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Tropical Cyclone Alvin (Eastern Pacific Ocean)
05.17.13
 
GOES image of Alvin› Larger image
NOAA’s GOES-15 satellite captured this infrared view of Alvin on May 17 at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT) about three hours after it weakened to a post-tropical cyclone. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
Satellite Sees Tropical Storm Alvin’s Life End Quickly

The first tropical storm of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season was short-lived. Satellite imagery revealed that Tropical Storm Alvin became a remnant low pressure area 36 hours after it was named.

NASA’s GOES Project created an image of Alvin’s remnants using infrared data from NOAA’s GOES-15 satellite on May 17 at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT). NASA’s GOES Project is located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Alvin became a named tropical storm on May 15 at 5 p.m. EDT and weakened into a trough (elongated area) of low pressure by 5 a.m. EDT on May 17.

The GOES-15 satellite image showed that the system has become elongated and did not have a well-defined center. The National Hurricane Center also noted that Alvin’s remnant low pressure area had become further embedded within the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone and is no longer a tropical cyclone.

The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone is a broad area of low atmospheric pressure located in the equatorial region where the northeasterly and southeasterly trade winds converge, extending approximately 10° north and south of the equator.

At 5 a.m. EDT, May 17, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued its final advisory on Alvin and does not expect regeneration because of strong wind shear affecting the low pressure area. Alvin’s last location was near 10.3 north and 112.0 west, about 790 miles (1,275 km) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. Maximum sustained winds at that time were near 35 mph (55 kph) and weakening quickly. Alvin’s remnants were moving to the west-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph), and the minimum central pressure was near 1007 millibars. The NHC expects Alvin’s winds should gradually diminish and is not expected to regenerate.

Text credit: Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center



May 16, 2013

AIRS image of Alvin› Larger image
NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Storm Alvin just as it reached tropical storm status on May 15 at 2047 UTC (4:47 p.m. EDT). The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared image of the storm. AIRS data showed bands of thunderstorms on the tropical storm’s western side wrapping into the low-level center. Credit: NASA JPL/Ed Olsen

GOES image of Alvin› Larger image
NOAA’s GOES-15 satellite captured this infrared view of Tropical Storm Alvin on May 16 at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT) as it continued moving west and away from Mexico. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
NASA Sees Eastern Pacific Get First Tropical Storm: Alvin

NASA’s Aqua satellite and NOAA’s GOES-15 satellite captured imagery of the Eastern Pacific Ocean’s first named tropical storm, Alvin. Aqua and GOES-15 provided imagery of Alvin that provided a look at the overall storm and the temperatures of its cloud tops.

NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Storm Alvin just as it reached tropical storm status on May 15 at 2047 UTC (4:47 p.m. EDT). The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies aboard Aqua captured an infrared image of the storm that showed bands of thunderstorms on the tropical storm’s western side were wrapping into the low-level center. Those bands of thunderstorms became more organized and more tightly wrapped by May 16 as the storm strengthened further.

AIRS data is infrared and gives an indication of temperature. With respect to tropical cyclones, AIRS provides temperatures of cloud tops and surrounding ocean surface temperatures, two factors important in determining the strength of a storm and what may happen with it. Cold cloud top temperatures, such as those seen in some of the bands around Alvin were near -62 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius) and are indicative of strong uplift that can create strong, high thunderstorms with heavy rain potential.

NOAA’s GOES-15 satellite captured a near-infrared view of Tropical Storm Alvin on May 16 at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT) as it continued moving west and away from Mexico. This near-infrared view showed that Alvin had become more tightly wrapped and more organized. According to the National Hurricane Center, satellite imagery of Alvin shows very deep convection resembling a central dense overcast, but noted that the low-level center is displaced a fair distance west of the strongest convection (rising air that creates thunderstorms that make up the tropical cyclone).

AIRS imagery is produced at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. and GOES imagery is created at NASA’s GOES Project, located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

At 5 a.m. EDT on May 15, Alvin had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph (85 kph). It was located far from land, about 705 miles (1,135 km) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, near 9.1 north latitude and 106.9 west longitude. Alvin was moving to the west-northwest at 10 mph (17 kph) and had a minimum central pressure near 1003 millibars. Twenty four hours before, Alvin’s central pressure was near 1006 millibars. A drop in pressure indicates a strengthening low pressure area.

The National Hurricane Center noted that Alvin will be moving through warm waters over the next couple of days in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and is expected to reach hurricane strength by early on May 18 before weakening over the weekend of May 18 and 19.

Text credit: Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center



May 15, 2013

AIRS image of 01E› Larger image
NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Depression 1-E (TD1E) at 0823 UTC (4:23 a.m. EDT) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared image of the storm. AIRS data showed bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the low-level center from the west, as well as a fragmented band of thunderstorms east of center. Credit: NASA JPL/Ed Olsen
NASA Sees First Eastern Pacific Tropical Depression to Open Season

The Hurricane Season of the Eastern Pacific Ocean officially begins today, May 15 and the first tropical depression of the season formed. Tropical Depression One-E was seen by NASA’s Aqua satellite while it was developing.

The first tropical depression formed around 11 a.m. EDT on May 15. NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Depression 1-E (TD1E) at 0823 UTC (4:23 a.m. EDT) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared image of the storm. AIRS data showed bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the low-level center from the west, as well as a fragmented band of thunderstorms east of center. Cloud top temperatures of the thunderstorms were as cold as -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius) indicating strong thunderstorms with heavy rainfall potential.

At 11 a.m. EDT on May 15, TD1E had maximum sustained winds near 35 mph (55 kph). It was located far from land, about 650 miles (1,045 km) south-southwest of Acapulco, Mexico, near 9.2 north latitude and 103.6 west longitude. TD1E was moving to the west at 12 mph (19 kph) and had a minimum central pressure near 1006 millibars. There are no coastal warnings or watches in effect.

The National Hurricane Center noted that TD1E will be moving through warm waters over the next couple of days, which will likely strengthen it into Tropical Storm Alvin.

Text credit: Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center