Tropical Depression Two-E Strengthens to Tropical Storm Blas

Former Tropical Depression Two-E strengthened to Tropical Storm Blas over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean south-southeast of Manzanillo, Mexico on Tuesday morning. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Blas was located at latitude 13.9°N and longitude 102.1°W which put it about 380 miles (615 km) south-southeast of Manzanillo, Mexico. Blas was moving toward the north at 2 m.p.h. (3 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Blas intensified on Tuesday morning. More thunderstorms developed near the center of Blas. Thunderstorms were also forming in bands in the southern half of Tropical Storm Blas. Bands in the northern half of Blas consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Storms near the center of circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical storm. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 45 miles (75 km) from the center of Blas.

Tropical Storm Blas will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours. Blas will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 29˚C. It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Blas will intensify during the next 48 hours. It could strengthen to a hurricane on Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Blas will be in an area where the steering winds are weak during the next 24 hours. It will move slowly toward the north during that time. The western end of a high pressure system will extend over Mexico on Wednesday. The high pressure system will start to steer Blas toward the west-northwest. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Blas will move away from the west coast of Mexico later this week.