AccuWeather reports the third tropical depression of the year formed Wednesday south of Mexico and strengthened Thursday into Tropical Storm Carlos.
A track toward the north is expected to continue through Friday night. This track will be over very warm ocean waters and light to moderate wind shear which will allow Carlos to strengthen further and likely become a hurricane on Saturday.
The current forecast track of Carlos is for a turn to the northwest Saturday, then continuing on this track into early next week. This track would keep the strengthening storm from making landfall in Mexico; however, Carlos will pass close enough to the coast that heavy rainfall will be possible for areas within 50 miles of the Mexico coastline.
Even though the Carlos will be strengthening, it will remain far enough offshore to limit any damaging wind threat. The main threat will continue to be flooding rainfall with areas from Acapulco to Manzanillo in the highest threat zone.
While continuing on a northwest track next week, the Carlos will encounter cooler waters as it moves south of Baja California. Much like Blanca, these cooler waters will act to weaken the cyclone significantly prior to a potential landfall in Baja California. It is also possible that Carlos weakens over the open waters of the Eastern Pacific with no impacts to southern Baja California.
There remains a small chance instead of turning to the northwest, a track to the north would continue leading the storm directly into southern Mexico, somewhere near Acapulco this weekend.
This scenario, while not expected, would bring locally damaging winds and widespread flooding to much of Guerrero and Oaxaca states, along with the threat for mudslides due to the rugged terrain of the region. The storm would weaken rapidly over southern Mexico if landfall were to occur; however, several days of heavy rain would impact the region.
Anyone living in or traveling to areas from southern Mexico to Baja California should closely monitor the movement of this tropical threat over the next few days.