It’s been a long time coming but the east Pacific is about to get its first named storm and eventually, very likely, a hurricane.
The NHC mentions an area of low pressure that is currently situated well to the south and west of Mexico. It is currently not very well organized but a combination of overall favorable atmospheric conditions should allow it to become a tropical depression over the weekend.
Current computer guidance suggests that it will continue to strengthen and become a tropical storm and eventually a hurricane over the open water of the east Pacific.
Fortunately, no matter how strong it manages to get, there are no indications from the global models that it will affect Mexico directly. There could be some impact from ocean swells generated if the system becomes a hurricane. We can worry about that later if need be. The bottom line is that the east Pacific has been very quiet up until now but this system poses no threat to land.
Meanwhile, the Atlantic Basin remains quiet although the tropical waves are getting a little more pronounced as they cross the MDR (Main Development Region). They are not likely to develop due to generally unfavorable conditions across the region which is typical for this time of year.
None of the global models are showing any significant development across the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico over the coming week or so. This means the July 4th time period will be problem-free along the coast as far the tropics are concerned.
And as an FYI – Dr. Phil Klotzbach from Colorado State University issued an update to the 2016 seasonal outlook this morning. So far, no changes appear in order for his forecast of an average season overall. Conditions appear reasonably favorable for perhaps 5 more hurricanes to form with two of them becoming category three or higher. It is interesting to note that between the four named storms that already occurred this year (Alex, Bonnie, Colin and Danielle), the total ACE points generated is only 6 units. The ACE index is a way to gauge the quality, if you will, if a storm or hurricane. The stronger and longer lasting it is, the higher the ACE units generated. So while much has been made of having four named storms already, the energy output has been meek to say the least.
All in all, it looks like a run of the mill season shaping up which means we probably won’t see much until later in August and in to September and beyond. This is typical of an average season but does not preclude the chance of something developing later this month. Right now, I see nothing to worry about.
I’ll have more on the east Pacific system throughout the long weekend ahead. Stay safe if traveling – it’s a busy weekend coming up!
M. Sudduth 11:30 AM ET July 1