Tag Archives: Tehuantepec

Small Tropical Storm Vicente Forms Southwest of Guatemala

Small Tropical Storm Vicente formed southwest of Guatemala on Friday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Vicente was located at latitude 13.3°N and longitude 92.2°W which put it about 110 miles (180 km) south of Tapachula, Mexico.  Vicente was moving toward the northwest at 2 m.p.h. (3 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.

Tropical Storm Vicente formed out of a tropical wave that almost produced a tropical depression over the western Caribbean Sea earlier this week .  An area of low pressure developed within the tropical wave, but the low moved over Honduras before it could organize enough to be designated as a tropical depression.  The low continued to organize once it moved over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean southwest of Guatemala.  A distinct low level center of circulation was evident on visible satellite imagery on Friday and the National Hurricane Center designated the system at Tropical Storm Vicente.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Vicente is very small.  Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 35 miles (55 km) from the center of circulation.  Vicente does have a well developed center and a ring of thunderstorms surrounds the center of circulation.  Several short bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Storm Vicente.  Storms around the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Vicente will move through an environment mostly favorable for intensification.  Vicente will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Vicente is likely to strengthen during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Northerly winds blowing across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec will transport drier air over the Gulf of Tehuantepec.  If the drier air enters the circulation of Vicente, then the tropical storm could weaken.  Since the circulation around Tropical Storm Vicente is so small, the tropical storm could intensify or weaken very rapidly if the environmental conditions change.

Tropical Storm Vicente will move around a ridge of high pressure over the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico.  The ridge will steer Vicente in a general westerly direction during the weekend.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Vicente will stay south of Mexico during the next 24 to 48 hours.  Vicente could move more toward the northwest early next week when it moves around the western end of the ridge of high pressure.