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NASA sees Tropical Storm Norma kicking up surf in Mexico

Status Report From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Monday, September 18, 2017


NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Storm Norma when it was just 145 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, close enough to create rough ocean conditions and bring rain to Baja California.

Norma is so close to Baja California, Mexico that the storm is generating dangerous ocean conditions. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted "Swells generated by Norma are affecting portions of the coast of southwestern Mexico and Baja California Sur and will continue into Tuesday (Sept. 19). These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions."

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite flew over Norma on Sept. 17 at 5:42 p.m. EDT (2142 UTC) and captured a visible light image of the storm. The VIIRS image showed a strong thunderstorms and deep convection holding steady in Norma during the afternoon on Sept. 17. VIIRS showed a large curved band of thunderstorms in Norma's northwestern semicircle.

An animation of NOAA's GOES West satellite imagery from Sept. 15 at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 UTC) to Sept. 18 ending at 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 UTC) showed Hurricane Norma weaken and approach Baja California, Mexico and Tropical Depression 15E strengthening into Hurricane Otis to the west, over open ocean. NOAA manages the GOES series of satellites and the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. uses the data to create images and animations.

At 5 a.m. EDT (3 a.m. MDT/0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Norma was located near 21.4 degrees north latitude 21.4 and 111.8 degrees west longitude. That's about 160 miles (255 km) southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The estimated minimum central pressure was 1000 millibars.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 50 mph (85 kph) with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center. Norma is a small tropical cyclone, with one main curved band in the eastern semicircle and an easy-to-find center.

The National Hurricane Center said that some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Norma could become a tropical depression by Tuesday, Sept. 19. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Norma was moving toward the west-northwest near 5 mph (7 kph) and the National Hurricane Center expects that motion to continue through Tuesday, Sept. 19. On the forecast track, Norma should gradually move away from the coast of Baja California Sur.

For updates on Norma, visit: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

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