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Hurricane Season 2008: Hurricane Elida (Eastern Pacific)
July 21, 2008

Elida Faded into Remnant Low Pressure Area in Eastern Pacific What was once Hurricane Elida was dissipating on Monday, July 21, 2008 into a remnant low pressure area in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

On Saturday, July 19 at 5:00 p.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center noted that Elida had not shown any convection (rapidly rising air that forms thunderstorms that make up hurricanes and tropical cyclones) for 12 hours. That was indicative of a severely weakened cyclone.

At that time, maximum sustained winds were estimated near 30 knots (34 mph) as the remnant low chugged west-northwest near 12 knots (14 mph). Elida will likely be no more by Tuesday, July 22.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

July 18, 2008

Hurricane Elida Moves West

TRIMM image of Hurricane Elida Credit: Hal Pierce
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Hurricane Elida formed in the Eastern Pacific ocean off the Central American coast on July 12, 2008. As is the case with most storm systems that form in this region, it traveled westward, pulling away from the coast. Some storms that form this way will arc back as they travel, caught up in wind patterns which bring them back ashore. But the majority, such as Elida, continue westward out over open ocean. With warm waters fueling them and no land to disrupt their wind patterns or cut off the heat engine of warm surface water, many of these storms build enough strength to become hurricanes. Elida reached Hurricane Status on July 14, and reached a peak strength of Category Two, with sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour (105 miles per hour), according to Unisys Weather.

This visualization shows patterns of rainfall within the storm as observed by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite on July 16, 2008, at 4:46 pm local time (00:46 UTC July 17). Reds in this visualization show areas which received intense rainfall, with yellow and green showing strong rain, and lighter rainfall in blue. At the time TRMM acquired these data, Elida was still a Category Two strength hurricane. No eye was evident in the clouds that made up the storm, though the storm did have a compact spiral structure.

Powerful thunderstorms and heavy rain form a tightly focused arc, suggesting the existence of a distinct eyewall even though no eye is visible in the cloud structure. Because TRMM can see both the rainfall and the cloud structure, it provides more information about a storm than sensors that record the cloud structure alone.

The TRMM satellite was placed into service in November 1997. From its low-earth orbit, TRMM provides valuable images and information on storm systems around the tropics using a combination of passive microwave and active radar sensors, including the first precipitation radar in space. In this image, rain rates in the center of the swath are from the TRMM Precipitation Radar, and those in the outer swath come from the TRMM Microwave Imager. The rain rates are overlaid on infrared data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency, JAXA.

Text credit: Jesse Allen

July 14, 2008

Hurricane Elida Forms in Eastern Pacific

Satellite image of Hurricane Elida Credit: NASA/JPL
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The sixth tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean Hurricane Season formed at 10:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 11, a few hundred miles south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec, Mexico. By 2:00 a.m. PDT on Monday, July 14, the depression had formed into the Eastern Pacific's second hurricane: Hurricane Elida.

The good news is that the National Hurricane Center is forecasting Hurricane Elida will move out into the open waters of the eastern Pacific and will be no threat to land.

At 2:00 a.m. PDT (9:00 Zulu Time) on July 14 the center of Hurricane Elida was located near latitude 16.2 north and longitude 108.2 west or about 335 miles (535 km) south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico and about 475 miles (765 km) south-southeast of the southern tip of Baja California.

Elida is a Category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and his maximum sustained winds near 75 mph (120 km/hr) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 24 hours.

Elida is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 Km/hr) and this motion is expected to continue with a decrease in forward speed over the next couple of days. Estimated minimum central pressure is 987 millibars.

This infrared image of Elida was created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), an instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. The image was created on July 13 at 8:11 UTC (4:11 a.m. EDT).

The 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 Elida. The infrared signal of the AIRS instrument does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the ocean and land surfaces, revealing warmer temperatures in orange and red.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center