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Tropical Storm Gilma was, in terms of winds, tied for the weakest named storm of the 2006 Pacific hurricane season. The eighth tropical cyclone and seventh named storm of the season, Gilma developed from a tropical wave that emerged off the west coast of Africa on July 17, 2006. The wave tracked westward across the Atlantic, and crossed into the Eastern Pacific on July 25; after a few days it began to organize. It was designated a tropical depression on August 1, and tracked west-northwestward, attaining peak winds of 40 mph (65 km/h). A disorganized cyclone, persistent wind shear prevented further strengthening, and contributed to the storm's weakening and dissipation just a few days later. The remnant low entirely degenerated on August 5, without ever having affected land.

Meteorological history

On July 17, 2006, a tropical wave emerged off the west coast of Africa and moved westward across the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, while showing no signs of development. On July 25 the wave crossed into the Eastern Pacific, and after a few signs began to develop. The coverage and intensity of the associated thunderstorm activity fluctuated, though gradually became to organize under marginally favorable upper-level winds. At 0000 UTC on August 1, the system had become sufficiently organized to be declared a tropical depression, several hundred miles southwest of Acapulco, Mexico. This tropical cyclone formation was first mentioned in Tropical Weather Outlooks 60 hours before.[1]

The depression was tracking generally west-northwest around the western periphery of a deep-layered ridge over Central Mexico, though wind shear produced a rather erratic short-term track. This track was expected to continue until gradually curving westward.[2] The wind shear provided the cyclone was an unfavorable environment, tearing the deepest convection from the center of the storm.[3] However, thunderstorm activity developed closer to the center, and at 1200 UTC on August 1, the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Gilma.[1] Shortly after being upgraded, convection once again became separated from the storm's circulation center, leaving it exposed.[4] At the time, Gilma was at its peak intensity of only 40 mph (65 km/h), making the storm tied for the weakest named storm of the season in terms of winds.[1] Despite several bursts of deep convection, the persistent shear never relented, limiting further strengthening. A disorganized storm, Gilma weakened to a tropical depression at 0600 UTC on August 2.[1]

The depression persisted, and began to take a more westward track under the steering currents of a mid- to upper-level trough off the United States West Coast.[5] Convection generally continued waning, and cooler waters began to further weaken the depression.[6] A lone cluster of thunderstorm activity formed southwest of the center of circulation, early on August 3,[7] though the depression became a remnant low by August 4. After lasting another 24 hours as a low pressure system, it degenerated fully on August 5.[1]


Gilma remained away from land, and as a result, no effects, damages, or fatalities were reported; no ships were affected, and no tropical cyclone warnings and watches were issued.[1] Because of the lack of damage, the name Gilma was not retired, and is scheduled to be used once again in the 2012 Pacific hurricane season.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Michelle Mainelli (2006). "Tropical Storm Gilma Tropical Cyclone Report". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  2. Rhome & Franklin (2006). "Tropical Depression Eight-E Discussion Number 1". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  3. Brennan & Stewart (2006). "Tropical Depression Eight-E Discussion Number 2". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  4. Beven (2006). "Tropical Storm Gilma Discussion Number 4". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  5. Beven (2006). "Tropical Depression Gilma Discussion Number 8". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  6. Brennan & Avilia (2006). "Tropical Depression Gilma Discussion Number 9". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  7. Berg & Pasch (2006). "Tropical Depression Gilma Discussion Number 11". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  8. "Worldwide Tropical Cyclone Names". National Hurricane Center. 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-13.