a. Synoptic History
The formation of Tropical Storm
Javier was likely associated with a tropical wave that emerged
from the west coast of Africa on 22 August, and which gave rise on its northern part to the development of
Atlantic Hurricane Danielle a few days later. The southern part of the wave
remained relatively inactive and difficult to track during its westward passage across the Atlantic basin and
Central America. Extrapolation of the wave's track places that feature in the vicinity of Acapulco on 3-4 September,
and it is in that vicinity that deep convection then began to develop.
Javier appears to have been initiated during the passage of the wave through a broad area of
low pressure and monsoon-like low-level cyclonic flow that occurs episodically to the immediate southwest of
Mexico. The disturbance became better defined on satellite pictures by 5 September and the first
Dvorak technique T-numbers for the system were assigned that day
when the system was centered about 150 n mi off the coast. Surface pressures in the area were then as low as 1000-1005 mb.
Although the disturbance was
initially moving toward the northwest at about 10 kt, steering currents weakened and the system slowly
meandered for the next 10 days in the area between Manzanillo, Socorro Island, and Cabo San Lucas
(Fig. 1 [18K GIF]).
Deep convection became organized and persistent enough for Javier to be designated as a
tropical depression on the 6th and a tropical storm the following day
(Table 1 and Fig. 1). The storm formed in
an environment of easterly to northeasterly vertical wind shear and this pattern likely limited development.
Banding features never became especially prominent in Javier and the storm's maximum intensity, about
50 kt, is estimated to have coincided with a burst of thunderstorm activity over
the cyclone center on the 8th (Figs. 2
[16K GIF] and 3 [17K GIF]). That convective pattern was short-lived,
however, and the low-level cloud center became mostly exposed from
the diminshing deep convection early on
the 9th. Although spots of deep convection occasionally reappeared, Javier is believed to have slowly
weakened through the 11th. At times, it became difficult to distinguish it from the broader area of disturbed
weather that persisted over the tropical eastern Pacific.
A brief resurgence of thunderstorms occurred near the circulation center on the 12th and
observations from a nearby ship indicate that Javier briefly returned to tropical storm strength, with maximum
winds near 45 kt. Convection again became sporadic and the system had
weakened back to a tropical depression when it drifted ashore about 30 n mi south-southeast of Cabo
Corrientes on the 14th. It dissipated later that day over land.
b. Meteorological Statistics
Table 1 provides the post-storm analysis of
"best track" location and intensity estimates for
Javier. Figures 2 and 3
show the storm's estimated central pressure and maximum one-minute wind speed,
respectively, versus time and the associated satellite and surface data. Data from an overpass of the ERS-2
near 0000 UTC on 10 September was also helpful in analyzing the cyclone. Position and intensity estimates
from satellite pictures were provided by the Air Force Weather Agency
(AFGWC in figures), NOAA Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB) and NOAA
Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB).
There were no surface observations of tropical storm force winds received from land sites. The
ship 3EMJ6 reported winds of 39 kt and 44 kt at 1900 and 2100 UTC,
respectively, on the 12th, within about 25 n mi of the center.
An observation of 1000.6 mb and westerly winds of 27 knots at Socorro Island, 90 n mi from
the center of the cyclone, were used operationally by the NHC to help establish when the system reached
tropical storm strength.
c. Casualty and Damage Statistics
The NHC is not aware of damages or casualties incurred from Javier.
d. Forecast and Warning Critique
There were too few forecasts of the tropical storm stages to provide meaningful information at
forecast periods up to 36 hours, and no such forecasts at 48 hours and 72 hours. Some track errors for 2-3
day forecasts of the tropical depression stages were rather large because the NHC and its model guidance did
not predict well the eventual southeastward and then eastward motion seen in Fig. 1.
The NHC discontinued advisories for Javier late on 11 September, prior to the fleeting flare-up
of convection and accompanying ship report of tropical storm force winds about a day later. Table 1 provides
an extension of the best track based on that information and subsequent analyses.
While watches and warnings were neither issued nor necessary for this cyclone, public
advisories issued by the NHC did contain cautionary statements for small craft along coastal areas of Mexico
adjacent to the storm.