Celia now in the Major Leagues: a category three hurricane

Jun 24, 2010
This GOES-13 satellite image from June 23 captured Hurricane Celia (left) and Tropical Storm Darby (right) and sunglint (in the western Caribbean Sea). Credit: NASA GOES Project

Tropically speaking Celia is in the Major Leagues. She's now a Category Three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale and classified as the Eastern Pacific's first major hurricane. That's quite a "batting average" for also being that season's first hurricane. The other storms that formed before her in the Eastern Pacific didn't make it to hurricane status.

Both Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, GOES-11 (west) and GOES-13 (east) captured visible images of Hurricane Celia and Tropical Storm Darby in the Eastern Pacific on June 23, and Celia's eye was visible in them.

At 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) on June 24, Hurricane Celia's were near 115 mph (185 km/hr) with higher gusts. force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

She was located in the open waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean near latitude 12.5 north and longitude 113.9 west. Minimum central pressure is 962 millibars. Celia is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/hr) and a turn toward the west-northwest is expected over the next couple of days. Some additional strengthening is possible later today, followed by gradual weakening on Friday.

Celia's eye has appeared to be "blinking" over the last couple of days because it has been visible in some satellite imagery, then not visible. This morning, June 24, sees the open eye again.

Although the upper level winds appear favorable to keep Celia going, she's moving into cooler sea surface temperatures near 26-27 Celsius (78-80 Fahrenheit) and cooler as she continues tracking farther into open waters. Tropical cyclones require sea surface temperatures at least near 80 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain their intensity, so Celia will start weakening soon because one of her "power sources" (warm water) will be removed. Those cooler waters will send Celia back into the "minor leagues" by the weekend.

Explore further: Sea-level surge at Antarctica linked to icesheet loss

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Baja California residents watching for Hurricane Rick

Oct 16, 2009

Based on computer forecast models, the residents of southern and central Baja California should prepare over the weekend for now Tropical Storm Rick. Rick formed late yesterday, October 15, and is expected ...

Recommended for you

Aging Africa

Aug 29, 2014

In the September issue of GSA Today, Paul Bierman of the University of Vermont–Burlington and colleagues present a cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southernmost Africa ...

NASA animation shows Hurricane Marie winding down

Aug 29, 2014

NOAA's GOES-West satellite keeps a continuous eye on the Eastern Pacific and has been covering Hurricane Marie since birth. NASA's GOES Project uses NOAA data and creates animations and did so to show the end of Hurricane ...

EU project sails off to study Arctic sea ice

Aug 29, 2014

A one-of-a-kind scientific expedition is currently heading to the Arctic, aboard the South Korean icebreaker Araon. This joint initiative of the US and Korea will measure atmospheric, sea ice and ocean properties with technology ...

User comments : 0