East Pacific TS Barbara small but energetic but is it Gulf-bound?

Tropical storm Barbara in the east Pacific

Tropical storm Barbara in the east Pacific

The second tropical storm to form during the east Pacific hurricane season is small in size but is certainly taking advantage of its surroundings. Top winds are now 65 mph and are forecast to increase to hurricane intensity before Barbara makes landfall later today or tonight.

 

Likely Impacts

There is certainly a chance for hurricane force winds to be felt in some areas of the coastline where Barbara makes landfall but the small size of the circulation should limit the extent of these winds.

The bigger issue, I believe, I will be torrential rain fall from the fairly slow-moving system. The NHC is indicating as much as a foot of rain in some areas of southern Mexico. Considering the topography of the region, it is possible that mudslides and flash flooding will occur thus the rain threat needs to be taken seriously.

Along the immediate coast, a rise in water levels of as much as five feet will accompany the would-be hurricane as it moves ashore. This surge will be limited to a rather small area but it is something that needs to be prepared for; along with large waves pounding the beach front.

After landfall – what about the Gulf?

Once inland, Barbara will weaken quickly but its circulation may remain intact enough to cross the narrow strip of land in southern Mexico to emerge in to the Bay of Campeche. Water temps in this region are just warm enough to support a tropical cyclone so we’ll have to watch closely to see if Barbara makes that rare crossing from one basin to another. If it does, it would not be called Barbara anymore – but rather TD One if it’s a depression or TS Andrea if it’s a tropical storm. That’s how it works if a tropical cyclone crosses from one basin in to another, it takes the next name on that basin’s list.

Some computer models do suggest that Barbara will survive once in the Gulf. However, dry air and strong upper level winds may preclude any significant re-development. Right now, the threat to Mexico needs to be addressed – we can wait and see what happens when and if Barbara makes it across land.

I’ll post another update on the situation this evening.

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About Mark Sudduth

Greetings! I am Mark Sudduth, the founder and editor of HurricaneTrack.com. The site began in 1999 as a way to post info concerning tropical storms and hurricanes for any interested visitors. Little did I know how big it would become in the years since. Now, we have millions of visitors from all over the world who have come to rely on the site as a no non-sense, tell it like it is resource for all things hurricane related. We are supported by a combination of corporate sponsors and our loyal Client Services members who subscribe to premium content on our sister site, premium.hurricanetrack.com. I am married with six energetic and intelligent children and live in southeast North Carolina. I graduated UNC-Wilmington in 1995 with a BA in Geography and have studied the effects of hurricanes on our society ever since.
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