Tropical Depression Four-E in the Pacific; other areas to watch
Earlier today, Invest 96E was reclassified as Tropical Depression Four-E by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) due to the system’s sufficient organization of a tropical cyclone. Latest NHC advisory states that the tropical depression has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and minimum central pressure of 1005 mbar. The system is located roughly several hundred miles south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico as it moves west-northwestward at 13 mph. Recent satellite loop depicts the depression’s cloud pattern has steadily improved over the past several hours due to the abating wind shear, which was affecting the cyclone earlier.
Forecast for Four-E
The depression is expected to continue moving west-northwestward over the next 24 hours by the large high pressure ridge over southeastern United States. After 24 hours, the depression is predicted to turn generally westward by the different high pressure ridge over the Pacific Ocean. All of the models are in excellent agreement of this forecast track. The cyclone is expected to move away from Mexico and not threaten other landmasses. However, the system might bring little increase in showers to Hawaii as a post-tropical cyclone.
According to the SHIPS model, the tropical depression is expected to remain in favorable conditions over the next three to four days with warm sea surface temperatures, light to moderate wind shear, and moist environment. These conditions should allow the cyclone to gradually strengthen over the next several days and become a strong tropical storm or weak hurricane. Most models forecast the depression to become a strong tropical storm; few models predict the system to become a minimal hurricane. After 72 to 96 hours, however, the system is expected to enter into unfavorable conditions with cooler waters and drier air, which these should weaken the cyclone.
Figure 1. Afternoon infrared satellite image of Tropical Depression Four-E. Image courtesy: Colorado State University's RAMMB imagery.
Elsewhere in the tropics
There is an elongated area of low pressure situated roughly several hundred miles south of El Salvador. This system is forecasted to remain in favorable conditions for the next several days as it is expected to move west-northwestward similar to the forecast track of Tropical Depression Four-E. The NHC is giving the disturbance a 20% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone by the next 48 hours. Many models, including the reliable GFS, are forecasting this tropical disturbance to become a tropical depression by the next four to five days, and few models are forecasting the disturbance to become a hurricane.
In the Atlantic basin, there is a tropical wave producing showers and thunderstorms to northern Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. This wave is not expected to develop into a tropical cyclone due to its location in unfavorable conditions with strong wind shear; the NHC is giving this tropical wave a near 0% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours. None of the models are anticipating tropical cyclone development in the Atlantic basin over the next seven days.
Happy 4th of July everyone!