Tropical Storm Ingrid made landfall on the eastern coast of Mexico Monday morning, though its intensity had decreased from its Category 1 hurricane status.
“Tropical Storm Ingrid became the second Atlantic hurricane of the 2013 season with winds of 75 mph on September 14—more than two weeks (18 days) later than the usual appearance of the second hurricane of a season,” said Dr. Tim Doggett, senior principal scientist at catastrophe modeller AIR Worldwide.
“By the end of that day, Ingrid’s wind speeds had increased to 85 mph. Identified as a tropical depression only two days earlier, the storm had moved slowly across the Bay of Campeche, but in a very moist environment. These conditions brought heavy rains to Mexico’s east coast near Tampico even before Ingrid approached landfall.”
The situation was exacerbated as Tropical Cyclone Manuel made landfall on Sunday as a tropical storm, AIR reported. That storm weakened after making landfall almost directly opposite to where Ingrid was expected to make landfall, Doggett said.
“However, it may have been upper-level outflow from Manuel that could have increased wind shear over Ingrid, inhibiting it from maintaining Category 1 strength as it approached landfall,” he added.
“This rare coincidence of two tropical cyclones making landfall so close together in both time and location has made for a precarious situation,” Doggett noted.
“The Mexican Gulf Coast where Ingrid made landfall is already saturated by heavy precipitation in recent weeks from Tropical Depression Eight and Tropical Storm Fernand. The one-two punch of Manuel and Ingrid already has caused widespread flooding, some flashfloods, and mudslides, resulting in damage and loss of lives.”
Media reports Monday afternoon suggested as many as 23 people have been killed in the storm.
The area where Ingrid made landfall is “relatively sparsely settled,” according to AIR. Most insured residential structures in the area are made of confined masonry, which holds up better under lateral wind loads than plain masonry, the firm said.
Top image: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES-East satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Storm Ingrid at 11:55 a.m. EDT on Sept. 13. Clouds associated with Ingrid covered the Bay of Campeche and strong thunderstorms circled the center of the storm. (Credit: NASA GOES Project)
Bottom image: Satellite image from Sept. 15, when, Ingrid was a hurricane and Manuel was a tropical storm, soaking eastern and western Mexico, respectively. The image was taken by the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite at 1:30 p.m. EDT. (Credit: NASA)