Tropical disturbances abound in eastern Pacific, new tropical storm takes shape
While record-breaking Edouard formed this past weekend in the Atlantic, the focus of new tropical activity has shifted to the eastern Pacific Ocean with Tropical Storm Cristina taking shape on Monday evening. This is just one of three disturbances in this region of the Pacific.
This image of the eastern Pacific was taken Monday morning, July 6, 2020, and shows a series of tropical disturbances. (NOAA/GOES-West)
In order for a depression to develop, there must be sustained winds about a circular motion with wind speed usually at or above 25 mph, but not to exceed 38 mph. In order for a tropical storm to be acknowledged and the storm to be named, sustained winds of 39 mph to 73 mph must be present.
"None of the tropical disturbances, whether they develop or not, pose a direct threat to Mexico, Central America or Hawaii," according to AccuWeather's top hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski.
The newly-formed Cristina first emerged from the coast of Central America over the past weekend and became a tropical storm on Monday. Now a tropical storm, Cristina is located a few hundred miles south of Acapulco, Mexico and is forecast to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of at least 96 mph.
Two other features were poorly organized and encountering some wind shear. One of the features was more than 1,000 miles to the southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. The other feature was located hundreds of miles South of Hawaii and is unlikely to develop.
Wind shear is the change in the flow of air at different layers of the atmosphere and over the horizontal area just above the sea surface. Strong wind shear can lead to the demise of established hurricanes and tropical storms and prevent the development of tropical systems in general.
It is not uncommon for there to be a series of disturbances in the waters of the eastern Pacific during July.
"The main role these features will be to create rough seas in their vicinity and allow some large waves and rough surf conditions along the western coasts of Central America and Mexico in the coming days," Kottlowski said during a map discussion on Friday, July 3.
Thus far, there have been three tropical storms in 2020 over the eastern Pacific. Amanda developed in late May, Boris in late June and now Cristina.
Some of the leftover moisture from Amanda, after it brought flooding rains to parts of Central America, helped to give birth to Tropical Storm Cristobal on the Gulf of Mexico side of Mexico during early June.
There have also been two depressions so far in the eastern Pacific with the first system forming in late April and the the last one forming right at the end of June.
The next name on the list for the 2020 East Pacific hurricane season is Douglas.
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