Former Tropical Depression Three-E strengthened to Tropical Storm Celia over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean south of El Salvador on Friday morning. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Celia was located at latitude 11.6°N and longitude 89.3°W which put it about 145 miles (235 km) south of San Salvador, El Salvador. Celia was moving toward the north-northeast at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.
The circulation around former Tropical Depression Three-E strengthened on Friday morning and the National Hurricane Center upgraded it to Tropical Storm Celia. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the western half of Tropical Storm Celia. Bands in the eastern half of Celia’s circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. The thunderstorms in the western half of the circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical storm. The circulation around Tropical Storm Celia was small. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 35 miles (55 km) from the center of Celia.
Tropical Storm Celia will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Celia will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 27˚C. It will be in an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. Tropical Storm Celia could strengthen gradually during the next 24 hours.
Tropical Storm Celia will be in an area where the steering winds are weak during the next 18 hours. A broad area of low pressure over Central America and the adjacent part of the Eastern North Pacific Ocean will steer Celia slowly toward the north during the next 18 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Celia will move slowly closer to El Salvador. Rainbands in the northern fringes of Celia could drop heavy rain over parts of El Salvador and Guatemala. Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations. A high pressure system will strengthen over Mexico during the weekend. The high pressure system is likely to steer Tropical Storm Celia toward the west.
Elsewhere over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean, Hurricane Blas strengthened a little as it moved away from the southwest coast of Mexico. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Blas was located at latitude 17.8°N and longitude 109.0°W which put it about 320 miles (515 km) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. Blas was moving toward the west-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (165 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 976 mb.