Tropical Storm Pamela Intensifies, Hurricane Watch for Mexico

Tropical Storm Pamela intensified over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean on Monday morning and the government of Mexico issued a Hurricane Watch for a portion of the west coast. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Pamela was located at latitude 16.8°N and longitude 108.1°W which put it about 455 miles (735 km) south-southwest of Mazatlan, Mexico. Pamela was moving toward the northwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Bahia Tempehuaya to Escuinapa, Mexico. Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for the portions of the coast from Altata to Bahia Tempehuaya and from Escuinapa to San Blas. A Tropical Storm Watch was also in effect for the portion of the coast of Baja California from Los Barilles to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Tropical Storm Pamela intensified more rapidly on Monday morning. The inner end of a rainband wrapped tightly around the southern and eastern sides of the center of Pamela. Storms near the center of circulation generated strong upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical storm. The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease more quickly. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Storm Pamela. The circulation around Pamela was relatively small. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 70 miles (110 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Pamela will move through a region where the environment is favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours. Pamela will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30˚C. It will move under the axis of an upper level ridge over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean. The upper level winds are weak near the axis of the ridge and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Storm Pamela could strengthen to a hurricane during the next 12 hours. Pamela could intensify rapidly once an inner core with an eye and eyewall forms. Pamela could rapidly intensify to a major hurricane by Tuesday night.

Tropical Storm Pamela will move around the southwestern part of a high pressure system over Mexico during the next 24 hours. The high pressure system will steer Pamela toward the north-northwest during that time period. An upper level trough over the western U.S. will turn Pamela toward the northeast on Tuesday. On its anticipated track Pamela could be south of Baja California on Tuesday evening. Pamela could be a major hurricane when it approaches the west coast of Mexico on Wednesday morning.