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Eastern Pacific tropical disturbance to unleash flooding rain in Central America into the coming week

By Brian Thompson , AccuWeather meteorologist
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
May 26, 2019, 10:50:50 AM EDT

Heading into the second week of the 2019 hurricane season in the East Pacific basin, there is the potential for a system to develop near the Central American coast.

Regardless of development, a tropical low will bring flooding rainfall to Central America through the start of the coming week.

The countries likely to be affected include Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and southern Guatemala.

Central America 5/25

The rainfall will be exacerbated by the slow movement of this system, allowing the downpours to linger over the same areas for several days.

"For the next few days, the heavy rain is most likely in the higher terrain of Nicaragua and Honduras, but could extend to the mountains of El Salvador and Costa Rica," said AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

Rainfall across much of this area will average 2 to 4 inches through the weekend, but higher amounts are expected across Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica. In these areas, 6 to 10 inches of rain will be likely, with an AccuWeather StormMax™ of 14 inches in the mountains.

AccuWeather's 2019 East and Central Pacific hurricane season forecast
Interactive East Pacific weather satellite
East Pacific Hurricane Center

With the tropical low likely to remain close to land, the chance for development will remain small.

Even if the tropical low becomes a depression, wind is not expected to be a concern for those on land. Some gustier winds could be possible for shipping and boaters farther away from the Pacific Ocean coastline of Central America.

Central America Satellite 5/24

A satellite picture of the East Pacific on Friday, May 23nd, showing an area of showers and thunderstorms near Central America. (Image/NOAA)

The two factors that could still help the low to develop are the warmer-than-normal water and a lack of wind shear in the region. These influences could take over and help the low strengthen if it moves far enough away from the coast.

This is the beginning of what is expected to be a busy hurricane season in the East Pacific. AccuWeather meteorologists are predicting between 20 and 22 named storms this season.

Beyond this developing system, there are no immediate threats for tropical development into next week across the East Pacific.

However, with copious amounts of moisture in the area and warm ocean water temperatures, AccuWeather meteorologists will closely monitor the basin for potential development in the coming weeks.

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