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Flurry of tropical activity continues for East Pacific

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 8/3/2021 Mary Gilbert

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From left to right, Tropical Rainstorm 9-E, Tropical Storm Hilda and Tropical Depression Ignacio churn in the open waters of the East Pacific basin on Tuesday morning, Aug. 3, 2021. (AccuWeather Enhanced RealVue™ Satellite)

The East Pacific Ocean has gotten crowded thanks to an uptick in tropical activity that began late last week. This week, several tropical entities will continue to battle to see who will come out on top.

The first, and most organized, of the three entities currently spinning in the East Pacific is Tropical Storm Hilda. Hilda first earned its name last Friday when it became the eighth tropical storm to form in the basin this season. The storm quickly gained strength and reached hurricane status the following day.

Hilda remained a hurricane until very early Tuesday morning, local time, when it lost enough wind intensity to be stripped of its hurricane status, and return back to a tropical storm designation.

As of Tuesday morning, Hilda was a tropical storm located nearly 1,000 miles west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.

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Into midweek, Hilda will continue on a generally northwestward track. This track will continue to force Hilda into increasingly inhospitable conditions for tropical development.

"A gradual loss of wind intensity is expected to continue as Hilda encounters drier air, stronger wind shear and cooler ocean waters," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller explained.


The second entity making its presence known in the basin is Tropical Depression Ignacio. Ignacio earned tropical storm status Monday morning, local time, but was a relatively short-lived tropical storm. Ignacio weakened back to a tropical depression very early Tuesday morning.

AccuWeather forecasters say Ignacio has already begun to experience conditions that are detrimental to its survival.

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"Ignacio is expected to continue to lose wind intensity on Tuesday and could completely dissipate by later Tuesday or Tuesday night," Miller said.

As of Tuesday morning, only about 700 miles separated the center of Ignacio from the center of Hilda. With the two storms in relatively close proximity and moving into inhospitable conditions, it's no wonder development is inhibited.

Hilda and Ignacio aren't the only tropical entities AccuWeather forecasters are monitoring in the East Pacific.

Located a few hundred miles to the west of Hilda is Tropical Rainstorm 9-E. Nine-E has been nearly stationary while churning over the open waters of the East Pacific since Sunday, but is beginning to show signs of better organization.

"There remains a brief window over the next day or two when it could once again become a tropical depression or even a tropical storm," Miller explained.

If 9-E manages to reach tropical storm status, the next name to be used in the East Pacific is Jimena.

AccuWeather forecasters say it remains possible that Hilda and 9-E can move close enough to one another this week to exhibit a phenomenon known as the Fujiwhara effect, but the window of opportunity is closing quickly.

The Fujiwhara effect happens when two tropical systems spinning in the same direction pass close enough to each other that they begin to "dance" around a common center, according to the National Weather Service. Oftentimes, the two systems can approach each other and merge.

None of the three tropical entities currently churning in the East Pacific will bring any direct impacts to land. However, shipping interests in the area of the storms may experience higher-than-normal seas over the coming days.

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Elsewhere, another developing storm could make waves in the Pacific later this week.

"Conditions are likely to be moderately conducive for tropical development to the south of Mexico later this week or during the upcoming weekend," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Randy Adkins said. "Drier air currently to the south of Mexico is expected to be swept away as deeper moisture moves across the region, opening the window for development."

If something does develop off the coast of Mexico in the coming days, it may bring slightly more impactful weather to the coast.

Depending on the exact track, there could be an increase in moisture to Hawaii when what is left of Hilda moves westward into early next week. This would likely only lead to a slight uptick in shower activity for the area.

While the East Pacific buzzes with activity, the Atlantic Ocean remains quiet, but AccuWeather forecasters say it may not remain devoid of activity for much longer.

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