Emilia Weakening; Fabio Strengthening
As has been the case for a while now, the East Pacific is the focus of tropical activity tonight. There are currently two active cyclones in this basin, one of which is Hurricane Emilia. Emilia is currently located about 1000 miles WSW of Baja California according to the National Hurricane Center. It is moving west at about 12mph. As of the 5PM advisory from the NHC, Emilia has maximum sustained winds of 105mph and a minimum central pressure of 965mb. This intensity makes it a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson Scale.
Forecast for Emilia
Emilia is currently in a fairly dry environment, as Figure 1 shows.
Figure 1: Water vapor image of Emilia.
In addition to the drier air, Emilia is also struggling with the cooler sea surface temperatures it has moved into over the past day or so. The NHC is forecasting Emilia to weaken below hurricane status in a little over a day, and to become a remnant low in 4 days. Emilia looks very poor right now. However, powerful storms like her take time to spin down and often maintain tropical storm force winds when it really doesn't look like they have them. So while it seems to make sense to forecast a quicker demise of Emilia than what the NHC is projecting based on her current poor appearance, I actually agree with their timeline. Regardless, Emilia poses no threat to any land areas.
Figure 2: Wind history of Emilia, showing her general WNW path.
Fabio Strengthening, but Little Threat to Land
Meanwhile, the East Pacific's sixth storm of the season formed this morning, Tropical Storm Fabio. After maintaining a solid satellite appearance yesterday, Invest 98E was declared a tropical depression late last night and strengthened into Fabio this morning. Strengthening has continued, and Fabio currently has maximum sustained winds of 50mph and a minimum central pressure of 1000mb. It is currently located over 600 miles S of Baja California, and is moving towards the WNW at 10mph.
Forecast for Fabio
Fabio is currently in an environment of low shear, under 10kts. This is forecast to increase over the next day to near 20kts according to the SHIPS intensity model. However, Fabio is in a moist environment and over waters warm enough to allow for further strengthening. The NHC is forecasting Fabio to reach a peak intensity of 80mph in about 2 days, before it begins to weaken over cooler waters and more stable air.
Figure 3: Tropical Storm Fabio
Figure 3 shows Fabio has a fairly well defined cloud pattern, and is probably continuing to gradually strengthen right now. Probabilities for rapid intensification are fairly low as Fabio is not over the same very favorable conditions Emilia had. However, I think a peak of 85-90mph is likely, slightly more than what the NHC is thinking, based on the moist environment and warm waters Fabio is in. If it has a problem with the increasing shear it may not make hurricane status at all. The track forecast is fairly straightforward. Over the next 2-3 days Fabio should continue a steady WNW motion. However in about 4 days Fabio will enter into a break in the ridge that is steering it now, turning on a more NNW path. While this will bring it closer to Baja California, it will not recurve into the peninsula, and even if it did head in that direction, it would be dissipating or dissipated by the time it got there.
Figure 4: Official track forecast for Fabio.
I've been working at the Blue Hill Observatory again this week and helped prepare the daily discussions for yesterday and today, which can be found here for Wednesday and here for today.
Thank you for reading, and have a great rest of the week!