An area of low pressure that was being monitored closely over the last few days has strengthened from a tropical depression into the sixth named tropical storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season in the Bay of Campeche, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported Sunday evening (Aug. 25).
Tropical Storm Fernand was located about 25 miles east of Veracruz, Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. It was moving off to the west at 9 mph.
The storm formed as a tropical depression late Sunday afternoon and was upgraded during the early evening.
"An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft investigating Tropical Depression Six this late afternoon found flight-level winds and SFMR (Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer) surface winds that support an initial intensity of at least 40 kt," said Stacy R. Stewart, senior hurricane specialist at the NHC.
Stewart says overall atmospheric and oceanic conditions are favorable for some additional strengthening right up until Fernand
makes landfall along the coast of Mexico in the state of Veracruz in about 12 hours.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Gulf Coast of Mexico from Veracruz northward to Tampico. This system poses no threat to the U.S. Gulf Coast region.
The Atlantic basin is in its most active period for tropical storms and hurricanes leading up to the peak of the season in early September.
With six named storms down so far, the NHC expects at least seven to 13 more including six to nine hurricanes before the season ends on Nov. 30.