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Hurricane Season 2012: Tropical Storm Helene (Atlantic Ocean)
08.20.12
 
Tropical Storm Helene at its strongest over the Gulf of Mexico on August 17, and dissipating on August 19› View larger image
These images from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite show Tropical Storm Helene at its strongest over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on August 17, and dissipating on August 19.
Credit: NASA GOES Project
Seventh Tropical Depression Finally Becomes Tropical Storm Helene, Makes Quick Landfall

Tropical Depression 7 finally became a tropical storm named Helene on Friday, August 17 after a week of romping through the Atlantic Ocean. Within 24 hours, NOAA's GOES-13 satellite watched Helene as it made landfall in eastern Mexico and quickly dissipated.

On Friday, August 18, 2012 Tropical Depression 7 became Tropical Storm Helene. Helene was drifting north in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. At 9 p.m. EDT, Helene was located near 20.7 North and 96.1 West, about 90 miles/140 km east-southeast of Tuxpan, Mexico and about 160 miles southeast of Tampico, Mexico. At that time, Helene's maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph/75 kmh, and Helene was moving north at 2 mph/3 kmh. NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured an image of Helene in the Gulf of Mexico at 9 p.m. EDT on August 18, and it had the signature comma shape of a tropical storm.

On Saturday, August 18 at 5 a.m. EDT, warnings and watches were in effect in Mexico as Helene was making landfall. A tropical storm warning was in force from Barra de Nautla to La Cruz. Forecasters were expecting between 4 to 8 inches of rainfall across northeastern Mexico, including northern Veracruz, southern Tamaulipas and eastern San Luis states. By 11 a.m. EDT, Helene had already weakened back to a depression over land, just 15 miles south-southwest of Tampico, Mexico. By 5 p.m. EDT, Helene's center was located about 65 miles west-northwest of Tampico, Mexico.

By Saturday, Aug. 18 at 11 p.m. EDT Helene degenerated into a broad area of low pressure over Mexico. It was located near 22.8 North and 99.1West, about 85 miles/140 km west-northwest of Tampico, Mexico. At that time Helene's maximum sustained winds were near 30 mph/45 kmh and quickly weakening. It was moving to the northwest at 3 mph/6 kmh. In an image created at 9 a.m. EDT on August 19, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. by NASA's GOES Project, using NOAA's GOES-13 satellite imagery, Helene's circulation center could not be found.

The Tropical cyclone books closed on Tropical Storm Helene on August 19.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



MODIS captured this stunning high-resolution visible image of Helene as it was making landfall in eastern Mexico on August 17
› View larger image
NASA's Terra satellite captured this stunning high-resolution visible image of Tropical Storm Helene as it was making landfall in eastern Mexico on August 17 at 16:50 UTC (12:50 p.m. EDT). The detail in this satellite image, taken from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, allows viewers to see the strong thunderstorms bubbling up around the center of circulation as they cast shadows on the lower surrounding clouds. Strong thunderstorms also flared up northeast and east of the center. High resolution image available at: http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/imagery/single.cgi?image=Helene.A2012230.1650.1km.jpg. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team



Aug. 17, 2012

On August 17, 2012, NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured visible images of Tropical Depression 7's remnants at 9:45 a.m. EDT.› View larger image
On August 17, 2012, NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured visible images of Tropical Depression 7's remnants at 9:45 a.m. EDT. Showers and thunderstorm activity has increased over the Bay of Campeche.
Credit: NASA GOES Project
Satellite Imagery Hints That Tropical Depression 7 May Be Reborn

Satellite imagery on August 17 is showing signs of re-organization in the remnants of Tropical Depression 7 (TD7). TD7 has moved into the warm waters of the Bay of Campeche where it is regaining strength and appears much more organized.

NASA's GOES Project created a visible image of the remnants of Tropical Depression 7 from August 17 at 9:45 a.m. EDT (1345 UTC) from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite. The image showed several areas of stronger thunderstorms. The stronger thunderstorms appear brighter white in the imagery and are located around the center and to the northeast of the center of circulation. NASA's GOES Project is located at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The Bay of Campeche is located on the western side of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and is part of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. The Bay is surrounded on three sides by the Mexican states of Campeche, Veracruz and Tabasco.

Shower and thunderstorm activity picked up during the morning hours (Eastern Daylight Time) on August 17 in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and Bay of Campeche. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted "surface observations and radar data indicate that the circulation has also become a little better defined and environmental conditions appear conducive for development."

The remnants of TD7 are moving to the west-northwestward to northwestward at around 10 mph.

The NHC stated that a tropical depression could re-form before the low pressure area makes another landfall in Mexico over the weekend. So the remnants have a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression again. A tropical storm watch or warning could be needed for part of the Gulf coast of Mexico.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



Aug. 16, 2012

On August 16, GOES-13 shows Tropical Depression 7's remnants producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms /images/content/677318main_20120816_07-GOES_full.jpg
On August 16, 2012, NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured visible images of Tropical Depression 7's remnants at 1:10 p.m. EDT as they were producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms over southeastern Mexico, the Yucatan, the Bay of Campeche and Guatemala.
Credit: NASA GOES Project
Remnants of Tropical Depression 7 Sliding Into the Bay of Campeche

Sometimes tropical cyclones that make landfall in Central America manage to survive the westward track from the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico and re-emerge in the Eastern Pacific Ocean where they can be reborn. Others slide over land and drop in the Bay of Campeche for another chance at life. Forecasters and satellites are watching the remnants of Tropical Depression 7 to see if that happens. The GOES-13 satellite noticed that the remnants were entering the Bay of Campeche today.

The Bay of Campeche is located on the western side of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and is part of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. The Bay is surrounded on three sides by the Mexican states of Campeche, Veracruz and Tabasco.

On August 16, 2012, NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured visible images of Tropical Depression 7's remnants at 1710 UTC (1:10 p.m. EDT) as they were producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms over southeastern Mexico, the Yucatan, the Bay of Campeche and Guatemala. The low pressure area still had a rounded shape to it on the visible imagery. The image was produced by NASA's GOES Project, located at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The National Hurricane Center gives TD7's remnants a 10 percent chance of regenerating once it emerges over the Bay of Campeche. Regardless, it's still producing and expected to produce heavy rainfall across parts of Central America, and southern Mexico on August 16. TD7's remnants are moving to the west-northwest at about 15 mph (24.2 kmh), and satellites will keep an eye on them to see if they re-develop.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



Aug. 15, 2012

This GOES-13 image from August 15, 2012 shows Tropical Storm Hector and the remnants of Tropical Depression 7.› view larger image
This NOAA GOES-13 satellite image from August 15, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. EDT shows Tropical Storm Hector fading in the eastern Pacific, and the remnants of Tropical Depression 7 crossing over Central America.
Credit: NASA GOES Project
GOES-15 Satellite Sees Fading Tropical Storm Hector and TD7's Remnants

Two tropical cyclones were spotted from NOAA's GOES-15 satellite today, August 15. Tropical Storm Hector continues to weaken in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, while the remnants of the Atlantic Ocean's Tropical Depression 7 are moving over Central America. NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., uses the GOES-15 satellite data to create images and animations from the satellite. The NOAA GOES-15 satellite sits in a fixed orbit over the eastern U.S. and provides infrared and visible imagery of the Eastern Pacific Ocean basin continuously. In a visible image on August 15, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. EDT, the small circulation remaining from Tropical Storm Hector is spinning of the western coast of Mexico, while the remnants of Tropical Depression 7 were seen crossing over Central America.


Tropical Storm Hector

On August 15, 2012 at 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), Tropical Storm Hector had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (65 kmh). It was weakening as a result of atmospheric conditions and its movement into cooler waters. The National Hurricane Center noted "Hector will continue to be affected by 15-20 knots of east-southeasterly shear during the next couple of days," which are weakening the cyclone.

The center of Hector was located near latitude 17.2 north and longitude 115.2 west, about 525 miles (840 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico. The National Hurricane Center noted that Hector has been lingering in the same area during the early morning hours of August 15, but is expected to move north-northwestward at about 5 mph (7 kmh) later today. Hector could become a tropical depression tonight or on Thursday, August 16.


Tropical Depression 7's Remnants

The remnants of Tropical Depression 7 (TD7) are now located over western Honduras and the coast of Belize. TD7 is still producing showers and thunderstorms, although they are disorganized. The showers and thunderstorms extend over the far northwestern Caribbean Sea to parts of Central America and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. That means locally heavy rains in those areas through Thursday, August 16 as TD7 moves to the west-northwest between 15 and 20 mph. The National Hurricane Center gives the TD7's remnants a "near zero percent" chance of becoming a tropical depression again in the next 48 hours as it continues to move across Central America. Once it gets into the Eastern Pacific Ocean, if it makes it there, may be a different story.

As Hector fades, forecasters will be keeping an eye on the remnants of Tropical Depression 7 to see what develops.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



Aug. 14, 2012

This NOAA GOES-13 satellite image from August 14, 2012 shows Tropical Depression 7 and System 93L.› View larger image This NOAA GOES-13 satellite image from August 14, 2012 at 7:45 a.m. EDT shows the remnants of Tropical Depression 7 in the western Caribbean Sea, and the low pressure area called System 93L in the central Atlantic.
Credit: NASA GOES Project
NASA Sees 2 Atlantic Lows Struggling: TD7, System 93L

The remnants of Tropical Depression 7 are now affecting Central America and still appear unorganized on satellite imagery. Meanwhile, the low pressure area called System 93L in the central Atlantic appears more organized. NASA created an image from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite that showed both systems.

The NOAA GOES-13 satellite sits in a fixed orbit over the eastern U.S. and provides infrared and visible imagery of the Atlantic Ocean basin continuously. NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., uses the data to create images and animations from the satellite. In a visible image on August 14, 2012 at 7:45 a.m. EDT, the remnants of Tropical Depression 7 were seen in the west-central Caribbean Sea, and clouds associated with the low pressure area called System 93L were in the mid-Atlantic.


Remnants of Tropical Depression 7

The remnants of Tropical Depression 7 (TD7) are now moving over the west-central Caribbean Sea and are producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that environmental conditions are now conducive for regeneration but it is expected to move across Central America later today, August 14, which will drop its chances for regeneration. That means that portions of Central America will experience gusty winds and heavy rain as TD7's remnants move through at up to 20 mph in a westward motion. The NHC gives the remnants a 20 percent chance of re-attaining depression status over the next two days. In the GOES-13 imagery from August 14, TD7's remnants appear disorganized off the coasts of Honduras and Nicaragua.


System 93L Appears a Little Better Organized

The low pressure area called System 93L has become somewhat better organized over the last day. System 93L is located about 1,050 miles southeast of Bermuda, and has a concentrated area of showers and thunderstorms that appears circular on the GOES-13 satellite image. The NHC gives System 93L a 30 percent chance of organizing over the next two days into a tropical depression. Meanwhile, System 93L continues to move west-northwestward at around 15 mph. Environmental conditions are expected to improve over the next couple of days, so forecasters at the NHC are keeping an eye on this low pressure area.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



Aug. 13, 2012

On August 13, 2012 GOES saw the remnants of Tropical Depression 7, System 93L, and Tropical Storm Hector› View larger image
This image of the Atlantic Ocean and eastern Pacific Ocean was created by NASA's GOES Project using NOAA GOES-13 and GOES-15 satellite imagery on August 13, 2012 at 7:45 a.m. EDT. The remnants of Tropical Depression 7 in the Caribbean Sea, and the low pressure area called System 93L in the eastern Atlantic. In the eastern Pacific, Tropical Storm Hector looks disorganized and System 95E is near the Mexican coast.
Credit: NASA GOES Project
A Quieter Atlantic to Start the Week; Hector in E. Pacific

On August 13, the Atlantic tropics are quieter than they were the previous week, when four low pressure areas were marching across the ocean basin. Satellite imagery shows two lows in the Atlantic as Tropical Storm Hector spins in the Eastern Pacific Ocean with System 95E near the Mexican coast.

The NOAA GOES-13 satellite sits in a fixed orbit over the eastern U.S. and provides infrared and visible imagery of the Atlantic Ocean basin continuously. At the same time, NOAA's GOES-15 satellite covers the western U.S. and eastern Pacific Ocean. At NASA's GOES Project, the data from the satellites were combined to create a "full-disk view" of the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Ocean. NASA's GOES Project is located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and creates images and animations from the two GOES satellites.

A visible and infrared image of the Atlantic Ocean and eastern Pacific Ocean were combined to give a complete picture of the tropics on both sides of the continental U.S. on August 13, 2012 at 7:45 a.m. EDT.


Tropical Depression 7 and System 93L

The GOES-13 part of the image, which is in visible light, shows two areas of disturbances in the tropics. The remnants of Tropical Depression 7 in the Caribbean Sea, and the low pressure area called System 93L in the eastern Atlantic.

Tropical Depression 7 (TD7) weakened to a remnant low pressure area on Saturday, August 11 at 11 a.m. EDT. It brought squalls of wind and rain to the Lesser Antilles over the weekend. On Monday, August 13, the remnants were moving over the central Caribbean Sea and are producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms extending from the central Caribbean northward to Hispaniola. The National Hurricane Center noted that "environmental conditions are not expected to be conducive for regeneration, and this system has a low chance, 10 percent, of becoming a tropical cyclone again during the next 48 hours as it moves westward near 20 mph." In the GOES-13 imagery from August 13, TD7's remnants appear elongated, which is likely from wind shear.

The low pressure area called System 93L ran into adverse atmospheric conditions over the weekend of August 11-12, 2012, but conditions are expected to improve over the next couple of days. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that "Shower activity remains limited in association with a broad area of low pressure located about 1,200 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands." The NHC gives System 93L just a ten percent chance of organizing over the next two days into a tropical depression. Meanwhile, System 93L continues to move west-northwestward at around 20 mph.


Eastern Pacific's Tropical Storm Hector and System 95E

The Atlantic Ocean's Tropical Storm Ernesto changed names. Ernesto crossed Mexico from the Gulf of Mexico to the eastern Pacific as a remnant low pressure system. On Saturday, August 11 at 1 p.m. EDT, the low re-strengthened into tropical depression 8E. At that time, Tropical Depression 8E was located about 150 miles (245 km) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, near 17.5 North and 106.0 West. Twelve hours later at 11 p.m. EDT, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Hector becoming the eighth tropical storm of the season.

By 5 a.m. EDT on August 13, Hector's maximum sustained winds decreased to near 40 mph (65 kmh). Hector was located near latitude 18.1 north and longitude 111.4 west, about 55 miles (90 km) west of Sorocco Island. Hector is moving west at 7 mph (11 kmh) and is expected to turn to the west-northwest and slow over the next couple of days. Wind shear appears to be taking its toll on Hector as it appears somewhat elongated in the GOES-15 satellite image from August 13. Wind shear is expected to remain strong over the next couple of days, which should keep Hector from strengthening and may weaken it to a remnant low pressure area.

A weak area of low pressure called System 95E is located about 175 miles southeast of Acapulco, Mexico continues to produce showers and thunderstorms. System 95E appears to have a tight circulation on the GOES-15 satellite imagery on August 13. The NHC gives System 95E a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next couple of days, while it moves to the west-northwest at 10 mph.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



GOES-13 captured an image of four tropical systems marching across the Atlantic Ocean basic on August 10, 2012.› View larger image
NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured an image of four tropical systems marching across the Atlantic Ocean basin on August 10, 2012. From left to right (west to east) is Ernesto over Mexico, the remnants of Florence north of Puerto Rico, Tropical Depression 7 west of the Windward Islands, and System 93L near the Cape Verde Islands and Africa.
Credit: NASA GOES Project
NASA Sees Tropical Cyclones March Across Atlantic: Ernesto, Florence, TD7, System 93L

Four tropical systems are marching across the Atlantic Ocean basin on August 10, 2012. NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. has been busy creating images and animations of the four tropical cyclones, Ernesto, the remnants of Florence, Tropical Depression 7, and System 93L.

NASA's GOES Project uses data from NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), and the GOES-13 satellite covers the Atlantic Ocean basin and the eastern U.S. from a fixed orbit. GOES-13 provides continuous data that NASA makes into images and animations. An image captured on August 10, 2012 at 1145 UTC (7:45 a.m. EDT) shows the four tropical cyclones marching across the Atlantic Ocean basin.


Tropical Depression Ernesto Dropping Heavy Rainfall Over Mexico's Mountains

At 10 a.m. EDT on August 10, the National Hurricane Center noted that Ernesto's center was near 18.0 North and 99.2 West. That places Ernesto's center about 215 miles (345 km) west-southwest of Veracruz, Mexico. Ernesto is now a remnant low pressure area and continues to weaken over the mountains of Mexico as it moves toward the eastern Pacific Ocean. As Ernesto continues on its westward track at 15 mph (24 kmh), it is generating heavy rainfall. Ernesto's maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph (55 kmh) and weakening.

The GOES-13 satellite image reveals the clouds associated with Ernesto over south-central Mexico, and just to the west of Ernesto lies another low pressure area off the coast in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The National Hurricane Center expects heavy rainfall over the next day or two over the Mexican states of Tabasco, Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaca and Guerrero, which could cause life threatening flash floods and mudslides. Ernesto's remnant circulation could regenerate in the Eastern Pacific Ocean after the weekend.

Ernesto's remnants are expected to move into the Eastern Pacific and possibly become a tropical cyclone again. If that happened it will acquire a new depression number or a new name if it becomes a tropical storm.


The Remnants of Florence Linger Near Puerto Rico

The remnants of Tropical Storm Florence is located several hundred miles north of Puerto Rico, near 23 North latitude and 67 West longitude. The remnants are generating showers and thunderstorms. Those showers and thunderstorms appear as a small, disorganized area of clouds on the GOES-13 satellite image.

The NHC gives this a near zero chance of redevelopment as it moves to the northwest. Radar in Puerto Rico during the morning of August 10 detected a line of showers associated with the remnants of tropical storm Florence just east of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Tropical Depression 7 Trying to Slowly Organize

Tropical Depression 7 is struggling to organize on August 10, but conditions may improve over the weekend of August 11-12.

Satellite data on August 10 shows a well-defined circulation with a small band of thunderstorms and convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) to the northeast of the center, but the circulation of the depression is not apparent on the GOES-13 imagery.

Currently dry air surrounding the storm seems to be inhibiting further development. Further development may also be prevented because of increasing southerly to southwesterly shear over the next couple of days.

At 5 a.m. EDT Tropical Depression 7's (TD7) maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph (55 kmh). The center of TD7 was located near latitude 13.6 north and longitude 49.5 west, about 775 miles (1,245 km) east of the Windward Islands. TD7 is moving toward the west near 23 mph (37 kmh).

The National Hurricane Center expects TD7 to intensify and organize into a tropical storm while moving into an area of light wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures. It is then forecast to move across the Windward Islands over the weekend on its way into the Caribbean Sea. The National Hurricane Center noted "Interests in the windward and leeward islands should monitor the progress of the depression since tropical storm watches or warnings could be required at any time."


System 93L Organizing in Far Eastern Atlantic

The fourth area for possible development in the Atlantic is a tropical wave and associated low pressure area, called "System 93L" that has just moved off the African coast into the eastern Atlantic. It's located between the Cape Verde Islands and Africa and is generating a small area of showers and thunderstorms and appears as a rounded area on the GOES-13 satellite imagery.

It is moving to the west-northwest near 20 mph, and may bring strong, gusty winds to the Cape Verde Islands over the next day or two. Because environmental conditions are favorable for development: low wind shear and warm waters over 80 Fahrenheit (26.6 Celsius), the National Hurricane Center gives System 93L a 50 percent chance of organizing into a tropical depression over the weekend of August 11-12, 2012.

Over the weekend of August 11 and 12, forecasters will have a lot to keep track of with the fading Ernesto and Florence and the developing Tropical Depression 7 and System 93L.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



GOES-13 Satellite Sees Three Atlantic Tropical Cyclones



An animation of satellite observations shows the progression of Tropical Storm Ernesto (far left), post-tropical storm Florence (center) and Tropical Depression 7 from August 7-10, 2012. In the animation, Ernesto made landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula and mainland Mexico, while Florence moves across the Atlantic to just north of Puerto Rico. Tropical Depression 7 becomes visible on August 9 (bottom right). This visualization was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., using observations from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite. For more information, go to: www.nasa.gov/hurricane. TRT 0:36 Super(s): Courtesy: NASA/NOAA GOES Project