09.14.13

Ingrid Forms and Becomes 2nd Hurricane of 2013

Posted in Storm Track, Commentary, Storm Preparation, Storm Warning, Storm Safety, Tracking the Tropics at 6:39 pm by gmachos

Gabrielle and Humberto Dissipate, but Humberto Could Regenerate in a Couple Days

The Atlantic Tropics continue to get interesting as we now have our second hurricane of the season.  The other day, I had mentioned in the blog that Ingrid could be in the making.  Well, the storm not only came to fruition, and rapidly intensified into a minimal hurricane in the very warm waters of the Bay of Campeche region in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ingrid first became a depression on Thursday afternoon, and began its onslaught on Mexico with torrential rainfall.  Gaining more and more energy from the bath water of the Gulf, Ingrid strengthened more and became the ninth named storm of the season on Friday morning.  The intensification didn’t stop there either.  Thirty hours later, the storm grew into a hurricane.  Located some 195 miles to the East of Tuxpan Mexico and 275 miles to the Southeast of La Pesca, Mexico, Ingrid still continues off slowly to the north at 7 miles per hour.

As of the 4:00 PM CDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center, maximum sustained winds with Ingrid are at 75 miles per hour with gusts in excess of 90 miles per hour.  Minimum central pressure has dropped to 987 millibars, or 29.15 inches of Hg (Mercury).  The Government of Mexico has issued a Hurricane Warning for the Mexican East Coast from Cabo Rojo to La Pesca, and a Tropical Storm Warning from north of La Pesca to Bahia Algodones and south of Cabo Rojo to Tuxpan.  All warnings issued south of Tuxpan to Cotzacoalos have been discontinued.

The big story with Ingrid is the forward motion.  The reason I say that is because of two things.  First and foremost, slow moving tropical systems means lots and lots of rainfall.  When there is torrential rainfall that goes on for long periods of time over this part of the world, you have to worry about life threatening floods and mudslides.  Right now, Ingrid is expected to produce around 15 inches of rain for portions of Eastern Mexico with some isolated areas getting over two feet of rain.  The other reason that the slow movement is critical is simply because of where Ingrid is located.

As mentioned earlier, Ingrid is still over very warm water in the Bay of Campeche region of the Gulf of Mexico.  With sea surface temperatures as high as 85 degrees coupled in with the fact that upper levels winds in this area are usually light, the ingredients are there for some significant, if not explosive development.  The latest discussion from the National Hurricane Center in Miami indicates that a mid-level ridge is expected to establish itself over the Southern U.S., and the clockwise flow around that ridge will help turn Ingrid into eastern Mexico.  However, forecast models diverge on the timing of all of this.

The NHC discussion points out that the GFS solution has Ingrid moving to shore the slowest, and making landfall in about 60 hours time.  The official NHC guidance indicates a landfall within 48 hours.  The 48 to 60 hour window is still a lot of time when you are talking about a tropical cyclone in a very conducive environment.  Remember, a little more than 48 hours ago, Ingrid wasn’t even on the map, and now it is a Category One Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.  Another 48 to 60 hours in this very supportive environment could bring about even more strenghtening.  Right now, the NHC has Ingrid strengthening to an 85 mile per hour hurricane, but it is quite possible that the storm could reach Category Two or even Cat Three levels.

We’ll have to see how everything shakes out with Ingrid.  For now, residents along the East Mexican coast should complete the necessary preparations, take cover and evacuate if possible.  Residents in South Texas should monitor the progress of this storm. 

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