Forms Tropical Depression One-E, forecast to become Agatha; Threat of Hurricane and Flash Flood in Mexico | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

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  • The first eastern Pacific low of 2022 is forecast to track toward the Pacific coast of Mexico.
  • It could hit the coast by Monday, possibly as a hurricane.
  • There is a chance that its remnant could spawn another system in the Gulf or western Caribbean later next week.
  • But there will be significant obstacles that could hinder this development.
  • Either way, life-threatening flooding and mudslides are possible in Mexico and North America.

Tropical Depression One-E is likely to threaten the Pacific coast of Mexico as Hurricane Agatha by Monday, and a severe flooding threat could persist in parts of Central America into next week. .

Over the past few days, the National Hurricane Center has been monitoring a cluster of thunderstorms in the eastern Pacific Ocean a few hundred miles south of Mexico’s southern coast.

At 10 p.m. CDT Friday night, the NHC classified the system as Tropical Depression One-E, the first of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season.

This system is expected to move slowly northeast towards the Mexican Pacific coast by Monday. It could become a hurricane before it makes landfall anywhere in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca or Guerrero.

image

Current storm status and forecast track

(The area shaded in red indicates the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. It is important to note that impacts (especially heavy rain, high waves, coastal flooding, winds) with any tropical cyclone generally spread to the beyond its intended path.)

Dangerous flooding from storm surges and damaging winds is more likely in areas covered by warnings or watches.

Residents and those with vacation plans in these areas, including Acapulco, should closely monitor the forecast for significant updates.

Flash flood, danger of mudslide

The system’s slow motion means dangerous flash flooding and mudslides are possible in parts of southern Mexico along and to the east of its track.

But even if Agatha dissipates to earth, that’s not necessarily the end of the story.

Forecast models suggest that a broad area of ​​low pressure known as the Central American Gyre, or CAG, could form.

This circulation could turn for several days next week, shrouding deep moisture in areas from southeastern Mexico to Panama, where some places could receive more than 6 inches of rain.

image

Precipitation potential in the next 7 days

(This should be interpreted as a general view of where the heaviest rains may fall and may shift depending on the forecast track of the tropical cyclone. Higher amounts may occur where bands of rain fall. stop over a period of a few hours.)

CAGs have been notorious producers of flash floods, often with fatal results.

In 2005, Hurricane Stan dissipated over the mountains of central Mexico, but its residual rotation became part of a larger vortex that triggered heavy rains over Central America.

While Stan’s direct circulation killed about 80 people, severe flash flooding and gyre landslides killed an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 people in Central America, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Could remnants of the Eastern Pacific spawn a storm in the Gulf?

Near the end of May 2020, Tropical Storm Amanda formed in the eastern Pacific Ocean, then moved inland and dissipated over the mountains of Guatemala.

But Amanda’s remaining rotation above ground – her “ghost”, if you will – continued to move north and northwest into the Bay of Campeche, the bowl-shaped bay at the southwestern end of the Gulf of Mexico.

Shortly after the “ghost” returned above the water, the thunderstorms became more organized and the surface low pressure reformed. What would soon become Tropical Storm Cristobal was born.

Incidentally, the combination of Amanda, Cristobal and a CAG for nine days dumped up to 34 inches of rain in southeastern Mexico, 42 inches in El Salvador and 26 inches in Guatemala. Forty-three deaths have been attributed to flooding or landslides in Central America.

Track the history of Tropical Storm Amanda and then Tropical Storm Cristobal in late May and early June 2020. The black portion of the track shows where the remnant of Amanda followed before spawning what would become Cristobal.

(Data: NOAA/NHC)

This “phantom” scenario is what some computer forecasting models suggest could happen later next week.

Namely, Agatha may be dissipating in southern Mexico, but Agatha’s remnant rotation above ground may migrate into the Bay of Campeche late next week.

Another possibility is that development will occur on the east side of the gyre over the western Caribbean Sea later next week.

It is too early to determine which of these scenarios may occur.

But there is one hurdle that a Gulf or Western Caribbean system seems to face.

The same forecast models suggesting possible development also predict strong wind shear over the Gulf and Caribbean Sea next week.

This change in wind speed and/or direction with height tends to tilt or tear apart systems that attempt to consolidate thunderstorms and become depressions or tropical storms. It is usually strong in these areas in early June.

Even if a tropical depression were to form in the Bay of Campeche later next week, it could be sheared if it attempts to move north into the Gulf of Mexico, if this wind shear forecast holds.

Or, it could hold together but be an unbalanced depression or a tropical storm limited in its intensity by wind shear.

image

Current satellite and wind shear analysis

(Areas of cloud are shown in white. Areas of strong wind shear, the difference in wind speed and direction with height, are shown in purple. Strong wind shear is hostile to mature tropical cyclones and to those trying to grow.)

The western Gulf, Bay of Campeche and the western Caribbean Sea have always been hot spots for development in June.

Last year, Tropical Storm Claudette formed, then quickly landed in Louisiana and the Deep South on Father’s Day weekend.

Origin points of all tropical/subtropical storms in the Atlantic Basin in June from 1950 to 2021.

(Data: NOAA)

The result

The bulk is the eastern Pacific system (potential future Agatha) and the largest gyre in Central America poses a danger of rain flooding and landslides in southern Mexico and parts of Central America this weekend until next week. Damaging winds and storm surge flooding can be expected near the coast near where Agatha is following in her footsteps.

At this time, there is no threat to the US Gulf Coast, but that could change. Check back to weather.com for updates in the coming days.

It’s another reminder that now is the right time to develop or update your hurricane plan long before the first storm or hurricane of the season.

The primary journalistic mission of The Weather Company is to report on the latest weather news, the environment and the importance of science in our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


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