Invest 96E becomes better organized
An area of low pressure classified as Invest 96E has become better organized. Latest visible satellite image depicts that the incipient tropical disturbance is maintaining deep shower and thunderstorm activity and has good outflow in south quadrants of the system. Furthermore, both visible satellite image and scatterometer data suggest that 96E has a broad surface circulation center. 96E is in the favorable environmental conditions for tropical cyclones. The disturbance would likely become a tropical depression later tonight or tomorrow, if current trends continue. 96E also has an anticyclone above that is lowering wind shear near the center of the disturbance. 96E is situated roughly hundred miles south-southwest of Acapulco, Mexico and is moving west-northwestward at about 10 mph.
Figure 1. Afternoon visible satellite imagery of Invest 96E. Image courtesy: NOAA's Satellite Services Division (SSD).
Forecast for 96E
96E is forecasted to continue moving generally west-northwestward over the next few days under the influence of the high pressure ridge over northern Gulf of Mexico. After that, a different high pressure ridge over the Pacific Ocean would steer the system to continue moving west-northwestward and later turn more westward. Many models are in excellent agreement of this forecast track. 96E is not anticipated to threaten any landmasses. Although 96E is highly unlikely to threaten Hawaii as a tropical cyclone, it might bring little increase in showers there.
The SHIPS model forecasts 96E to be in favorable conditions over the next five days. Sea surface temperatures are forecasted to remain warm for tropical cyclones to form and develop. Wind shear is expected to be within moderate range and the environment is anticipated to be moist. These conditions should allow 96E to continue to organize and strengthen over the next several days. Nearly all of the intensity models forecast 96E to become at least a tropical storm by 48 hours; some models, including the SHIPS, are forecasting the system to further strengthen into a hurricane. It should be noted that the HWRF model predicts the disturbance to become a major hurricane by the next 78 hours. The probability of rapid intensification for 25 knot increase is 33% from the SHIPS model. I expect 96E to strengthen and become at least a strong tropical storm or minimal hurricane. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving 96E an 80% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.
Figure 2. Computer model track forecast of Invest 96E.
Elsewhere in the tropics
Some models, including the reliable GFS and ECMWF, are predicting another tropical cyclone forming few hundred miles south of Mexico’s Pacific coast by the next five days. This predicted tropical cyclone would move west-northwestward similar to the forecast track of Invest 96E. In the Atlantic, however, none of the computer models are forecasting tropical cyclone development over the next seven days.