Tropical depression expected to reach hurricane strength Saturday in the Eastern Pacific
Tropical Depression 19-E, located far southeast of the Big Island Thursday afternoon, could become a hurricane as early as Saturday morning.
Located more than 2,300 miles southeast of the Big Island, 19-E, which formed Wednesday afternoon, still had sustained winds of 30 mph and was tracking west at 13 mph as of 5 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Low wind shear combined with warm water and a moist environment are expected to foster development, and the depression was expected to become Tropical Storm Olaf, the 15th named storm of the 2015 Eastern Pacific hurricane season, on Friday.
Continued strengthening is forecast, and Olaf likely will reach hurricane strength Saturday, according to forecasters. By Tuesday evening, the weather system is expected to be a Category 2 storm packing 100 mph winds more than 1,200 miles southeast of the Big Island.
Meanwhile, in the Central Pacific, Nora weakened to a remnant low several 225 miles southeast of the Big Island Thursday. Forecasters say that upper-level winds will keep the system from redeveloping in the coming days.
National Hurricane Center forecasters Thursday also noted that an area of low pressure is expected to develop a few hundred miles south-southeast of the Gulf of Tehuantepec in the Eastern Pacific. Gradual development is forecast next week. Forecasters said there was a 40 percent chance of a tropical depression forming there within five days.
The Central and Eastern Pacific hurricane seasons continue through Nov. 30.
Courtesy of westhawaiitoday.com