a. Synoptic History
Tropical Storm Elida formed from a tropical wave
that generated a small area of deep convection between 10-15N nearly every
day on its crossing of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea from 16-26
August 1996. The convection became more concentrated on the 30th of August over the
eastern North Pacific Ocean a few hundred miles to
the south-southwest of Acapulco. Dvorak technique
T-numbers reached 2.0 that day and it is estimated that the system became a
tropical depression at 1200 UTC on the 30th.
During its one week lifespan, the
decelerated from 13 kt to 2 kt and moved toward the northwest,
except for a 24-hour period of erratic movement when the
was located just east of Socorro Island on 2 September
(Table 1, Fig. 1 [34K GIF]).
Bands of thunderstorms became more prominent and, despite some northeasterly
wind shear, the depression became Tropical Storm
Elida on the 2nd. Elida reached its estimated peak intensity of 55 kt
on the night of the 3rd-4th while centered about 100 n mi west-southwest of the
southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. Elida's subsequent
progression into colder waters led to gradual weakening, a final
disappearance of deep convection on the afternoon of the 5th and,
on the 6th, dissipation of the surface circulation.
b. Meteorological Statistics
Figures 2 (25K GIF) and
3 (27K GIF)
show Elida's estimated central pressure and maximum one-minute wind speed,
respectively, versus time. Position and intensity estimates from satellite
pictures were provided by the NOAA
Synoptic Analysis Branch (SAB) and
Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB), and by the
Air Force Global Weather Central (AFGWC).
Surface observations supplemented the satellite data. There were
no reports of sustained surface winds as high as 34 knots.
c. Casualty and Damage Statistics
No reports of casualties or damages were received.
d. Forecast and Warning Critique
Table 2 lists track forecast error statistics.
For the limited sample, the official track errors were a little lower than the NHC
average forecast errors in this basin.
The government of Mexico issued a
tropical storm warning for the
Baja California peninsula from Cabo San Lazaro southward at 2100
UTC on the 3rd. The warning was discontinued at 0600 UTC on the
5th, when the threat to the peninsula ended.