An area of disturbed weather, labeled Invest 90E by the United States Navy, could become the first tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Eastern North Pacific in the month of April and the first in the Northern Hemisphere of 2020. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is currently monitoring this system for tropical cyclone development, and has labeled the system as having a high chance (80 percent) of becoming a tropical depression within the next 48 hours. As of 18:00 UTC April 24, Invest 90E was located near 12.7°N and 114.8°W. Maximum sustained winds were 25 kt (30 mph), and the minimum barometric pressure was 1007 millibars. Environmental conditions are conducive for further development of this system, and it could become a tropical depression within the next 48 hours or so before environmental conditions become less favorable on Sunday. If this system becomes a tropical storm, it will receive the name Amanda, which is first on the predetermined list of names to be used this year in this basin.
Potential Track and Intensity
Numerical Weather Models are in good agreement that Invest 90E will track generally northwestward over the open waters of the Northeastern Pacific Ocean. Both the GFS and ECMWF ensemble members show a generally northwestward track through Sunday, followed by a turn to the west Sunday night through Monday morning as the system moves over cooler waters and into a less favorable environment. None of the ensemble members show any significant intensification, although sea surface temperatures and atmospheric conditions could support some strengthening. The GFS and ECMWF Global models indicate more intensification than their respective ensembles, with both bringing the disturbance to tropical storm status on Saturday. Regardless of development, this system will remain over the open waters of the Northeastern Pacific Ocean and poses no threat to land within the next few days.
An Historical Anomaly
Since the advent of reliable record-keeping of tropical cyclones in the Eastern North Pacific in 1949, no tropical cyclone has ever developed within the bounds of the region during the month of April. The earliest tropical cyclone on record in the Eastern North Pacific occurred just three years ago, when Tropical Storm Adrian briefly developed off the coast of Central America on May 9, 2017. The following year, pre-season Tropical Depression One-E developed over the open waters of the Eastern North Pacific on May 10, 2018. Only four other tropical cyclones, Tropical Storm Alma in 1984, Hurricane Alma in 1990, Tropical Storm One-E in 1996, and Tropical Storm Aletta in 2012, have developed before the official start of the Eastern North Pacific hurricane season. If the disturbance develops into a tropical depression, it would become the earliest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Eastern North Pacific, and by a significant margin. The 2020 Eastern North Pacific hurricane season officially begins on May 15, and will run through November 30.