Aletta No Threat To Land; Bud Likely Within Days
Today, May 15, marks the first day of the 2012 Eastern North Pacifc Hurricane Season. For my thoughts on the season as a whole you can look at my last blog entry. Yesterday saw the formation of TD One E, a day ahead of the start of the season. The depression strengthened some and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Aletta early on May 15 (UTC) meaning it was not named in the preseason. According to the National Hurricane Center Aletta is located about 810 miles south of the tip of Baja California. She is moving slowly westward at around 10 mph. The storms's current intensity is 45 mph with a pressure of 1003 mb. Aletta is probably peaking in intensity right now if she has not done so already. There is a significant amount of dry air to the south, west, and north of Aletta. Also, a powerful upper level trough will soon pass north of Aletta, greatly increasing wind shear over the system. Finally, Aletta is also heading for cooler waters. These three factors will combine to cause Aletta to disipate. The NHC is forecasting the storm to be dissipated by 72 hours. I think it will occur sooner than that because of how many factors will soon be working against Aletta. Also, Aletta is a very small system so this will make it difficult for her to resist the influences of shear and dry air.
This image reveals that dry air and shear seems to be already taking their toll on the system's west edge. The storm's convective pattern remains quite good overall though.
This image reveals the significant amount of dry air surrounding Aletta.
An area of disturbed weather several hundred miles from shore in the East Pac is being monitored for development. The NHC is giving this system a 10% chance of development within 48 hours, however beyond that time it appears likely that this system will become a tropical storm and be named Bud. Several models have shown this with the ECMWF being the most aggresive. The GFS model has also shown the system but to a lesser degree of intensity. Due to the poor handling of Aletta by the ECMWF and the excellent handling of the storm by the GFS, I do not see this becoming a major storm. I think it is likely to peak as a mid strength tropical storm with 55-60mph winds. I will likely have another update this week.
Regarding my "blogging schedule" for hurricane season, there really isn't one. I will post entries when time allows me to and when there is interesting tropical weather to discuss. I will blog on tropical activity in the Atlantic, East Pacific, and West Pacifc.
Thank you as always for reading and enjoy the rest of your week!