The National Hurricane Center has upgraded a disturbance in the eastern Pacific to a tropical depression and says an upgrade to Tropical Storm status could occur later today.
The area of disturbed weather that the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has been tracking for several days has developed enough organized convection near the center of circulation to be classified as a 30-kt tropical depression. According to the NHC, the depression is embedded within a good environment for intensification of low shear and high SSTs. Despite the environment, most of the computer forecast models meteorologists use to aid in their forecasting show only a very modest strengthening. The NHC forecast is a little more aggressive than the models and is above the intensity consensus. According to the latest update from the NHC, the depression is anticipated to become a tropical storm later today and reach hurricane status by Wednesday. Once it becomes a tropical storm, it will be named “Erick.”
Over the next several days, the storm will slowly approach the Hawaiian Islands. The depression is well embedded within the deep easterly flow south of a subtropical ridge and is moving westward at 16 kt. Since this steering flow pattern is not forecast to change much, the storm should continue on a general west or west-northwest track through the next 5 days, perhaps with a small decrease in forward speed.
At 5:00 AM HT / 11am ET, the center of the newly formed Tropical Depression Six-E was located near latitude 11.3 North, longitude 123.8 West. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb or 29.71 inches.