Tropical Depressions Gilma and Fabio Follow Each Other In the Pacific
Hurricane Season 2006: Gilma (Pacific)
The East Pacific, off the West coast of Mexico, has been giving birth to one
weak tropical storm after another. The latest storm, formerly Tropical Storm,
now Tropical Depression Gilma. The circular motion of Gilma in this image (as a
tropical storm) is apparent in the visible and infrared satellite images, and
rainfall in what may become the eye wall is seen in the microwave (bottom)
image. The eye has not yet formed. The tropical storm is expected to drift
slowly to the West-Northwest, never to intensify sufficiently to merit
hurricane status and will not threaten land. Gilma's peak wind speed at the
time of data for these images was approximately 30 mph. Tropical cyclone is the
general name for tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.
Where is Gilma?
On Aug. 3 at 9:00 UTC (5:00 a.m. EDT) Tropical Depression Gilma was located near
15.4 north latitude and 108.4 west longitude. Gilma was moving west at around 6
mph. The minimum central pressure was 1006 millibars, and Gilma's maximum
sustained winds were down to 29 mph. Forecasters at the National Hurricane
Center's discussion noted that computer models suggest wind shear (winds that
tear storms apart) will continue affecting Gilma, and she will move into a
drier environment (dry air also weakens tropical depressions). Gilma is
forecast to be weakened to a low pressure system later on Aug. 3 and will
likely dissipate by or before Aug. 5.
Where is Fabio?
Fabio was also a short-lived tropical storm, and is now a Tropical Depression.
As of Aug. 3 at 9:00 UTC (5:00 a.m. EDT), the center of Tropical Depression
Fabio was located near 15.2 north latitude and 135.8 west longitude. Fabio was
moving west at around 17 mph. The minimum central pressure was 1008 millibars,
and Fabio's maximum sustained winds were down to 34 mph. Forecasters at the
National Hurricane Center expect that Fabio could weaken to a low pressure
system later on Aug. 3, and dissipate in the days after.
(Image above): This is an infrared image of Tropical Storm Gilma (bottom right side
of image) in the eastern Pacific, from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)
on NASA's Aqua satellite on July 31, 2006. This AIRS image shows the
temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free
regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold
cloud tops that make up the top of Gilma. The infrared signal does not
penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads
the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth, revealing warmer
temperatures (red). The eastern edge of Fabio, another weak tropical storm
drifting toward early demise in the cold Pacific, is visible at the Western
(left) edge of the images. Click image to enlarge.
(Image above): The second image is created from microwave radiation emitted by
Earth's atmosphere and received by the instrument. It shows where the heaviest
rainfall is taking place (in blue, surrounded by yellow) in the storm. Blue
areas outside of Tropical Storm Gilma where there are either some clouds or no
clouds indicate where the sea surface shines through. Click image to enlarge.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL
Caption: Sharon Ray, NASA JPL and Rob Gutro, NASA GSFC
Goddard Space Flight Center