Hurricane Lowell forecast to weaken
Lowell, a Category 1 hurricane packing 75 mph winds, continues to move toward the northwest about 815 miles southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, National Hurricane Center forecasters said Thursday.
Lowell, the 12th named storm of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, as of 11 a.m. Thursday was moving toward the northwest at 3 mph, forecasters said. Little change in strength is forecast on Thursday, followed by slow weakening, which is expected to continue through Saturday.
Hurricane force winds current extend outward up to 60 miles while tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles from Lowell’s center.
Forecasters are also monitoring a broad low pressure area featuring disorganized showers and thunderstorms located several hundred miles south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec. Environmental conditions are conducive for the low to become a tropical depression by Friday while it moves west-northwest around 10 mph.
Forecasters gave the system a 80 percent of formation during the next 48 hours and a 90 percent chance of forming into a tropical cyclone during the next five days.
National Hurricane Center officials in May predicted 14 to 20 named storms and seven to 11 hurricanes — including three to six major hurricanes — to form this year in the Eastern Pacific Basin. Overall, they gave the 2014 season a 50 percent chance of being above normal, 40 percent chance of being near-normal and a 10 percent chance of being below normal.
The Eastern Pacific averages 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes each year, according to the center.
The Eastern Pacific hurricane season began May 15 and ends Nov. 30.