Tropical Storm Blanca Develops Southwest of Mexico

Tropical Storm Blanca developed southwest of Mexico on Monday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Blanca was located at latitude 13.5°N and longitude 108.9°W which put it about 520 miles (840 km) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. Blanca was moving toward the west-northwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1003 mb.

Former Tropical Depression Two-E strengthened on Monday afternoon and the National Hurricane Center named the system Tropical Storm Blanca. The circulation around Blanca organized quickly on Monday. More thunderstorms formed near the center of circulation. The inner end of a rainband wrapped around the center of circulation. Storms near the center generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical storm. The circulation around Tropical Storm Blanca was small. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 25 miles from the center of Blanca.

Tropical Storm Blanca will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Blanca will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are 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 Blanca will intensify during the next 24 hours and it could strengthen to a hurricane.

Tropical Storm Blanca will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Blanca toward the west-northwest during the next two days. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Blanca will move away from Mexico.