Pacific's Irwin Fizzles; Next Atlantic Depression Forming?
UPDATED 2 PM PDT, October 15, 2011
UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen
The Pacific`s Irwin weakens even more while drifting in open water. It will only pose a threat to shipping lanes until mid-week, before losing its tropical characteristics. Not to be outdone, a disturbance near the Yucatan Peninsula could become the Atlantic`s next depression and enter the Gulf of Mexico next week.
As of 2 p.m. PDT, Tropical Depression Irwin was centered near 13.6 N and 108.1 W, or about 450 miles to the southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. Irwin`s top sustained winds have decreased to 30 mph, and it is drifting to the southwest at 5 mph. Its minimum central pressure remains steady at 1006 mb, or 29.71 inches of mercury.
Irwin will maintain a slow southwesterly path into early next, before taking a U-turn and fizzling out by the middle of next week. A hostile upper-level environment, dry air and following in the footsteps of Hurricane Jova`s cooler ocean water will be its ultimate demise.
In the Atlantic, a broad circulation is forming near the Yucatan Peninsula tonight. Its associated showers and thunderstorms are becoming better organized, and it has been producing wind gusts to near tropical storm strength across the Yucatan Peninsula and the western Straits of Florida. Even though it will interact with the Yucatan Peninsula, some gradual intensification is expected as the low pressure drifts northwestward into the southern Gulf of Mexico next week. Regardless of any future development, it will swirl bands of locally heavy rain across Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula during the next few days.
Not to be outdone by the northwest Caribbean tropical disturbance, another complex of showers and thunderstorms located about 1,500 miles east of the Lesser Antilles could slowly intensify by early next week as it moves steadily westward at 15 mph.
The Atlantic Hurricane season continues through the end of November, meaning residents along the Gulf Coast should not let down their guard just yet.
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