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Hurricane Season 2012: Tropical Storm Kristy (Eastern Pacific Ocean)
09.17.12
 
MODIS image of Tropical Storm Kristy and Hurricane Lane› Larger image
When NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Eastern Pacific on Sept. 16 at 2:45 p.m. EDT the satellite captured Tropical Storm Kristy (at the time a tropical storm) and Hurricane Lane, located to Kristy's southwest. Lane appeared to have a tighter circulation. Marine layer clouds were seen west of Tropical Storm Kristy in the image. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA Sees Eastern Pacific Storms Power Up and Down

While Tropical Storm Kristy faded into a remnant low pressure area, Lane strengthened into a hurricane. NASA's Terra satellite caught a look at both storms when it passed overhead on Sept. 16 and showed a much tighter circulation within Hurricane Lane than in weakening Tropical Storm Kristy.

When NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Eastern Pacific on Sept. 16 at 18:45 UTC (2:45 p.m. EDT) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument aboard the satellite captured Tropical Storm Kristy (at the time a tropical storm) and Hurricane Lane, located to Kristy's southwest. Lane appeared to have a tighter circulation. Marine layer clouds were seen west of Tropical Storm Kristy in the image. The image was created by the NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Kristy Becomes a Remnant Low Pressure Area

Kristy weakened to a remnant low pressure area on Monday, Sept. 17 by 11 a.m. EDT, about 645 miles (1,040 km) west-northwest of the southern tip of Baja California. It was centered near 26.2 North latitude and 119.5 west longitude and moving to the north-northwest at 6 mph (9 kmh). It is expected to turn north, northeast , then north-east northeast over the next two days. Kristy's maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph (55 kmh) and weakening.

The National Hurricane Center noted that swells generated by Kristy will continue to affect portions of southern and central Baja California on Sept. 17 and will gradually subside by Tuesday, Sept. 18. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Lane Becomes a Hurricane

The twelfth tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean hurricane season was born on Sat. Sept 15 at 11 a.m. EDT about 1,080 miles 1,740 km west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.

By Sept.17 at 11 a.m. EDT Lane had grown into a hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 75 kmh (120 kmh) and it was located about 1,160 miles (1,865 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, near latitude 16.7 north and longitude 126.5 west. Lane is moving toward the north-northwest near 10 mph (17 kmh) and is expected to continue in that direction with a turn northwest on Sept. 18. The National Hurricane Center notes that some strengthening is possible over the next day.

Satellite data indicates that the sea surface temperatures in Lane's path are as cool as 24 Celsius (75.2 Fahrenheit), cooler than the 26.6C (80F) needed to maintain a tropical cyclone, so forecasters note that after a day, Lane should begin to weaken.

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



Sept. 14, 2012

--> AIRS image of Kristy› Larger image
This infrared image of shows a developing area of low pressure southwest of Tropical Storm Kristy in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The image was taken on Sept. 14 at 5:23 a.m. EDT. Purple areas indicate the strongest thunderstorms and heaviest rainfall. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA's Aqua Satellite Sees Tropical Storm Kristy Weaken, Other System Developing

The Eastern Pacific Ocean has become "tropically" alive on NASA satellite data today, Sept. 14. NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of weakening Tropical Storm Kristy and another low pressure area that is developing and has the potential to become a new tropical depression.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the eastern Pacific Ocean on Sept. 14 at 5:23 a.m. ED, and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared image of Kristy and a new developing low pressure area. The infrared data indicated the strongest thunderstorms and heaviest rainfall were to the southeast of the center of circulation. Wind shear from the northwest has pushed the bulk of clouds and showers to the southeast, while the low-level center is on the northwestern edge of a comma-shaped band of thunderstorms.

Kristy is close enough to shore to create rough seas. Ocean swells will affect the coasts of southwestern Mexico and southern Baja California and may cause life-threatening surf and rip-tide conditions.

On Friday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Kristy's maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph (85 kmh). Kristy is located about 260 miles (415 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, near latitude 20.4 north and longitude 112.9 west. Kristy is moving west-northwest near 10 mph (17 kmh) and a gradual turn to the northwest is expected later on Sept. 14.

Kristy is expected to weaken to a remnant low pressure area on Sunday, Sept. 16 because of adverse atmospheric conditions and its movement over cooler waters.

Watching Two Other Developing Systems

It seems like the eastern Pacific Ocean is now suddenly trying to play catch up with the Atlantic. The eastern Pacific has had 11 tropical depressions, while the Atlantic has had 14 so far.

Satellites are helping forecasters keep an eye on two other developing low pressure areas to the west of Tropical Storm Kristy. The first area is about 900 miles southwest of the southernmost tip of Baja California. Environmental conditions are expected to improve over the weekend of Sept. 15 as the low moves slowly westward. The low has a 50 percent chance of development over the weekend.

The second area is located much further west and is about 1,700 miles west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Environmental conditions are expected to become less conducive for development during the weekend of Sept. 15, and on Sept. 14, satellite data showed that the showers and thunderstorms associated with the low had become more disorganized. The National Hurricane Center gives that low pressure area a 20 percent chance of development.

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



NASA Sees Wind Shear Affecting Tropical Storm Kristy

infrared image of tropical storm Kristy off Mexico NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Kristy on Sept. 13 at 0841 UTC (4:41 a.m. EDT) and saw that the storm was struggling from northwesterly wind shear. The bulk of the clouds and showers (purple) were being pushed to the southeast of the center of circulation. Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
› Larger image
NASA infrared satellite imagery on Sept. 13 showed that Tropical Storm Kristy's most powerful thunderstorms were being pushed away from its center because of wind shear. Tropical Depression 11E strengthened into Tropical Storm Kristy on Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. EDT and it has been struggling since then.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Kristy in the eastern Pacific Ocean on Sept. 13 at 0841 UTC (4:41 a.m. EDT). The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument data showed that the storm was struggling from northwesterly wind shear. The bulk of the clouds and showers were being pushed to the southeast of the center of circulation. As a result, the center of circulation was located on the northwestern edge of the clouds and showers.

The National Hurricane Center noted that wind shear is expected to decrease, which would enable Kristy's clouds and showers to align more with the center of circulation and strengthen and organize, however, Kristy is moving into cooler waters, which will sap its ability to strengthen as evaporation of cooler waters is more difficult.

Although Kristy is not well-organized, the storm is causing rough surf along the coasts of southwestern Mexico and southern Baja California. The rough surf could cause life-threatening surf and rip-tides.

On Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Kristy had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph (85 kmh) and the National Hurricane Center noted that slight strengthening is still possible, but a gradual weakening should begin on Friday, Sept. 13. The center of Tropical Storm Kristy was about 110 miles (180 km) east of Socorro Island, and about 280 miles (450 km) south of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico. Kristy is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 kmh) and is expected to continue during the next day or two.

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



Sept. 12, 2012

NASA Gives Infrared Identification of New Eastern Pacific Tropical Depression

NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of developing System 11E on Sept. 11 at 3:47 p.m. EDT NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of developing System 90E on Sept. 11 at 3:47 p.m. EDT showing a very large area of strong thunderstorms (purple) on the western side of the center of circulation. System 90E organized more on Sept. 12 and was renamed Tropical Depression 11E. Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
› Larger image
One of NASA's infrared "eyes" is an instrument that flies aboard the Aqua satellite, and it provided data that helped forecasters determine that low pressure "System 90E" strengthened into the eastern Pacific Ocean's eleventh tropical depression.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument onboard Aqua captured an infrared image of System 90E on Sept. 11 at 1947 UTC (3:47 p.m. EDT). That infrared image took the temperatures of the cloud tops and found some strong, high thunderstorms wrapped around the western side of the low pressure area's circulation, from north to south. That area of thunderstorms had cloud top temperatures that exceeded the AIRS data -63 Fahrenheit/-52 Celsius threshold, indicating strong thunderstorms with heavy rainfall and a sign that the low was organizing. Less than 24 hours later, System 90E would be re-named Tropical Depression 11E, when the National Hurricane Center noted "It developed enough organized convection to be classified as a tropical depression."

On Sept. 12 at 11 a.m. EDT Tropical Depression 11E had maximum sustained winds near 35 mph (55 kmh) and the National Hurricane Center noted that the depression could become a tropical storm tonight (Sept. 12) or Thursday, Sept. 13. Tropical Depression 11E was located near latitude 16.7 north and longitude 106.0 west, about 195 miles (315 km) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 kmh) and the National Hurricane Center expected it to continue in that direction over the next two days, moving away from the coast.

The Eastern Pacific Ocean is lagging behind the Atlantic Ocean in the development of tropical depressions this year. The fourteenth tropical depression in the Atlantic just strengthened into Tropical Storm Nadine.

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