Invest 94L and the Lesser Antilles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:51 AM GMT on August 30, 2009

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Hi, this is Dr. Rob Carver filling in for Dr. Masters. The convection associated with Invest 94L has intensified, prompting the NHC to issue an early Tropical Weather Outlook to update the situation. Essentially, people in the Lesser Antilles need to start paying attention to the seas and skies. Looking at the computer track models, the set of model solutions are fairly similar to the Saturday model runs. A set of dynamical models (GFDL, HWRF, NOGAPS) runs to the NE of the Antilles, while the simpler models (LBAR, BAM family) are more easterly and take 94L over the Antilles. I do not ascribe any significance to the 00Z GFS track following the simpler models over the dynamical models. From my examination of the 00Z GFS run, it looks like the simulated 94L weakens too much, so the automatic vortex tracker picks up another vorticity feature. As for the future of 94L, there is a large area of large wind shear to it's north. It will need to keep it's track at WNW-W for intensification.

Update at 6AM EDT
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the major hurricane in the Eastern Pacific, Jimena At this time, Jimena has a satellite-estimated maximum wind speed of 115 mph, making it a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Jimena has an impressive presentation in satellite imagery with a large area of cold anvil cirrus in the center of the storm. The following microwave imagery indicate the formation of a relatively potent central eyewall, which is responsible for intensification.


Fig. 1 SSMI 85 GHz PCT at 0244Z Aug 30. Image courtesy of NRL.


People along the western coast of Mexico and along along the Baja need to pay close attention to this dangerous storm. I emphasize that using the current track and intensity forecast, Jimena will be a Category 4 storm when it approaches the tip of Baja and a Category 3 storm when it makes landfall up the coast.

It is worth noting that if Jimena follows the more easterly tracks presented in the computer track forecasts, the remnants of Jimena could impact NM and western Texas.


I'll update this entry further in response to 94L's development.


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1358. Grothar
Quoting cycloone:
is anyone paying attention to Jimena?!!??!!


Of course. Look at the previous blogs. Many of us are very concerned with the Baja region. Jimena is a potent system and according to the latest reports, it may even strengthen further. Very serious situation for many. As usual, people are mostly concerned with their area of the world, therefore the focus is on the Atlantic systems. Very understandable.
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I am in the path of Jimena, it's really odd that the Local people doesn't know about the hurricane!
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Quoting mobilegirl81:

Judging by the size of the a/b high, it could pull the trough to the north.


meaning what exactly?
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1355. Hhunter
bastardi does belive jimenez will go more west and miss the baja of california...
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that high was there during frances
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1353. KBH
Well I was thinking that should be kinda easy, just feed the data into something like SPSS and it would give that degree of accuarcy for each model based on projected and actual paths of systems, just I don't have the data.
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http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/frances2004.html i wont forget her she cause to have no power for a long time.
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1351. Hhunter
lots of dry air around 94L is not helping matters much...
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Quoting serialteg:


notice the front coming off the USA

Judging by the size of the a/b high, it could pull the trough to the north.
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1349. amd
Quoting cycloone:
is anyone paying attention to Jimena?!!??!!


Jimena, although very powerful, may be moving more to the west, and at a quicker speed, than earlier today.

If it doesn't turn more northerly soon, it may not catch any weakness near Baja, and Jimena could end up far away from any landmasses.
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She really is beautiful.

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1347. centex
94L is tracking generaly WNW or a little west of that. It's also not organizing, waxing and waning. It is holding a pretty good spin. Not sure what is stopping development at this time but something is, but sometime these things just take time. I'm still thinking carribean because waves track west and looks like will not form TD until close to Lesser Antilles. IMO the low probility is quick intensification and just north of Lesser Antilles.
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Quoting cycloone:
is anyone paying attention to Jimena?!!??!!


It's in the other side of the planet LOL well.... far away from me... she looks menacing!
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no im just going with history of frances track.
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So...
A. TD at 5Pm today
B. TD at 11Pm Tonight
C. No TD till Tomorrow
D. All this Hype for nothing (doesn't form)

Thanks for all the wonderful insight! Learning alot today!
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:


Yucky track.
i mean i might eat crow but its reminding more and more of her. i dont know of the strength tho thats a hard one right now. i dont see a bill or a fish tho.
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Quoting IKE:
EVEN IF THIS SYSTEM DO NOT
DEVELOP...IT WILL INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY THE SHOWER AND
THUNDERSTORM COVERAGE ACROSS THE LOCAL FORECAST AREA.


Surf :D
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Quoting futurenavymet:
yes it very well could i said it yesterday a frances track through martin county or st lucie county.


are you seriously trying to tell me that you are predicting an exact county landfall, when the thing is still a tropical wave near the islands? good one. let met guess, you live in martin county or st lucie county?
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Quoting mobilegirl81:

Still do not see where a weakness is looking at that


notice the front coming off the USA
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Quoting futurenavymet:
yes it very well could i said it yesterday a frances track through martin county or st lucie county.


Yucky track.
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1336. Dakster
Quoting KBH:
here is a trick question for you, of all the models on your image, which one (over a period of years)has the highest prediction accuarcy, i.e future direction of systems?


Funny thing is, it depends on the year. Previously the CMC was a joke. It developed every thunderstorm into a major hurricane. This year it is doing very well. In fact, better than the NHC has done so far.

Since every year changes are made to "improve" the models, I don't think anyone can really answer your question.
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1335. IKE
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
236 PM AST SUN AUG 30 2009

.SYNOPSIS...AN UPPER LEVEL LOW JUST NORTH OF PUERTO RICO THIS
AFTERNOON...WILL DRIFT SOUTH SOUTHWEST OVER THE NEXT TWO DAYS AND
SETTLE OVER HISPANIOLA BY MONDAY EVENING. TROPICAL WAVE ALONG 46WEST
WILL TRACK ACROSS THE REGIONAL WATERS DURING THE LATTER PART OF
THE WORK WEEK.

&&

.DISCUSSION...A TUTT LOW NOW LOCATED NORTH OF PUERTO RICO THIS
AFTERNOON WILL CONTINUE TO GENERATE FAVORABLE CONDITIONS FOR
CONVECTIVE ACTIVITY FOR MONDAY AND TUESDAY AFTERNOON. EXPECT
ISOLATED SHOWERS TO MOVE ACROSS THE LOCAL WATER THROUGH THE
OVERNIGHT HOURS.

A STRONG TROPICAL WAVE NOW LOCATED NEAR 47 W WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE
WEST TOWARD THE LOCAL FORECAST AREA. THE FORECAST FOR THE SECOND
HALF OF THE WEEK WILL DEPEND ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM.
THE GFS AND THE ECMWF MODELS SUGGEST THIS SYSTEM TO MOVE ACROSS
THE LOCAL REGION AS AN OPEN WAVE.
EVEN IF THIS SYSTEM DO NOT
DEVELOP...IT WILL INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY THE SHOWER AND
THUNDERSTORM COVERAGE ACROSS THE LOCAL FORECAST AREA.
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Quoting HuHunter:
Could 94L take the same path as Hurricane Frances did in 2004?!?
yes it very well could i said it yesterday a frances track through martin county or st lucie county.
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Quoting Dakster:


Apparently the weakness IS Florida...

Looks like the outer periphery is extending into Florida and the gulf.
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1332. KBH
here is a trick question for you, of all the models on your image, which one (over a period of years)has the highest prediction accuarcy, i.e future direction of systems?
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Quoting jasoniscoolman10:
WOW big high to the north of 94L.

Still do not see where a weakness is looking at that
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Could 94L take the same path as Hurricane Frances did in 2004?!?
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1328. Dakster
Quoting Funkadelic:
Those Spaggheti models are putting Florida as a target... Where is the weakness?


Apparently the weakness IS Florida...
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1327. Dakster
That's a mighty strong A/B High there...
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is anyone paying attention to Jimena?!!??!!
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Quoting KBH:

nrti, I don't see the GFS model on yours, that is the one that is now showing a SW movement unlike most of the others.


On the plot from SFWMD, the GFS is identified as AVNO. AVNO (Aviation) is the old name for the GFS.
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Ah, got it! That's what I was looking for! Thank you!

Quoting Seastep:


On that link, look at the top. The steering layer is shown. For a storm > 1000mb, the steering layer is at the lower levels (700-850).
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NWS PR

A STRONG TROPICAL WAVE NOW LOCATED NEAR 47 W WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE
WEST TOWARD THE LOCAL FORECAST AREA. THE FORECAST FOR THE SECOND
HALF OF THE WEEK WILL DEPEND ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM.
THE GFS AND THE ECMWF MODELS SUGGEST THIS SYSTEM TO MOVE ACROSS
THE LOCAL REGION AS AN OPEN WAVE. EVEN IF THIS SYSTEM DO NOT
DEVELOP...IT WILL INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY THE SHOWER AND
THUNDERSTORM COVERAGE ACROSS THE LOCAL FORECAST AREA.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting CosmicEvents:

How about decades watching a promising Mets team fizzle out to nothing.


Sorry Cantore I'm a Yankees fan...:)
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The catch all phrase last year with several systems was "patience is a virtue"...Perhaps the catch all phrase for 94L should be "small window of opportunity". The latest couple of BAM model runs are falling in line with the EC and also the JMA suggesting a track near or through the Islands which brings back memories of Ana. Whether 94L can bundle the energy available and become our 5th storm or feeds into a potential development near the S Atl Coast in 7-12 days remains to be seen. The Global Models are still struggling with the details of an impending shift in the pattern which should become clearer over the next couple of days.
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1318. Seastep
Quoting jaxbeachbum:
Sorry, that doesn't help me much. I'm a newbie at this. Just wondering what level of winds were having the most to do with 94L's steering.





On that link, look at the top. The steering layer is shown. For a storm > 1000mb, the steering layer is at the lower levels (700-850).
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1317. KBH
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:

nrti, I don't see the GFS model on yours, that is the one that is now showing a SW movement unlike most of the others.
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I think Jimena is a Cat 5
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Thank you! I realize now I should have worded my question differently. Sorry for any confusion.

Quoting Seastep:
jacksbeachbum - also, steering is completely separate from shear. Look at them independently.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Wow. Interesting shift in the GFS.


That plot from WU shows the interpolated GFS.
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Massive forecast errors with the GFDL and HWRF, remember the 2 models which had 94L moving NW. Now look at the model which has done the best (LBAR) and look at its run.



Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Sorry, that doesn't help me much. I'm a newbie at this. Just wondering what level of winds were having the most to do with 94L's steering.



Quoting Seastep:


Steering
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Quoting Funkadelic:
Those Spaggheti models are putting Florida as a target... Where is the weakness?
i keep saying its gonna to florida the high is gonna build back just enough for a se fl hit.
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Quoting NewYork4Life:


I credit my 2 years of majoring in Meteorology...:)

How about decades watching a promising Mets team fizzle out to nothing.
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Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting NewYork4Life:


I credit my 2 years of majoring in Meteorology...:)
Congrats! I hope your right.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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