The Central Pacific now has unwrapped their first tropical storm since 1997. Tropical Storm Omeka formed in the Central Pacific Ocean near the International Dateline and the GOES-11 satellite captured an image of it today.
Tropical storm Omeka, also known as 01C (for Central), was born this morning, December 20 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST). It has maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (52 mph) and was moving northeast at 14 mph. It is located about 505 miles south of Midway Island near 20.9 North and 178.2 West. That’s about 1,200 miles west of Kauai, Hawaii. Omeka is no threat to land areas as it continues to spin through the Central Pacific.
In December, tropical systems have formed in the central Pacific but it’s a rare occurrence. The last time it happened was 13 years ago in 1997 when Typhoon Paka formed. Omeka is different than Paka, however, because Omeka came from an extra-tropical low that was near 35 degrees north latitude about a week ago and became tropical. The broadness of the feature has far reaching affects, as far as 1200 miles away.
Omeka is forecast to move north into harsh atmospheric conditions (strong wind shear) that are expected to weaken it and cause its dissipation within a couple of days.