Tropical Storm Georgette (2010)

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Tropical Storm Georgette
Tropical storm (SSHWS/NWS)
Tropical Storm Georgette Sept 21 2010.jpg
Tropical Storm Georgette near landfall over Baja California on September 21.
FormedSeptember 20, 2010
DissipatedSeptember 23, 2010
Highest winds 1-minute sustained:40 mph (65 km/h)
Gusts:50 mph (85 km/h)
Lowest pressure999 mbar (hPa); 29.5 inHg
Fatalities1 indirect
Areas affected Baja California Sur, Sinaloa and Sonora
Part of the 2010 Pacific hurricane season

Tropical Storm Georgette was a short-lived tropical storm that struck the Baja California Sur in September 2010. Georgette originated from an area of disturbed weather over the eastern Pacific on September 20. The next day, the system was upgraded into a tropical storm a short distance south of Baja California Sur. As the storm moved over the peninsula, it weakened to a tropical depression. It continued north and as such made landfall on mainland Mexico on September 22. Georgette dissipated early the next day while located inland over Sonora. Although officials noted the threat for heavy rainfall across northwest Mexico and Baja California, damage was minimal and no deaths were reported in the country. However, remnant moisture moved into New Mexico, producing flooding that killed one person.

Baja California Sur State of Mexico

Baja California Sur, officially the Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California Sur, is the second-smallest Mexican state by population and the 31st admitted state of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, make up the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico.

Tropical cyclone Is a rotating storm system

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as "tropical cyclones" or "severe cyclonic storms".

Sonora State of Mexico

Sonora, officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora, is one of 31 states that, with Mexico City, comprise the 32 federal entities of United Mexican States. It is divided into 72 municipalities; the capital city is Hermosillo. Sonora is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south. To the north, it shares the U.S.–Mexico border with the states of Arizona and New Mexico, and on the west has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of California.


Meteorological history

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir-Simpson scale Georgette 2010 track.png
Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

The origins of Tropical Storm Georgette were from a tropical wave that moved off the west coast of Africa on September 1. Lacking organization, the wave was difficult to track as it moved across the Atlantic basin. Convection eventually increased on September 7, as the system approached the Lesser Antilles. On September 14, Hurricane Karl developed from the northern portion of the system over the western Caribbean Sea; however, the southern portion of the wave crossed northern Central America and entered the Pacific Ocean on September 17. [1] The area of disturbed weather was first mentioned on the National Hurricane Center (NHC) around that time, but signification development was initially not anticipated. [2] Wind shear was forecast to decrease slightly; however, and based on this the NHC gave the system a medium chance of undergoing tropical cyclogenesis during the next two days. [3]

Tropical wave type of atmospheric trough

Tropical waves, easterly waves, or tropical easterly waves, also known as African easterly waves in the Atlantic region, are a type of atmospheric trough, an elongated area of relatively low air pressure, oriented north to south, which moves from east to west across the tropics, causing areas of cloudiness and thunderstorms. West-moving waves can also form from the tail end of frontal zones in the subtropics and tropics, and may be referred to as easterly waves, but these waves are not properly called tropical waves; they are a form of inverted trough sharing many characteristics with fully tropical waves. All tropical waves form in the easterly flow along the equatorward side of the subtropical ridge or belt of high pressure which lies north and south of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Tropical waves are generally carried westward by the prevailing easterly winds along the tropics and subtropics near the equator. They can lead to the formation of tropical cyclones in the north Atlantic and northeastern Pacific basins. A tropical wave study is aided by Hovmöller diagrams, a graph of meteorological data.

Africa The second largest and second most-populous continent, mostly in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Atmospheric convection

Atmospheric convection is the result of a parcel-environment instability, or temperature difference layer in the atmosphere. Different lapse rates within dry and moist air masses lead to instability. Mixing of air during the day which expands the height of the planetary boundary layer leads to increased winds, cumulus cloud development, and decreased surface dew points. Moist convection leads to thunderstorm development, which is often responsible for severe weather throughout the world. Special threats from thunderstorms include hail, downbursts, and tornadoes.

Gradual development took place as convection consolidated around the center of circulation while located west of Sonora. During the afternoon of September 20, an area of low pressure developed within the system, prompting the NHC to classify it as a tropical depression. At this time, the depression was situated roughly 240 mi (390 km) south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas. Situated along the western edge of a subtropical ridge, the system was steered towards the north-northwest throughout its existence. [1]

Atmospheric circulation The large-scale movement of air, a process which distributes thermal energy about the Earths surface

Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of air, and together with ocean circulation is the means by which thermal energy is redistributed on the surface of the Earth.

Cabo San Lucas City in Baja California Sur, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, or simply Cabo, is a resort city at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. As of 2015, the population of the city was 81,111 inhabitants. Cabo San Lucas together with San José del Cabo is known as Los Cabos. Together they form a metropolitan area of 305,983 inhabitants.

Within hours of becoming a depression on September 20, strong wind shear caused convection to diminish. However, data from an ASCAT scatterometer pass revealed that the system attained gale-force winds, resulting in the depression being upgraded to a tropical storm on 0000 UTC September 21. [1] Operationally, the first advisory on storm was not issued until 1200 UTC, where it was named Georgette. Meanwhile, thunderstorm activity increased near the center of the storm. [4] Little change took place throughout the day as the storm approached Baja California Sur. Around 1800  UTC, Georgette made landfall near San Jose del Cabo with winds of 40 mph (65 km/h). Additionally, a barometric pressure of 999  mbar (hPa; 29.5  inHg) was measured. Shortly before entering the Gulf of California, Georgette weakened to a tropical depression. Maintaining winds of 35 mph (55 km/h), the storm later made a second landfall near San Carlos in Sonora. Shortly after moving inland, the low-level circulation dissipated over the mountains of western Mexico. [1]

A scatterometer or diffusionmeter is a scientific instrument to measure the return of a beam of light or radar waves scattered by diffusion in a medium such as air. Diffusionmeters using visible light are found in airports or along roads to measure horizontal visibility. Radar scatterometers use radio or microwaves to determine the normalized radar cross section of a surface. They are often mounted on weather satellites to find wind speed and direction, and are used in industries to analyze the roughness of surfaces.

Coordinated Universal Time Primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time

Coordinated Universal Time is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time. It is within about 1 second of mean solar time at 0° longitude, and is not adjusted for daylight saving time. In some countries where English is spoken, the term Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is often used as a synonym for UTC and predates UTC by nearly 300 years.

Bar (unit) non-SI unit of pressure

The bar is a metric unit of pressure, but is not approved as part of the International System of Units (SI). It is defined as exactly equal to 100,000 Pa, which is slightly less than the current average atmospheric pressure on Earth at sea level.

Preparations and impact

Rainfall from Georgette in western Mexico Georgette 2010 rainfall.gif
Rainfall from Georgette in western Mexico

Prior to the arrival of Georgette, the Mexican government issued a tropical storm warning for extreme southern Baja California Sur., [5] but was dropped when Georgette moved inland. [1] Officials warned rural areas in Baja California Sur of heavy rain and high wind. [6] Forecasters at the NHC noted the potential for up to 10 in (25 mm) of rainfall, especially over the higher terrain. The forecasters also noted potential for deadly flooding and mudslides. [5] Officials evacuated over 1,000 families from floodplains and opened four shelters in Los Cabos. [7]

Rain liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then precipitated

Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then become heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth. It provides suitable conditions for many types of ecosystems, as well as water for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation.

Wind Flow of gases or air on a large scale

Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On the surface of the Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. In outer space, solar wind is the movement of gases or charged particles from the Sun through space, while planetary wind is the outgassing of light chemical elements from a planet's atmosphere into space. Winds are commonly classified by their spatial scale, their speed, the types of forces that cause them, the regions in which they occur, and their effect. The strongest observed winds on a planet in the Solar System occur on Neptune and Saturn. Winds have various aspects, an important one being its velocity ; another the density of the gas involved; another its energy content or wind energy. Wind is also a great source of transportation for seeds and small birds; with time things can travel thousands of miles in the wind.

Flood Overflow of water that submerges land that is not normally submerged

A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide. Floods are an area of study of the discipline hydrology and are of significant concern in agriculture, civil engineering and public health.

In Sonora, the state's civil protection committee placed the south portion of the state under an "orange" alert, [8] and a "red" alert soon after; the alert was lifted that same evening, after Georgette moved inland. [9] A total of 52 shelters were opened in the Cajeme municipality. [10] In Guaymas, 300 people from the city and surrounding areas were placed in shelters; 250 more people sought shelter from Georgette in Empalme. [11] Schools in Bahía Kino and coastal areas of the Hermosillo Municipality suspended classes as a precaution. [12] Classes resumed statewide on September 23. [13]

Cajeme is one of the municipalities of the northwestern state of Sonora, Mexico. It is named after Cajemé, a Yaqui leader. The municipality has an area of 3,312.05 km² and with a population of 433,050 inhabitants as of 2015.

Empalme is a city surrounded by a municipality located on the south-central coast of the Mexican state of Sonora. According to the 2005 census the population of the city was 40,630 inhabitants, while the municipality, which has an area of 708.53 km², reported 50,663 inhabitants. Except for its coastline on the Gulf of California, the municipality is entirely surrounded by the much larger municipality of Guaymas.

Bahía Kino village in Sonora

Bahía de Kino is a town in the Mexican state of Sonora, Hermosillo (municipality), on the Sea of Cortez ; it was named after Eusebio Kino. The name also applies to the adjacent bay between Tiburón Island and Punta San Nicolás, Sonora. The names Bahía de Kino, Bahía Kino and Kino Bay are used interchangeably.

Georgette caused the heaviest rains on Baja California Sur in the last 15 years, leaving many people homeless. [14] Georgette also produced high waves. The tropical cyclone worsened Mexico's flooding problem which started when Hurricane Karl made landfall several days earlier. [15] A peak rainfall total of 5.9 in (150 mm) fell in Todos Santos. [16] Throughout Sonora, rainfall up to 4.7 in (120 mm) triggered flooding that damaged 220 homes. [17] Georgette caused 2.61 in (66 mm) of rainfall in Guaymas [9] Flooding was reported in several places (Empalme, Etchojoa, Navojoa, Guaymas, Los Mochis), causing 500,000 people to be evacuated. [1] Heavy runoff caused inflows of 18,000 cu ft/s (510 m3/s) into El Novillo Dam, forcing the Comisión Nacional del Agua, the local water authorities, to release water from the dam. [18]

Moisture from the system combined with an approaching trough to produce heavy rainfall and thunderstorms across New Mexico. A total of 6.42 in (163 mm) was reported in Gladstone. [19] The rains caused flooding that killed a person along the Rio Grande near Carnuel. [20]

See also

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