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Hurricane Season 2006: Sergio (Eastern Pacific)
11.15.06
 
Sergio Now a Pacific Tropical Depression, Weakening

Quikscat image of Tropical Storm Sergio
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The storm known as Sergio in the Eastern Pacific once reached category 2 status on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and is now downgraded to tropical depression status.

At 7:00 a.m. PST (1500 UTC) on Mon. Nov. 20, the National Hurricane Center noted that Tropical Depression Sergio's center was located near 14.9 north latitude and 107.2 west longitude. Sergio was moving toward the west-southwest in open waters at around 4 knots (5 mph). Sergio's minimum central pressure was 1004 millibars, and the maximum sustained winds were around 34 mph (30 knots) with gusts to 46 mph (40 knots). Sergio is expected to continue to deteriorate and become a remnant low pressure system by Nov. 22. Caption credit: Rob Gutro, Goddard Space Flight Center



Tropical Storm Sergio to Affect Southwest Mexican Coast

Tropical Storm Sergio, formerly a hurricane is expected to produce between one and three inches of rainfall over southwestern Mexico, with isolated maximum amounts of six inches over mountainous areas as he brushes the coast this weekend. After the weekend, Sergio is expected to track west into the open waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

As of 7:00 a.m. PST today, Nov. 17, the center of Tropical Storm Sergio was located near latitude 14.2 north and longitude 102.5 west, or about 350 miles south-southeast of Manzanillo, Mexico, and about 255 miles southwest of Acapulco, Mexico.

Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 km/hr) with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center. Weakening is forecast during the next 24 hours. Sergio is moving toward the north-northeast near 3 mph (6 km/hr) and this motion is expected to continue today with a gradual turn to the north on Saturday, Nov. 18. Estimated minimum central pressure is 994 millibars.

NASA's QuikSCAT Satellite Looks at Sergio's Winds

Quikscat image of Tropical Storm Sergio
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This image from NASA's QuikSCAT satellite was captured at approximately 4:29 a.m. PST (12:29 UTC) on Nov. 16 when he was a hurricane. At that time, Sergio had maximum sustained winds of 103 mph (90 knots) with gusts to 126 mph (110 knots).

The image depicts wind speed in color and wind direction with small barbs. White barbs point to areas of heavy rain. The highest wind speeds, shown in purple, surround the center of the storm.

The QuikSCAT scatterometer sends pulses of microwave energy through the atmosphere to the ocean surface, and measures the energy that bounces back from the wind-roughened surface. The energy of the microwave pulses changes depending on wind speed and direction, giving scientists a way to monitor wind around the world. Credits: Image -- NASA/JPL, Peter Falcon; Caption -- Rob Gutro, Goddard Space Flight Center



Hurricane Sergio Paralleling the Mexican Coast

On Thurs. Nov. 16, Hurricane Sergio, a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale was moving north, parallel to the western Mexican coast. Forecast computer models suggest that after a northeastward track, Sergio may head into the open eastern Pacific away from land. Sergio still had maximum sustained winds of 85 knots (98 mph) with gusts to 105 knots (120 mph). Sergio's center was located near 12.9 north latitude and 103.0 west longitude and he was moving north at 4 knots (5 mph). The minimum central pressure was 975 millibars.

What's in Store for Sergio?

The National Hurricane Center noted that Sergio could maintain its current intensity for about 12 to 24 hours but the cyclone is heading toward an area of increasing wind shear (winds that tear a storm apart). This would result in a gradual weakening of Sergio in the next couple of days.

This is an infrared image of Hurricane Sergio in the Eastern Pacific from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on NASA's Aqua satellite on Nov. 16, 12:29 p.m. PST.
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The image above is an infrared image of Hurricane Sergio in the Eastern Pacific from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite on Nov. 16, 12:29 p.m. PST (20:29 UTC). This AIRS image shows the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of the tropical storm. 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).

This image shows the small area where the heaviest rainfall was taking place, the comma
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The image above is an image created from microwave radiation emitted by Earth's atmosphere and received by Aqua's AIRS instrument. It shows the small area where the heaviest rainfall was taking place (the comma-like shape in blue, surrounded by yellow/green) in the storm. Blue areas outside of the hurricane, where there are either some clouds or no clouds, indicate where the sea surface shines through (such as the large blue area on the bottom half of the image). Credits: Image--NASA/JPL; Caption: Rob Gutro--Goddard Space Flight Center



Terra Spies Sergio

Hurricane Sergio was spinning off the coast of Mexico on the morning of November 15, 2006. Sergio was the tenth hurricane in the Eastern Pacific in 2006. When Sergio first reached tropical storm status on November 13, it broke a record set in 1961, the last time more than one tropical storm formed in the Eastern Pacific in November, according to the National Hurricane Center. Tropical Storm Rosa formed in the Eastern Pacific earlier in November 2006. While the hurricane season officially runs until the end of November, late storms are unusual. Only five other storms on record have formed later in the season than Sergio. It is also unusual for tropical storms that form this late in the season to intensify all the way to hurricane strength as Sergio had done.

Terra image of Hurricane Sergio on November 15, 2006.
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The photo-like image above of Hurricane Sergio was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite on November 15, 2006 at 17:25 UTC (10:25 a.m. local time). At this time, Sergio was a well-defined spiral ball of clouds with a distinct central eye and cloudwall around the eye. Peak sustained winds were 165 kilometers per hour (105 miles per hour), according to the University of Hawaii’s Tropical Storm Information Center, making Sergio a Category Two strength hurricane.

Terra MODIS saw the storm very near its peak strength. It continued to intensify slightly for a short while after MODIS obtained this image. But within hours, wind shear began to pull apart the neat organization of the storm, robbing it of power.



Sergio is the Eastern Pacific's 10th Hurricane

TRMM image of Hurricane Sergio
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The National Hurricane Center (NHC) named Sergio the eastern Pacific's 10th hurricane today, Wed. Nov. 15, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. PST (1700 UTC). At that time, Sergio was located near 12.1 north latitude and 103.7 west longitude, moving toward the southeast at 3 knots (4 mph). His minimum central pressure was 975 millibars. Sergio's winds had increased to 85 knots (98 mph) with gusts to 105 knots (120 mph), making Sergio a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

These images from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite were taken on Nov. 15 at 3:52 a.m. PST (11:52 UTC). The image shows a top-down-view of the rain intensity obtained from TRMM's sensors. Estimated rain rates range from 1 millimeter to 30 millimeters (.3 to 1.18 inches) per hour. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

What's in Store for Sergio?

The NHC said that additional intensification is likely during the next day or two since the wind shear (winds going different ways that tear a hurricane apart) is expected to remain light during the next day or so and the ocean is warm. Weakening should begin thereafter as the wind shear increases.

Forecasts suggest that Sergio will move slowly toward the north and northwest in the next couple of days. Both the official forecast and track guidance show Sergio still over water, but relatively close to the southwest coast of Mexico in about five days.

Sergio: the 45 Year Record Breaker

The formation of Tropical Storm Sergio in the eastern Pacific on Nov. 13 marks the first time since 1961 that two tropical storms have formed in the eastern Pacific basin in November, according to the National Hurricane Center. Only five storms on record have formed later in the season than Sergio. Rosa, which formed on Nov. 7, was the first November tropical storm this year. Credit: Image--NASA/JAXA; Caption: Hal Pierce, NASA GSFC



New Eastern Pacific Tropical Storm Sets Record

GOES image of Tropical Storm Sergio

The formation of Tropical Storm Sergio in the eastern Pacific on Nov. 13 marks the first time since 1961 that two tropical storms have formed in the eastern Pacific basin in November, according to the National Hurricane Center. Only five storms on record have formed later in the season than Sergio. Rosa, which formed on Nov. 7, was the first November tropical storm this year.

Tropical Storm Sergio can be seen in this satellite image (bottom right) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES). This image from Nov. 14 at 1:32 p.m. EST (10:32 a.m. PST) was processed by NASA's GOES Project at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Sergio formed as a depression off the southwest Mexican coast on Nov. 13 at 10:00 p.m. PST. At 7:00 a.m. PST Nov. 14, Tropical Depression 21-E was upgraded to a tropical storm and was named Sergio. At that time, Tropical Storm Sergio's center was located near 13.2 north latitude and 104.5 west longitude. The storm is moving toward the northwest at 3 knots (4 mph). With an estimated minimum central pressure of 1006 millibars, Sergio's maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots (40 mph) with gusts to 45 knots (51 mph).

Forecasts from the National Hurricane Center indicate that Sergio may become a hurricane on Nov. 15. Credits: Image-- NASA GOES Project; Caption--Rob Gutro, Goddard Space Flight Center