Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fast Developing Barbara Workin' Towards Oaxaca

Tropical Storm Barbara developed last night in the eastern parts of the Pacific Ocean, to the south of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It is forecast to move onshore at some point today, potentially as a hurricane as the storm is quickly intensifying over tropical waters in the eastern portions of the Pacific Ocean.

Barbara is sporting 60 mph max winds early this morning and its moisture and energy may play a role in the potential Caribbean/Gulf system that models are projecting for next week. Barbara will quickly weaken upon landfall in Mexico given the rough terrain in its path; however, torrential rains and flooding are almost assured for this portion of Mexico given the slow movement of the system and also given the lifting mechanism land will play in squeezing out some of this tropical moisture after landfall.  The National Hurricane Center is hinting at the possibility of isolated twelve inch rainfall totals in Oaxaca.

Barbara's radar presentation looks rather solid this morning, showing the signs of a healthy and intensifying storm that will continue to strengthen in the run-up to landfall later today. If a hurricane does indeed make landfall later today, it would be the farthest east a hurricane has made landfall in the Pacific basin.  Adrian, in 2005, is the farthest east hurricane in the Pacific but weakened before landfall.