NASA sees Tropical Storm Dolores weakening

July 17, 2015

Hurricane Dolores weakened to a tropical storm early on July 17 as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead and gathered infrared information about the storm.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite showed cloud top temperatures in Dolores were as cold as -63F/-52C on July 17 at 5:47 a.m. EDT, around the center of circulation and a band of thunderstorms in the western quadrant. Most of the cloud tops around the edges of the storm were warmer, indicating they were lower in the atmosphere and likely weaker thunderstorms.

On July 17, 2015 at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Dolores was located near latitude 21.4 North, longitude 115.1 West. Dolores was moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 kph), and Dolores is expected to turn to the north-northwest by Sunday, July 19. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 70 mph (110 kph) and additional weakening is forecast during the next two days. The estimated minimum central pressure is 989 millibars.

As Dolores continues to pull away from Mexico, swells generated by the tropical storm are affecting portions of the coast of southwestern Mexico and the west coast of the Baja California peninsula. Those swells are expected to reach the coast of southern California later today, July 17 and on July 18.

The National Hurricane Center said that "steady weakening is expected to continue due to even colder water and an increase in vertical [wind] shear in about [2 days], and Dolores is likely to become a remnant low in a few days."

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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