The eastern Pacific may see its first tropical system this week, kicking off the 2017 hurricane season in that basin. If a tropical depression forms before Friday, it would become the earliest tropical cyclone to form in the northeast Pacific in the satellite era. This record is currently held by Alma in 1990.
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A broad area of low pressure has formed a few hundred miles off the coast of Central America, which has been dubbed Invest 90E by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). This is a naming convention used to identify features that have a chance of developing into a future tropical depression or storm.
According to the NHC, Invest 90E has a high chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm in the next couple of days as it moves northwestward.
Water temperatures south of El Salvador and Guatemala are in the low to mid-80s, which is favorable for thunderstorms to grow as the disturbance moves overhead this week.
In addition, the broad area of low pressure is located in an area with low wind shear, which could foster gradual development over the next day or two.
This potential system is anticipated to remain just offshore from Central America while traveling parallel to the coast through the end of this week. Eventually, it may curl back toward the coastline of southern Mexico and Central America. However, there are differences regarding the track and intensity of this system among the computer models, which will make a difference in what, if any, impacts to expect on the coast.
Adrian will be the name given to the first tropical storm of the 2017 season in the eastern Pacific.
The eastern Pacific season begins May 15, which is about a half-month earlier than the Atlantic season. The earlier start date is due to warmer waters and typically weaker wind shear earlier in the season as compared to the Atlantic.
Although the majority of the hurricanes and tropical storms that form in the eastern Pacific move away from land and are only a concern to shipping interests, the weather patterns at the beginning and end of the season are more conducive to these systems potentially affecting Mexico and the southwestern U.S.
The following names will be used for named storms that form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean during 2017. Retired names, if any, will be announced by the World Meteorological Organization in the spring of 2018. The names not retired from this list will be used again in the 2023 season. This is the same list used in the 2011 season.