for the portion of the coast from San Evaristo to Cabo San Lazaro.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the portion of the coast from San Evaristo to Loreto and from Cabo San Lazaro to Puerto San Andresito.

Javier is a small tropical storm.  Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Javier weakened during the past few hours.  Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter Research aircraft indicated that drier air in the middle levels had been pulled into the circulation of Javier.  The ingestion of the drier air weakened many of the thunderstorms and the wind speed decreased.  In addition an upper level ridge over northern Mexico appears to be causing easterly winds to blow across the top of Javier.  The vertical wind shear is tilting the circulation and the upper levels of Javier are tilted to the west of the surface center.

Tropical Storm Javier is in an environment that is not favorable for intensification.  Javier is over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C, but the water west of Baja California is cooler.  The tropical storm is ingesting drier air and it is encountering vertical wind shear.  The proximity of Tropical Storm Javier to Baja California may also cause the terrain to disrupt the circulation.  Tropical Storm Javier may be able to maintain its intensity at times, but it is likely to weaken during the next several days.

Tropical Storm Javier is moving around the western end of a ridge over Mexico which has been steering it toward the northwest.  Since the thunderstorms in Javier are not as tall, it is being steered by winds lower in the atmosphere and those steering currents appear to be weaker.  As a result, Tropical Storm Javier moved much more slowly on Monday night.  When a tropical cyclone moves very close to Baja California, the terrain has an impact on the structure of the storm and its ultimate motion.  It is possible that the upper and lower portions of Tropical Storm Javier’s circulation could be sheared apart.  If that happens, the lower portion of the circulation could drift slowly along the west coast of Baja California.  The middle and upper portions of the circulation could be pulled north into the southwestern U.S. by an upper level trough off the west coast of the U.S.

The primary risks posed by Tropical Storm Javier are locally heavy rainfall and flash floods.  Steep terrain in parts of Baja California exacerbate the flood risk in those areas.  It is possible that some moisture associated with Tropical Storm Javier could be pulled into the southwestern U.S. later this week.  If that happens, the moisture will enhance rainfall over parts of Arizona and surrounding states.

Tropical Depression 16E Could Bring Heavy Rain to Southwest U.S.

A center of circulation organized within a cluster of thunderstorms west of Baja California on Sunday and the system was designated Tropical Depression Sixteen-E.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Depression Sixteen-E (TD16E) was located at latitude 25.0°N and longitude 113.7°W which put it about 90 miles (145 km) west of Cabo San Lazaro, Mexico.  TD16E was moving toward the north-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 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. (70 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1003 mb.

Tropical Depression 16E has only a few hours before it will move over the central part of Baja California.  Although it is over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C little, if any, intensification is expected.  When TD16E crosses Baja California, the terrain and increased vertical wind shear are likely to blow the upper portion of the circulation northward faster than the lower portion of the circulation.  The high clouds could reach parts of the southwestern U.S. within 24 hours.  Moving over mountains will disrupt the lower part of the circulation, but the rotation in the middle levels could persist for several days as it moves northward.

An upper level ridge centered over Texas and an upper level low west of Baja California are combining to steer TD16E northward and that general motion should continue for the next several days.  On its anticipated track TD16E could reach the coast of Baja California near Punta Abreojos in about 12 hours.  It could then move across Baja and the Gulf of California and make a second landfall on the coast west of Hermosillo on Monday morning.  TD16E or its remnants could be approaching southern Arizona later on Monday.  Convection and a flow of moisture associated with TD16E could produce locally heavy rainfall when it is forced to rise of mountains.  It could cause flooding in parts of Baja California, northwestern Mexico and the southwestern U.S.