Train of tropical systems continue to ride the Pacific
Monday, July 24, 2017, 11:25 - The east and west Pacific are experiencing a very active week in terms of tropical storm activity. While four systems continue to sail the waters of the east Pacific between the southwest coast of Mexico and Hawaii, the west Pacific is also seeing a good deal of action with two systems near the southeast coast of Asia and two others east of Japan.
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Despite the warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean, an important source of energy for storms forming near southwest Mexico and Central America, strong wind shear in the region has been weakening storms as they track to west.
These strong upper levels winds and some dry air entrainment, have been acting as a shield for Hawaii, a common destination for some of the storms that form closer to the American continent.
Tropical Storm Greg losing punch
Greg is slowly falling apart and the center of the storm has become less visible over the past 24 hours as wind shear has been acting consistently on the system. This, together with a drier environment ahead, will continue to weaken Greg especially by Tuesday when the storm runs into cooler waters and again stronger wind shear conditions. As of Monday morning, the storm continues to produce 45 mph sustained winds as it moves west at 12 mph.
Hurricane Hilary getting stronger
Hilary could potentially become the more dangerous storm this weak as it moves northwest relatively close to northwest Mexico. Atmosphere and ocean conditions should be favorable for Hilary to intensify into a major hurricane and maintain such status over the next few days.
Click play to watch below: Hurricane Hilary expected to absorb Tropical Storm Irwin late-week (below you Irwin being pulled into Hilary, but not quite being absorbed just yet).
Wind shear to the northwest of the region where all three storms are brewing is not as strong as to the west, and model runs shows favorable upper level high pressure conditions over Hilary at least until next weekend. Given the current predicted track, later this week Hilary could run into cooler sea surface temperatures slowing down the intensification process the storm will go through these next few days.
Below: Hurricane Hilary storm track (via National Hurricane Center)
Hilary is expected to produce high surf, strong rip currents and gusty winds along coastal areas of western Mexico, from the states of Guerrero and Michoacán to Colima and Jalisco. As the storm continues to strengthen and track to the northwest during the second half of the week, high surf is also expected across much of Baja California, Mexico and south facing beaches of Southern California.
Irwin the latest storm to form could become a hurricane by Tuesday
Tropical Storm Irwin is the fifth named storm in the eastern North pacific so far this July. Model predictions anticipate that the storm will encounter favorable conditions for further development over the next 24 to 48 hours as wind shear decreases. There is a clear discrepancy between model predictions on how Irwin will evolve. The regional dynamical models suggest favorable environmental conditions for the storm to strengthen into a Category 2 or even 3 hurricane by mid-week. Statistical models are more conservative and maintain the Irwin below hurricane strength.
Later in the week, as Irwin continues to move west, it will encounter a region of strong wind shear which would downgrade the storm from hurricane to tropical storm or even tropical depression.
Be sure to check back for updates as we continue to monitor these tropical systems.