Hurricane Estelle Passes South of Baja California

Hurricane Estelle passed south of the southern tip of Baja California on Monday afternoon. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Estelle was located at latitude 18.2°N and longitude 112.5°W which put it about 365 miles (590 km) south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Estelle was moving toward the west-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (150 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 986 mb.

Hurricane Estelle appeared to pull drier air into the western side of its circulation on Monday. Bands in the western half of Estelle consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the eastern half of Hurricane Estelle. The strongest winds were also occurring in the eastern part of Estelle. Winds to hurricane force extended out 25 miles (40 km) in the eastern half of Estelle’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) from the center of circulation. Storms near the center were still generating upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the hurricane.

Hurricane Estelle will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Estelle will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28˚C. It will move under an upper level ridge over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean west of Mexico. The upper level winds are weak in the ridge and there will be little vertical wind shear. However, the drier air in the western half of Hurricane Estelle will continue to inhibit the formation of thunderstorms in that part of the circulation. Estelle could intensify during the next 24 hours, but the drier air is likely to limit any intensification. Hurricane Estelle will start to move over cooler water later on Tuesday.

Hurricane Estelle will move around the southern side of a high pressure system over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Estelle toward the west-northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Hurricane Estelle will remain well to the south of Baja California.