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NASA sees the short life of Tropical Depression John

Tropical Storm John had about one day of fame in the Eastern Pacific. Born Tropical Depression 10, it intensified into Tropical Storm John on Sept. 2 at 5 a.m. EDT and maintained maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kmh) until it weakened back into a depression on Monday, Sept. 3 at 11 p.m. EDT.

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over John on Sept. 3 at 2041 UTC (4:41 p.m. EDT) during its brief time as a tropical storm and noticed convection (rising air that forms thunderstorms that make up the storm) and coldest cloud top temperatures seemed to be limited to the northeastern and southwestern quadrants of the storm. As John continued to move north into cooler waters the convection tapered off, and the development of strong thunderstorms diminished.

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over John on Sept. 3 at 2041 UTC (4:41 p.m. EDT) during its brief time as a tropical storm and noticed the strongest convection (purple) and coldest cloud top temperatures seemed to be limited to the northeastern and southwestern quadrants of the storm.

Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

By Tuesday, September 04, 2012 at 2 a.m. EDT, there was no sign of strong convection in John and the storm had become "a swirl of low- to mid-level clouds," according to the National Hurricane Center.

At 11 a.m. EDT today, Tropical Depression John's maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph (55 kmh) and the storm is weakening. It was centered about 420 miles (620 km) west of the southernmost tip of Baja California, near 23.5 North and 116.5 West. John was moving to the northwest near 14 mph (22 kmh) and is expected to keep moving in that general direction while slowing over the cooler waters.

John's fame is fleeting as the tropical depression is expected to become a remnant area of low pressure later today, Sept. 4.

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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