Tropical depression dissipates, impacts Mexico

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tropical Depression One-E, the first tropical system of the 2009 Eastern Pacific hurricane season, was declared dissipated by the National Hurricane Center at 5 pm PDT yesterday, but its remnants continue to impact Mexico. Ahead of the storm, advisories were posted for coastal areas. Shelters were prepared, but because the storm never broke tropical depression status, they were not opened.

A satellite image of the depression

Although it was a weak storm, it managed to drop heavy rainfall—measured in inches—and spawn gusty winds. Thousands of residents in the Mazatlán region were left in the dark, while several trees were downed throughout the city.

Numerous small villages were flooded, forcing the evacuation of some residents. Structures were also damaged. To assist in cleanup efforts, members of the Mexican army were deployed throughout Sinaloa. On some major roadways, landslides resulted in traffic accidents.

NOAA predicts the upcoming Pacific hurricane season will be below average, with 13 to 18 named storms, of which 6 to 10 are expected to become hurricanes. They define a "normal" season as having 15.3 named storms, with 8.8 hurricanes.

TD 1-E marked the earliest date in the year that a tropical cyclone had impacted the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Usually, such storms don't strike the area until August.