Tropical weather analysis - July 3, 2012
An area of low pressure centered about 500 miles south of Manzanillo is showing signs of organization, and satellite images indicate that a tropical depression may be forming. The cloud pattern is well-organized, and consists of a couple of banding features in the eastern semicircle trying to wrap cyclonically into the center.
Figure 1. Latest infrared satellite image of Invest 96E. Image credit: NOAA
I am uncertain if there is a closed circulation, as the data is conflicting. But if the system lacks one now, it shouldn't in the near future. Upper-level winds in the path of the low are expected to be very favorable for intensification, and it is possible that the system could become a hurricane before reaching cooler waters in about three days. Indeed, the outflow pattern is already excellent, and quite expansive.
Water vapor imagery shows that a large and powerful heat ridge is currently dominating much of the United States, bringing record heat in many locations. The southern extent of this ridge is forecast to remain firmly entrenched to the north of the system over the next several days, providing 96E with little opportunity to recurve. The global models are in excellent agreement on this scenario, and lacking any evidence to the contrary, so am I.
Long-range prognostications from the various global models suggest that this system may enter the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) area of responsibility in a week or so. However, there would likely be little left of it at that time. Even so, given the current forecast track, it is unlikely that 96E will dissipate as fast as most Eastern Pacific tropical cyclones, since areal sea surface temperatures will remain warmer to the south.
Probability of development within 48 hours: Near 100%