Published September 05, 2013
As Tropical Depression Gabrielle weakens in the Atlantic, the Eastern Pacific is picking up pace.
Tropical Depression 12E strengthened into Tropical Storm Lorena Thursday afternoon off the west coast of Mexico.
It is the fourth system to form in the Eastern Pacific in roughly the same area this season, preceding Hurricane Erick and tropical storms Ivo and Juliette.
"It is unusual to have four storms form in such a short period of time," AccuWeather's Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski. "It is not unheard of, but unusual."
The storm has the potential to strengthen but, because it is so close to land, it will probably not strengthen quickly.
Upon its formation, rainfall was recorded in the western parts of the Mexican state of Jalisco and the southwestern parts of Nayarit. Some outer rain bands hit the city of Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco.
The center of the storm will remain offshore Thursday and Friday but can bring widespread rainfall to Jalisco and Colima.
Locally heavy rain of more than eight inches can induce major flash flooding and even mudslides. Additionally, rough surf and higher waves can be expected along the western coastline.
The storm is expected to approach the southern portions of Baja Peninsula sometime on Saturday and bring with it winds up to 35 mph or more.
In addition to heavy rain and strong winds, Lorena could also bring some moisture to the United States.
"Some moisture may get drawn into the southwestern U.S. this weekend," Kottlowski said.