NASA sees Tropical Storm Polo intensifying
Tropical storm warnings now issued for a portion of the Southwestern coast of Mexico as Polo continues to strengthen. Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed powerful thunderstorms around the center of the storm.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in force for the southwest coast of Mexico from Punta San Telmo to Playa Perula. A Tropical Storm Watch is in force from Punta San Telmo to Zihuatanejo and from Playa Perula to Cabo Corrientes. Rainfall totals of 5 to 10, locally up to 15 inches, can be expected over coastal areas of Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco states in Mexico. Life-threatening flash-floods and mudslides could result. Dangerous ocean swells from the tropical storm are expected to affect the coast of southern Mexico also causing rip-tides.
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Polo on Sept. 17 at 4:59 a.m. EDT and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument captured infrared data on the storm revealing bands of strong thunderstorms north and south of the center.
At 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 17, Polo's maximum sustained winds increased to near 60 mph (95 kph) and the storm is expected to become a hurricane tonight or early Thursday. The center of Tropical Storm Polo was located near latitude 15.7 north. and longitude 102.4 west. Polo is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 kph) and this motion is expected to continue for the next two days. The National Hurricane Center noted that on the forecast track the core of Polo will remain offshore of and move parallel to the southwestern coast of Mexico. However, any deviation could bring stronger winds to the coast.
Polo is forecast to become a hurricane in a day or two.