Tropical Storm Pilar (30 Oct 2023)

As expected Tropical Depression Nineteen-E, off the Pacific Coast of Central America, has intensified enough to become Tropical Storm Pilar. The short version is that it is expected to stay just offshore and not become a hurricane, and therefore be rain event (noting those can cause a lot of damage) – but especially in light of what happened with Otis folks are nervous. Here are the details …

click to see full size.

Here is link to NHC’s official Key Messages regarding Tropical Storm Pilar. As discussed yesterday the thinking is still the storm will strengthen to just below hurricane strength, stalling for a day or so about 100 miles (160km) off of El Salvador, then be swept quickly out to sea. The stall and turn are critical for two reasons – first, obviously, that the storm stays offshore, and second, by slowing down the storm will cool the waters, thus choking off its own energy supply and preventing it from becoming a hurricane. So, as can be seen in the above graphic, any high winds should stay offshore. However, like most tropical storms, there will be a lot of rain. The US GFS model shows 10 to 15 inches ( 25 to 40 cm) of rain on the coast of El Salvador, with the band of over 5 inches (12cm) covering the coast from Guatemala to Nicaragua. Given the terrain of Central America that means a high risk flash flooding and mudslides. Here is a simplified overview using a parametric rain model:

Elsewhere not much going on, AL96 is an invest area off of The Bahamas that has a low chance of developing, and another disturbance approaching the Windward Islands has some chance for development, but might need watching in a week or so even if it does not develop, as it may bring more rain to Central America on the heels of Pilar. A big winter storm is developing that may impact Europe, more later in the week if warranted.

Leave a Reply