Pacific Ocean to ‘go wild with tropical activity’


The tropical East Pacific could be about to enter its most active phase of the 2020 season yet.

Although the East Pacific season began on May 15, it is currently behind the pace of its Atlantic counterpart, which is on the verge of producing its 10th named system of the year despite its season officially starting June 1.

The basin was mostly dormant following the departure of Hurricane Douglas, which patrolled the basin for about a week before narrowly missing the Hawaiian islands in late July. That changed when a new tropical depression emerged last Saturday, Aug. 8, and eventually grew into Hurricane Elida on Monday, the East Pacific’s fifth named storm of 2020.

Elida appears to be just the start of a significant uptick in tropical activity. The storm, which was never a direct threat to land, briefly hit Category 2 status on Tuesday, but it soon began to weaken several hundred miles west of Baja California, Mexico. Forecasters say large swells created by Elida will create rough surf as well as dangerous rip currents along the western coast of Baja California and even perhaps up into the coast of Southern California.

Elida weakened to a tropical storm early Wednesday and was expected to rapidly weaken into a post-tropical system by Thursday. As Elida falls apart, it will soon have company as forecasters have pinpointed at least three separate areas where new tropical systems could form in the basin, plus one farther west in the Central Pacific.

These burgeoning systems are situated in a part of the ocean where environmental conditions are conducive for tropical systems to strengthen.

AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said a large area of disorganized thunderstorms is located just offshore of the southwest coast of Mexico. This cluster of storms, known as a tropical wave, could eventually evolve into a tropical depression on Thursday or Friday. This system has been given a medium chance for development by AccuWeather meteorologists.

Upon formation, this depression will likely track to the northwest and remain away from the Mexico coast.

Another area of low pressure is located about 1,300 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. This tropical feature is producing a broad area of cloudiness as well as disorganized thunderstorm activity. This system has been given a high chance to develop into an organized tropical system Thursday or Friday.

By this weekend, a third area of concern will appear off the south coast of Mexico. A tropical wave is expected to move across Central America on Friday and then into the East Pacific over the weekend, according to Kottlowski.

This satellite images shows two areas of interest that could become tropical depressions in the coming days.

“Low pressure developing along this tropical wave could become an organized tropical system by early next week,” Kottlowski said.

Kottlowski is expecting the eastern Pacific to “go wild with tropical activity over the next several weeks” and the Atlantic may follow suit toward the end of August and into the autumn months.

The next storm names for the 2020 East Pacific season are Fausto, Genevieve and Hernan.


The Mazatlan Post