Carlotta Threatens Mexico, Guchol Threatens Japan
The tropics are very active across the globe today. The majority of the action today is in the East and West Pacific Oceans. In the East Pacific, Tropical Storm Carlotta formed early this morning from a disturbance previously known as 94E. It now has maximum sustained winds of 45mph and a minimum pressure of 1000mb according to the National Hurricane Center. Carlotta is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane by the NHC with a forecasted peak intensity of 90mph as it nears the Mexican Coast. The official forecasts brings it very close to the coastline.
Figure 1: Official NHC forecast track of Carlotta
While the track does not indicate an official landfall, it will be plenty close enough to the Mexican coast to provide hurricane conditions, and for that reason hurricane watches and warnings are in effect for a large area of the coast.
Figure 2: Water vapor imagery of Carlotta
As Figure 2 shows, Carlotta is struggling a little with dry air, preventing it from consolidating its thunderstorms around the center. I think it will overcome these issues, but it may take the rest of the day, meaning the NHC's forecast for Carlotta to reach 60mph by 11PM tonigt may be too aggressive. Still, I think that once Carlotta resolves this problem she will intensify and probably peak at an intensity of 85mph, with an outside chance of 100mph if rapid intensification occurs soon after the dry air is worked out of the circulation. I also believe that the steering currents, mostly a trough to the storm's west, will be a little slower to move than forecast, causing a longer period of northwest motion which will lead to an official landfall. I also think Carlotta will weaken some before landfall. The NHC has Carlotta peaking as she gets to the coast, but I think the peak is likely to happen sooner beofre slight weakening, probably to a minimal hurricane, occurs before landfall. Impacts will not change much regardless, with the main threats being strong winds near the coast and torrential rain a bit further inland. The mountains of Mexico will help wring out a lot of moisutre, and because it will sit near the coast for a while, I think 5-9 inches of rain are likely in many areas with highly localized amounts of 15 inches possible. This situation bears close watching by the people of Mexico.
Guchol Targets Japan
In the West Pacific, powerful Typhoon Guchol is taking aim at Japan. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center the storm currently has winds of 80mph. It is forecast to reach near major hurricane stregnth in about 3 days before it beigns to become extratropical as it recurves towards Japan.
Firgure 3: Official forecast track of Guchol
On its forecast path Guchol will either make landfall on Japan or pass just east of the country.
I'm worried about this storm. All the conditions are there for it to rapidly intensify during the next 48 hours. It is in a moist, low shear environment and over extremely warm waters. In additions, rather than beginning a west-northwest motion like the offcial track suggests, it has moved due west or even a bit south of due west all day, which keeps it over favorable conditions longer and increases the odds of a Japan landfall. For these reasons I am forecasting a peak intensity of 125 mph and a landfall on Japan. Figure 4 shows Guchol looks quite impressive at this time and will likely clear out an eye soon.
Figure 4: Typhoon Guchol
Both Carlotta and Guchol are potentially dangerous and life threatening storms that bear close watching by those who could potentially be affected. I will have an update tomorrow or Saturday. Thanks you as always for reading, and have a great day!