The origins of Tropical Depression Three-E can be traced back to a tropical wave that exited the west coast of Africa on 3 July. The wave moved westward across the tropical Atlantic at 15 to 20 knots for several days and began to accelerate, to near 25 knots, when it approached the eastern Caribbean Sea on the 7th. On the 8th, one to two mb pressure falls over 24 hours were reported in portions of the Lesser Antilles. On 10 July, the tropical wave, then well-defined, entered the western Caribbean Sea and showed signs of improving organization. A U.S. Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft was sent to investigate the system and reconnaissance data revealed a low pressure center of 1006 mb over the northeastern tip of Honduras. Although the system's proximity to land precluded further development, heavy rains and strong gusty winds were produced over portions of the northwest Caribbean Sea and Central America, especially Honduras and Nicaragua.
The wave and associated area of low pressure moved over Central America and eastern Mexico on the 11th and 12th and emerged into the eastern Pacific Ocean on 13 July. The system became better organized later on the 13th, and is estimated to have become a tropical depression around 1200 UTC 14 July while centered about 250 n mi west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico (see Table 1). The system moved on a general west-northwest track most of the 14th before turning to a more westerly heading early on 15th. The depression dissipated around midday of 15th, while located about 400 n mi southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The best track of Tropical Depression Three-E is shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Best track positions for Tropical Depression Three-E, 14-15 July 1999
Table 1. Best Track, Tropical Depression Three-E, 14-15 July 1999. Date/Time
Stage Lat. (°N) Lon. (°W) 14/0600 16.8 107.4 1008 30 Tropical Depression 14/1200 17.3 109.0 1007 30 " 14/1800 17.7 110.4 1008 30 " 15/0000 18.0 111.7 1008 30 " 15/0600 17.9 113.0 1008 25 " 15/1200 17.7 114.1 1008 25 " 15/1800 17.5 115.1 1009 20 Dissipating 14/1200 17.3 109.0 1007 30 Minimum Pressure