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NASA's Terra Satellite sees formation of Tropical Storm Enrique

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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IMAGE: When NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical depression 6E (that later became Tropical Storm Enrique) on July 12 at 19:05 UTC (3:05 p.m. EDT), the bulk of clouds and showers... view more

Credit: Credits: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

When NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical depression 6E on July 12 at 19:05 UTC (3:05 p.m. EDT), the MODIS instrument captured a visible-light image that showed the bulk of clouds and showers were banding southwest of the center.

Forecaster Blake of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted on July 13 at 5 a.m. EDT, "Satellite images indicate that the cyclone has become a bit better organized with a growing curved band in the southern semicircle and more persistent convection near the center." At that time, NHC designated Tropical Depression 6E as a tropical storm.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), Tropical Depression 6E strengthened into Tropical Storm Enrique. At that time, Enrique was located near latitude 15.2 North, longitude 126.4 West. About 1200 miles (1,930 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico. Enrique was moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 kph). A northwestward to west-northwestward motion is expected during the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or two. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 millibars.

The tropical storm has a day or two to strengthen before it moves into an area of cooler sea surface temperatures, drier air, and higher vertical wind shear all of which are factors that weaken tropical cyclones. In addition, NHC noted that the long-range forecast is rather uncertain due to possible interactions with both Tropical Storm Dolores to the east and a mid-latitude trough (elongated area of low pressure) to the north.

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