Conson to weaken; Tropical Depression Six-E forms well offshore of Mexico
Atlantic remains relatively quiet
The Atlantic remains in its period of quietness after Hurricane Alex and Tropical Depression Two formed in late June and early July. There is a relatively strong tropical wave that has recently emerged off Africa and it needs to be watched as it moves westward.
There are no other threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss at this time. However, the NOGAPS model, as well as a few other models, do predict that a strong tropical disturbance could form in the area offshore of Nicaragua this weekend. Even though the NOGAPS has been making up many ghost storms lately, it is possible that it may get this one right, thus it bears watching at the end of this week. If a disturbance does indeed form, it is very possible that it could follow a very similar path of Hurricane Alex and Tropical Depression Two.
However, we must get a disturbance before we speculate on anything else.
Invest 96E becomes sixth tropical depression of the 2010 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season
After beginning as a large gyre of low pressure, Invest 96E gradually tightened, and formed a small center of circulation. After gaining enough convective organization earlier today, the National Hurricane Center upgraded 96E to Tropical Depression Six-E. As of the 5:00 pm EDT advisory, the center of the sheared tropical depression was located near 14.9 N and 107.2 W. It was moving to the WNW at 13 mph and maximum sustained winds were 35 mph. Minimum central pressure was 1006 mb.
At the present time, conditions are unfavorable for further strengthening of this depression. In fact, the convective organization seen earlier has waned due to 20-30 knots of easterly shear. However, shear is likely to abate in about 24 hours, which should allow Six-E to gain enough organization to become Tropical Storm Estelle. However, by days four and five in the forecast period, TD Six-E will likely experience a more stable environment as well as cooler sea surface temperatures, and weakening is expected at that time.
Figure 1. The current infrared satellite image of Tropical Depression Six-E (courtesy NOAA).
Conson batters Philippines, now moving westward over the South China Sea
After making landfall yesterday over the Philippines, to the east of Manila, Conson has re-emerged over the South China Sea, and is expected to weaken due to strong wind shear. However, then Category 1 Typhoon Conson has caused at least 18 fatalities over the Philippines, with many more still missing.
Strong wind shear, on the order of 20-30 knots, should prevent strengthening before its second and possibly third landfall(s) over China. In fact, it is likely that Conson, currently a 60 mph storm, will weaken before making another landfall, however, it is expected to remain a tropical storm.
If you remember my blog the other day, I said that it was likely that Hong Kong and neighboring Macau should prepare for tropical storm conditions. However, since then, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center has been forced to shift the projected path farther west with every advisory due to the storms refusal to turn to the northwest. It now appears as though TS Conson will make another landfall on China's Hainan Island, followed by a third landfall over mainland China, near the city of Mong Kai. Those areas should prepare for tropical storm conditions, as well as torrential rainfall.
Figure 2. The current animated satellite loop of Tropical Storm Conson (courtesy Weather Underground Tropical Page).
I should have another blog update tomorrow.
Thanks for reading and any comments are greatly appreciated.