NASA catches Tropical Depression Pilar hugging and soaking Mexico's coast

September 25, 2017, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
On Sept. 25 at 2:05 a.m. EDT (0605 UTC) the AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite showed some strong thunderstorms (purple) in Pilar, as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 Celsius) along the coast, producing heavy rainfall. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

Tropical Storm Pilar formed near the southwestern coast of Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 23 and continued hugging the coast when NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites passed overhead. Pilar weakened to a tropical depression during the late morning on Sept. 25.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible picture of Tropical Storm Pilar on Sept. 24 at 1:40 p.m. EDT (1740 UTC). At the time Pilar's center was just off the of southwestern Mexico and the 's clouds and showers extended over the Mexican states of Jalisco, western Zacatecas, southern Sinaloa and southern Durango.

An infrared image of Pilar was taken from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on Sept. 25 at 4:53 a.m. EDT (0853 UTC). AIRS measured cloud top temperatures with infrared light. The data showed some strong thunderstorms as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 Celsius) along the coast. NASA research has shown that storms with cloud tops that cold have the ability to produce heavy rainfall.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that although Pilar weakened to a depression (after Aqua passed overhead), those strong storms are expected to bring locally and flooding in the Mexican states of Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Durango.

The MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible picture of Tropical Storm Pilar on Sept. 24 at 1:40 p.m. EDT (1740 UTC). At the time Pilar's center was just off the coast of southwestern Mexico. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

At 9 a.m. MDT (11 a.m. EDT/1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Pilar was located near 22.8 degrees north latitude and 107.0 degrees west longitude. That's about 45 miles (75 km) southwest of Mazatlan, Mexico.

The is moving toward the north-northwest near 7 mph (11 kph) and this general motion is expected to continue for the next day or so until Pilar dissipates. On the forecast track, the center of Pilar is expected to remain just offshore of the coasts of the Mexican states of Nayarit and Sinaloa today.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast, and Pilar is expected to become a remnant low later today and dissipate by Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Explore further: NASA sees Tropical Depression Norma's small area of strength

Related Stories

NASA gets infrared look at Tropical Depression 21W

September 12, 2017

NASA's Aqua satellite measured cloud top temperatures in newly formed Tropical Depression 21W in the South China Sea and found a large area of strong thunderstorms around the center of circulation.

NASA sees development of Tropical Depression 19W

September 5, 2017

NASA's Aqua satellite looked at cloud top temperatures in Tropical Depression 19W as it developed just north of northern coast of Luzon, Philippines. Satellite imagery showed that the depression was already battling wind ...

NASA sees Hurricane Max make landfall and weaken

September 15, 2017

NASA's Aqua satellite captured in infrared-light image of Hurricane Max that showed the storm weakened quickly as it made landfall in southwestern Mexico. Max quickly degenerated into a large area of low pressure.

Recommended for you

Glacial moulin formation triggered by rapid lake drainage

January 18, 2018

Scientists are uncovering the mystery of how, where and when important glacial features called moulins form on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Moulins, vertical conduits that penetrate through the half-mile-deep ice, efficiently ...

0 comments

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.