Tropical Depression Forms South of El Salvador

Tropical Depression Eighteen-E formed over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean south of El Salvador in Thursday morning. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Depression Eighteen-E was located at latitude 9.4°N and longitude 90.0°W which put it about 300 miles (485 km) south of San Salvador, El Salvador. The tropical depression was moving toward the west 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 1007 mb.

Thunderstorms formed closer to the center of a small low pressure system south of El Salvador on Thursday morning and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Depression Eighteen-E. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in a band a little to the east of the center of circulation. Storms in that band began to generate upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical depression. Bands in the western half of the depression consisted of showers and lower clouds.

Tropical Depression Eighteen-E will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours. The depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28˚C. It will move under the northern part of an upper level ridge west of Central America. The northern part of the upper level ridge will produce weak westerly winds that will blow toward the top of the depression’s circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear. The wind shear will inhibit intensification, but it will not be strong enough to prevent the tropical depression from getting stronger. Tropical Depression Eighteen-E is likely to slowly intensify to a tropical storm during the next several days.

Tropical Depression Eighteen-E will move around the southern side of a surface high pressure system over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean. The high will steer the tropical depression toward the west during the next few days. On its anticipated track Tropical Depression Eighteen-E will move farther away from Central America.