Daniel likely reached peak intensity; new Pacific tropical depression forms
Hurricane Daniel has likely reached its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and minimum central pressure of 977 mbar as the cyclone is expected to enter into more hostile conditions with colder waters and drier air mass in less than six hours; these unfavorable conditions should weaken the system. Daniel is moving westward at 12 mph as it is located roughly 875 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Recent satellite image shows that the hurricane has a conspicuous eye and good spiral bands.
Forecast for Daniel
Daniel is anticipated to continue moving generally westward over the next five days under the influence of the southern periphery of the high pressure ridge. All of the models are in excellent agreement with this forecast track. Daniel is expected to cross into the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s (CPHC) area of responsibility in the next three to four days. Most models, including the GFS, are anticipating Daniel to move just south of Hawaii as a remnant low in the next six to seven days. The cyclone is not expected to threaten the Hawaiian Islands as a tropical cyclone, but could bring some increase in showers and wind there.
Daniel has about six hours left remaining both in moist atmospheric environment and in warm sea surface temperature greater than 26.5°C. Thus, Daniel has likely reached its peak intensity. After six hours, the cyclone will enter in unfavorable conditions with colder sea surface temperatures and drier atmospheric environment. In response to the unfavorable conditions, Daniel should commence weakening after the next 12 hours. The system would likely become a remnant low by the time it crosses into the CPHC’s area of responsibility.
Figure 1. Visible satellite imagery of Hurricane Daniel. Image courtesy: Colorado State University's RAMMB imagery.
Tropical Depression Five-E forms in the East Pacific
After maintaining sufficient organization over the past several hours, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) designated the tropical disturbance as Tropical Depression Five-E. As of the latest NHC advisory, Five-E has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and minimum central pressure of 1005 mbar. The depression is moving west-northwestward at 15 mph, and it is situated about 495 miles south-southwest of Acapulco, Mexico. Recent satellite imagery depicts that the depression continues to be better organized as it maintain its deep shower and thunderstorm activity. If the tropical depression’s maximum sustained winds reach 39 mph or higher, then it will become a tropical storm and be given the name “Emilia”.
Forecast for Five-E
The incipient tropical depression is expected to continue moving west-northwestward over the several days by the high pressure ridge over the eastern Pacific and Mexico; many models agree to this forecast track. The storm is expected to move away from Mexico and not threaten other landmasses. The depression will likely become a hurricane in the next several days. According to the latest SHIPS model, the cyclone is forecasted to remain in very favorable conditions over the next 48 hours with very warm sea surface temperatures, low wind shear, and moist atmospheric environment. These conditions could allow the system to rapidly intensify in the next few days. In fact, the SHIPS model indicates that the probability of rapid intensification for 30 knot wind increase is 42%. Therefore, I see no reason why the depression will not become a hurricane in the next several days. After 96 hours, however, the cyclone is forecasted to enter unfavorable conditions with cool sea surface temperatures, moderate shear, and dry and stable air mass. The system is expected to begin the weakening trend after the next 96 to 120 hours.
Figure 2. Afternoon infrared satellite image of Tropical Depression Five-E. Image courtesy: Colorado State University's RAMMB imagery.
Elsewhere in the tropics
Models, including the reliable GFS and ECMWF, are predicting possibly another tropical cyclone forming in the eastern Pacific in the next six to seven days. In the Atlantic basin, though, none of the reliable computer models are anticipating significant tropical cyclone development over the next seven days.