Tropical Storm Adrian forms in Eastern Pacific, threatens Central America

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Image of Tropical Storm Adrian On May 18, 17:45 UTC; animation.

Tropical Storm Adrian, the first named storm of the 2005 Pacific hurricane season, formed 440 miles (710 km) southwest of Guatemala and El Salvador on Tuesday. The storm is expected to track northeast towards Central America.

The government of El Salvador has upgraded the tropical storm watch to a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch for all of El Salvador. A tropical storm watch remains in effect for the entire Pacific coast of Guatemala. The government of Honduras has issued a tropical storm watch for the Pacific coast of Honduras, including the Gulf of Fonseca.

As of 11 am Pacific Time on Thursday, it was moving northeast at 9 mph (15 km/h) with maximum sustained wind speeds of 75 mph (120 km/h), with gusts at higher speeds. It is expected to strengthen slightly, possibly becoming a minimal hurricane at landfall.

The current location of the center of the storm is 12.6° N, 90.6° W; about 120 miles (195 km) southwest of San Salvador, El Salvador.

Additional strengthening is expected over the next 24 hours. Outer rain-bands containing gusty winds and locally heavy rainfall are already affecting the coastal areas of Guatemala, and should begin affecting El Salvador tonight.

Rainfall accumulation of 6 to 10 inches, with isolated higher amounts of up to 20 inches in the mountains, can be expected in association with Adrian. This system also has the potential to produce torrential rainfall over other portions of Central America during the next few days, triggering flash flooding and mudslides. Storm surge flooding of 2 to 4 feet above normal tide level is possible near and to the east of where the center makes landfall.

Meteorologists expect the storm to be in the Caribbean by Friday.