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Tropical Storm Raymond
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Tropical Storm Raymond

October 30, 2013
Low pressure system 96E developed into Tropical Storm Raymond over the Pacific Ocean on the weekend of October 19-20, 2013 before growing into a powerful Category 3 hurricane on October 21.

NASA’s Terra satellite flew over Raymond on October 20 at 1800 UTC (2:00 p.m. EDT) when it was a tropical storm off the coast of southwestern Mexico, allowing the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument to capture this true-color image. Clouds associated with Raymond’s northern quadrant were streaming over mainland Mexico at that time, although the poorly defined center remained well over open water. Six hours later, Raymond reached hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h).

On October 21, hurricane warnings and watches were in effect as Raymond brought heavy rains, gusty winds and rough seas to western Mexico. At 8:00 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), Hurricane Raymond's maximum sustained winds were around 120 mph (195 km/h) making it a major hurricane. A "major hurricane" is a storm reaching Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale that measures hurricane intensity. At that time, Raymond's center was located near latitude 16.2 north and longitude 102.3 west, about 115 mi (185 km) south-southwest of Zihuatanejo, Mexico and the storm was crawling northward at 2 mph (4 km/h). Late in the day the one-minute maximum sustained winds peaked at 125 mph (201 km/h) before Raymond began a steady weakening as it hovered over the ocean south of Mexico.

The storm retained a weakening hurricane status until October 23, when winds fell to 60 mph (97 km/h) and Raymond returned to Tropical Storm status. Weakening continued until October 27-28, when the storm turned away from Mexico and began to travel westward into warmer waters with less wind shear. The more favorable conditions reinvigorated the storm briefly, bringing the one-minute maximum sustained winds to 105 mph (169 km/h), and returning Hurricane Raymond to Category 2 status on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.

On October 28, the storm had once again run into considerable wind shear and began to weaken as it trekked westward to open waters and away from land. At 1500 UTC (11:00 a.m. EDT) on October 29 the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that the center of Tropical Storm Raymond was located near 18.3 N latitude and 116. W longitude and maximum sustained winds had decreased to near 50 mph (85 km/h). The storm was turning towards the north-northwest and slowing forward motion over open water, with no hazards to land. Additional weakening was forecast, and Raymond is predicted to become a remnant low within 24 – 48 hours.

Although a major storm, Raymond’s impacts on Mexico proved minimal for the storm’s strength. With the center remaining off shore and moving slowly, the rain bands reached over southwestern Mexico, bringing heavy rain to much of the region. Flooding and minor landslides were reported near Acapulco, and the school and port were closed for a time in that city during the worst of the rains.

Credits: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC



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