The eastern Pacific hurricane season began Tuesday, but the atmosphere jumped the gun by a day producing the first tropical storm of the season.
As AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Eric Leister recently pointed out, a system roughly 640 miles south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico was a candidate for the 2012 season's first tropical cyclone in the eastern Pacific.
Tropical Depression One-E, which formed on Monday was upgraded to Tropical Storm Aletta later the same day.
At 2:00 a.m. PDT, Wednesday, May 16, 2012, the system was located near 11.9 North and 111.7 West, or about 770 miles south of the tip of Baja California, Mexico, with sustained winds estimated near 40 mph.
Aletta is expected to continue to track just slight north of west as it moves farther away from Mexico.
We had been observing clusters of thunderstorms fluctuating in strength in the region since late last week.
One particular cluster of storms was located within a low pressure area and remains in a favorable zone for additional development with low wind shear and sufficiently warm water.
A tropical storm forms when a low-level circulation is present.
According to Tropical Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "Investigations of the system, including satellite microwave technology, over this past weekend proved to be inconclusive."
The technology provides the ability to detect low-level circulation of a storm system through thick cloud cover and where no surface or aircraft observations are present.
"During this past weekend, the area of disturbed weather had a circulation in the mid-levels of the atmosphere, but not the low levels," Kottlowski said.
On Monday however, this area of disturbed weather formed a low-level circulation. This characteristic, in addition to stronger winds classified the system as a tropical depression. Subsequently, it has strengthened into a tropical storm.
Despite the increase in strength, the clock is ticking on the favorable zone for further development and survival for the system.
"After a couple of days the system would encounter cooler water and likely significant wind shear," Kottlowski said.
At any rate, the system is not a threat to land.
Meteorologist Dan DePodwin contributed to this story.
An ice storm, which could be the worst to hit the United States in years, is unfolding across portions of the southern Plains late this week.
Despite the mild air through midweek, the city is experiencing a drastic temperature to end the week.
The city will see snow a few times in the coming days as temperatures plummet.
After the midweek system accompanied with snow exits the area, frigid air will pour into the area.
While balmy air and rain will affect State College and central Pennsylvania into Thursday night, a return of colder air will be accompanied by a change to snow and slippery travel late Friday.
While balmy air and rain will affect Pittsburgh into Thursday night, a return of colder air will be accompanied by a change to snow and slippery travel Friday.
North Central US (1877-78)
The year without a winter...for example St. Paul was +14.1 degrees in December, +10.5 degrees in Jan., +16.3 in Feb. and +16.2 degrees in March (these are all departures from normal).
Vicksburg, MS (1953)
Killer tornado in Vicksburg - 38 dead, 270 injured, $25 million.
Duluth, MN (1950)
Storm starting today set two records, max. 24 hour snowfall 25.4"; max. single storm total 35.2" (5th-8th).