Tropical Storm Karina forms in Eastern Pacific near Socorro Island

August 14, 2014 by Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
This GOES-West satellite image from August 13 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) captured newborn Tropical Storm Karina approaching Socorro Island in the Eastern Pacific. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

Socorro Island in the Eastern Pacific received an unwelcome tropical visitor on the morning of August 13 when satellite data confirmed the formation of Tropical Storm Karina.

Karina strengthened from the eleventh in the Eastern Pacific. Tropical Depression 11-E formed at 11 p.m. EDT on August 12. Just twelve hours later at 11 a.m. EDT, the depression had become better organized and winds increased to strength.

NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an infrared image of newborn Tropical Storm Karina approaching Socorro Island in the Eastern Pacific on August 13 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT). The GOES image was created by the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Forecaster Stewart at NOAA's National Hurricane Center noted that deep convection has continued to increase with cloud tops of -80C to -84C (-112F to -119.2F) just west of the low-level center. Infrared data is used to help determine cloud top temperatures. One of NASA's instruments that analyze tropical cyclones is the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite.

In August 13 at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT/1500 UTC) the center of Tropical Storm Karina was located near latitude 17.2 north and longitude 111.0 west. That's about 110 miles (180 km) south of Socorro Island. Socorro is a small volcanic island and is part of Mexico's Revillagigedo Islands. It is located about 370 miles (600 km) west of mainland Mexico.

Karina's maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph (65 kph) and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects strengthening over the next two days as it moves west. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 millibars.

Despite the that is currently affecting the system, it still managed to strengthen and organize into a tropical storm. The National Hurricane Center forecast calls for that wind shear to slowly subside over the next 4 to 5 days while the Karina remains over warm of 28-29C, so steady intensification appears likely. NHC expects Karina to reach hurricane strength on August 16.

Explore further: Satellite view of a hyperactive Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean

Related Stories

NASA sees Tropical Storm Hernan near Mexico's Baja California

July 28, 2014

Tropical Storm Hernan developed over this past weekend and reached hurricane strength before vertical wind shear kicked in and kicked the storm down. NASA's Terra satellite passed over Hernan when it was developing as a tropical ...

NASA satellite paints a triple hurricane Pacific panorama

August 6, 2014

In three passes over the Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean, NASA's Terra satellite took pictures of the three current tropical cyclones, painting a Pacific Tropical Panorama. Terra observed Hurricane Genevieve, Hurricane ...

Tropical Storm Genevieve forms in Eastern Pacific

July 25, 2014

The seventh tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean formed and quickly ramped up to a tropical storm named "Genevieve." NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an infrared image of the newborn storm being trailed by ...

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.