08.31.12

Ileana Makes It Another Hurricane For Eastern Pacific

Posted in Eastern Pacific, Storm Warning, Tracking the Tropics at 9:32 pm by gmachos

Ninth Storm Strengthens To Category One Hurricane Before Weakening

While the Atlantic has really picked things up with eight named storms and four hurricanes this month, the Eastern Pacific has waned with only three storms and two hurricanes. Prior to Ileana developing this week, the EPAC went without a storm or hurricane for 10 days after Tropical Storm Hector faded from view in mid-August.

Ileana became the season’s ninth named storm on the evening of August 27th some six hours after emerging as a tropical depression. Forming approximately 330 miles to the southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, or about 530 miles to the south-southeast of Baja California, the storm was no threat to land, but gradually strengthened to become the seventh hurricane of the season.

The storm peaked in intensity on Thursday when it strengthened to have 85 mile per hour winds. However, like most systems in the East Pacific, Ileana began to encounter cooler waters, and has gradually weakened to below minimal hurricane strength with winds of 70 miles per hour. According to the most recent advisory on the storm, Ileana is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression sometime this weekend.

So far this season, the Eastern Pacific has had 9 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. Meanwhile, the Atlantic has had 12 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and no major hurricanes. A major hurricane is one that has maximum sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour, or minimal Category Three strength on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Despite early season forecasts indicating that an El Nino would develop making conditions for favorable for development in the Eastern Pacific, and less favorable in the Atlantic, the two basins have had exact opposite seasons.

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