Hurricane warnings for Baja; 94L forming spiral bands

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:36 PM GMT on August 31, 2009

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Hurricane warnings are in effect for the southern tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, where powerful Hurricane Jimena is expected to make landfall Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. The hurricane is in an environment with low wind shear, 5 - 10 knots, and warm Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs), 30°C. Shear is expected to remain low, and SSTs will decline to 28°C with a corresponding decrease in total oceanic heat content between now and landfall, and these conditions should mean that Jimena will be a Category 3 or 4 hurricane at landfall. Outer rain-bands of the hurricane will be appearing on Los Cabos radar soon, though the Mexican Weather Service web site has been hard to reach today. The computer models are split, with one camp calling for a landfall in southern Baja, and the other camp calling for landfall farther north near central Baja. The official NHC forecast splits the difference between these two solutions, and landfall could occur anywhere along a long stretch of the Baja coast. At this point, the UKMET model's solution taking Jimena westward out to sea is being discounted, since it is an outlier.

After Jimena makes initial landfall on Baja, it will cross over the Gulf of California and make landfall on Mainland Mexico. Depending upon how up along the coast this second landfall occurs, Arizona may receive moisture from Jimena late this week that will be capable of causing flooding rains.


Figure 1. Image of Hurricane Jimena taken by NASA'a MODIS instrument at 2020 UTC Sunday, 8/30/09.

Invest 94L
The well-organized tropical wave (94L) near 14.5N, 52W, about 500 miles east of the central Lesser Antilles Islands, continues to be a threat to develop into a tropical depression. Visible satellite imagery and this morning's QuikSCAT pass do not show a surface circulation yet, though 94L does have a large envelope of moisture and some modest heavy thunderstorm activity. QuikSCAT noted winds up to 30 mph. Water vapor satellite loops show that 94L has moistened the region surrounding it considerably, and dry air from the Saharan Air Layer is not a major impediment to development. Wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots, and the ocean temperature are a moderately warm 28°C. Visible satellite loops over the past two hours show low-level spiral bands developing on 94L's northeast side, and I give a 70% chance the Hurricane Hunters will find a tropical depression or tropical storm on Tuesday when they investigate 94L.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of 94L, showing low-level spiral bands developing on the northeast side.

The center of 94L probably passed over Buoy 41040, located at 14.5N, 53W over the past hour. Winds blew northeasterly early this morning, then went calm, then shifted to southerly late this morning. The winds were less than 10 knots during the center passage, so the circulation of 94L is not yet well-defined. The pressure fell significantly as 94L moved over the buoy (seen only after one removes the wiggles due to daily atmospheric tide effect present in the tropics). 94L will appear on Martinique radar on Tuesday.

The forecast for 94L
Shear will remain low, 5 -10 knots, over the next 5 days, SSTs will be warm, in the 28 - 29°C range, and dry air should have only a minor inhibiting effect, so I can't see anything that will prevent 94L from developing into a tropical depression over the next 1 - 2 days. The HWRF model develops 94L into a hurricane 4 days from now, as does the SHIPS intensity model, but other models, such as the GFDL, ECMWF, and GFS, do not develop 94L at all.

Model solutions for the track of 94L are divergent. Water vapor satellite loops show two upper-level lows to the north and northwest of 94L that are pulling the storm to the west-northwest, and 94L's motion is expected to range between the west-northwest and northwest over the next three days. By Tuesday, 94L will slow down from its current 15 mph forward speed to about 10 mph. Most of the models predict that the steering influence of the upper-level lows will pull 94L far enough north that the storm will miss the Lesser Antilles, with a closest approach occurring Wednesday and Thursday. However, the ECMWF and HWRF models have 94L passing within 200 miles of the islands, and the northern Lesser Antilles may experience tropical storm conditions on Thursday.

At the longer ranges, the fate of 94L is highly uncertain. The Canadian model turns 94L to the north near Bermuda, then out to sea, while the NOGAPS model foresees a threat to the U.S. East Coast early next week. Both of these solutions are believable. The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to make their first flight into 94L on Tuesday afternoon at 2pm EDT.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic
The remains of an old cold front are bringing cloudiness and showers to the northern Gulf of Mexico and waters offshore North and South Carolina. The GFS and NAM models indicate an area of low pressure may develop along this old front near the Florida Panhandle or off the coast of North Carolina by Thursday. However, such a low may be extratropical and not tropical.

My next post will be between 3 - 5pm this afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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606. StormJunkie
6:52 PM GMT on August 31, 2009
Quoting mikatnight:
Hey, quick poll -

Favorite Satellite Link site?

NWS-NHC or?


GHCC site. First link under imagery here.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
605. sporteguy03
6:52 PM GMT on August 31, 2009
Quoting BrockBerlin:
I am still confused as to the anticyclone at the beginnning of this blog it was discussed as being a fact, and now it is being disregarded can somebody update me on the status of the anticyclone supposedly shielding 94L?


It is still there you can see it on the CIMSS map there is shear ahead of 94L the key is does the Anticyclone move in tandem with 94L?
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5417
604. Seastep
6:51 PM GMT on August 31, 2009
Quoting BrockBerlin:
I am still confused as to the anticyclone at the beginnning of this blog it was discussed as being a fact, and now it is being disregarded can somebody update me on the status of the anticyclone supposedly shielding 94L?


Anti-cyclone is still there. But, it all depends on how things evolve. Many things could happen. Again, if it gets out from under that or it does not move or it is weaker than other shear producers (ULL, for example).

It's not an exact science. Have to wait and see. Conditions change constantly.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
603. TreasureCoastFl
6:51 PM GMT on August 31, 2009
.LONG TERM (THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY)...THE EXTENDED PERIOD COMMENCES
WITH THE MID/UPPER LEVEL TROUGH DIGGING WITH ITS AXIS THROUGH THE
FLORIDA PANHANDLE. HOWEVER...BY FRIDAY...THE TROUGH LIFTS AND
RETROGRADES WWD AS HIGH PRESSURE/ RIDGING BUILDS IN FROM THE EAST
AND FLOW BECOMES MORE ZONAL. DURING THE LATTER PART OF THE EXTENDED
PERIOD...RIDGING SHOULD BECOME MORE PROMINENT ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST
WITH AN INCREASE IN UPPER HEIGHTS. E.G PER GFS 588DM HEIGHT LINE
SHIFTS FROM S FL TO CNTRL GA THURS INTO SAT.


Does that mean anything there would end up wherever the "upper heights" are in the ridge at the time?
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
Thanks for the reply. Everyone will not have to worry about me trying to put my two cents in because I am far from an expert. I come here to ask questions and learn that is about it.
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:


Maybe cuz they don't want to predict further than a few days? Like some people do.. ;)


Wouldn't be surprised if they switch back to a Medium
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Gonna die in the mountains according those BAM models, if that were to pan out, everybody in here has wasted their time and energy talking about this system.
better than wasting time reading your junk .. poof
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Preparation is the Key..tracking a Cat 3 Plus to yer door is cool and all,but when it passes and the misery and woe comes,..well the prepared can easily spot the unprepared.

As for any economic Boost from a Strike,..the Loss of Life always trumps that.

And trust me,..Insurance Companies aint looking out for yer side.

So I'd review with a experienced Homeowner in a Strike Zone from the Past 5 years and get a reality check on yer coverage.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129439
From what ive learned the anticyclone is protecting it right now.
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We don't even have a TD and people are already making predictions??
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Quoting SykKid:


It is a fact. Watch and see.

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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Its red becuase its well organized.

Shear may affect it soon so we'll see what happens.



Good afternoon folks!

Stormchaser, don't take back what you said last night, because you are correct. The upper level anticyclonic flow associated with it will continue to move in harmony with it, as it moves westward. The upper levellow is not stationary, and will gradually move westward. The upper level low enables upper anticyclonic flow directly to its eastern axis, providing favorable conditions for outflow. This is why the ECMWF strengthens it over the next 48hrs.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
afternoon all..mostly lurker, occasional blog. the blog trend I've picked up on (and someone help me here) is whichever model seems to trend toward a CONUS landfall causes much concern, even though that same model is deemed unreliable by many at the time. And previous models that show "fish" storm seemed to be passed off. Hope the ? made sense. Why is this?
ie....CMC shows "fish"....NOGAPS doesn't....and vice versa similar scenarios with other models sometimes.......confusing to the amatuer like me..thx for anyone who can help me make reason of this.
Member Since: September 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 312
Quoting nolacane2009:
When do the next models come out? Also do you think it will stay on an NW course?
NHC says its going WNW.
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588. 789
Quoting jasoniscoolman10:
94L WILL NOT BE A TROPICAL STORM TODAY MAYBE ON WEDNESDAY.
how about in 12 hours
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:

Yes

But theres way more shear ahead of it than whats affecting it now.

For how long?
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
I know we should not get off topic, and those of you who know me, are aware of my civility, However, if I may be indulged to comment on the "economy" issure with a bit of sarcasm>

My family must have felt the same way after WWII, in Germany, Norway, Britain and Holland and elsewhere. After they buried their dead, cleaned the streets, removed the sunken boats in the harbor, lived on water from sewage, lifted themselves from degradation. I am sure they said "boy this is going to be good for the economy. Devastation is the harbinger of despair, hurt and suffering. I hope no one here would ever wish that on anybody.
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Gonna die in the mountains according those BAM models, if that were to pan out, everybody in here has wasted their time and energy talking about this system.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9680
583. Relix
Well 94L went a bit too far north. I would say the islands are spared from a direct impact though it might feel indirect bands and stuff from the wave. Not much ATM to speak either, it just doesn't want to develop into anything =P
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
When do the next models come out? Also do you think it will stay on an NW course?
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Quoting TriniGirl26:



that probably works for the states but not the Caribbean sweetie


Point taken TriniG

Quoting jeffs713:

Short term, Hurricanes are devastating to a local economy. Longer term, they are a boon to the local (and regional) economy. Anything related to construction, fast food, insurance companies, attorneys (unfortunately), and landscaping companies all benefit from a storm long-term. Overall, it ends up being a wash, though.


And point taken here to. I was just going to mention that it impacts different sectors in different ways.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
557.

A fact is something that HAS been proven. 94L has not been sheared apart, nor has it been proven. It is a conjecture.. also known as an opinion. Hence the "IMO" request. Please also take note that unless you have a tropical meteorology degree, you are not an expert. I think its safe to say that 95% of the people posting on here are not experts.
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Quoting mikatnight:
Hey, quick poll -

Favorite Satellite Link site?

NWS-NHC or?


NWHC
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6697
Quoting CycloneBoy:
amateur afternoon kind of has new meaning today....I've never understood how people can make entries on this blog without first reading the update from Dr. Masters. It would almost be funny if it didn't take up so much space.

it's not under only 5-10 kts of shear though.
Member Since: August 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 693
TVCN is most likely the track the NHC would use.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
Quoting Patrap:
Hurricane Preparation Entry


I really like the fact that you remind people to be prepared. I live in earthquake country and I;m always amazed how many people here do not have at 2 weeks worth supplies on hand.
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 3 Comments: 1712
Quoting caymanray:
Hurricanes and tropical storms help the local economy in the very short term, and in the mid to long term with the exception of economies that are heavilly dependant on tourism. Even storms as damaging as Andrew and Katrina provide mid term economic stimulus as buildings and infastructure are reconstructed. The economic effects are similar to war however I don't think anyone really wants to experience either.
Not to mention local restaurants are up 20 to 25% over previous year.
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Quoting StormJunkie:


The weeks following, yes...But what about the months and years following? I know for a fact that Hugo was a huge boost to the local economy here.


Andrew had a 3-5 year boost due to reconstruction, however we lost an operating Air Force base. The retired population who used the base for the hospital, etc left for another area. The base used to pump a lot of $ into the local economy yearly, and that was lost.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11307
Some updated 18z models. Notice some of the bams have sunk southwest into puertorico and possibly DR. (shreds zola)

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
I doubt this will still be around by the time 94L gets close, but its flippin' cold here for this time of year. It's normally pushing 85-90 degrees and I haven't seen 70 yet today. The front that came through and Jet Stream seem to have settled in nicely.

What effect will this have if anything comes of the patterns setting up along the panhandle/GOM?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey, quick poll -

Favorite Satellite Link site?

NWS-NHC or?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm still a newbie to this blog, and I've learned a ton from y'all, especially Pat, StormW, Weather456, etc. :) It seems to me that SykKid is just a troll trying to get ya riled up and they are best left ignored :P
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:

Isn't sheer is affecting it right now?

Yes

But theres way more shear ahead of it than whats affecting it now.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
amateur afternoon kind of has new meaning today....I've never understood how people can make entries on this blog without first reading the update from Dr. Masters. It would almost be funny if it didn't take up so much space.
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Were'nt all these same models showing out to sea days ago, looks like playing catch up with reality, pretty soon Mexico will be in the path as the storm blasts westward into Yucatan
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9680
Hurricanes and tropical storms help the local economy in the very short term, and in the mid to long term with the exception of economies that are heavilly dependant on tourism. Even storms as damaging as Andrew and Katrina provide mid term economic stimulus as buildings and infastructure are reconstructed. The economic effects are similar to war however I don't think anyone really wants to experience either.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129439
18 Z Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129439
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Its red becuase its well organized.

Shear may affect it soon so we'll see what happens.


Isn't sheer is affecting it right now?
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
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wow now it looks like it is going north? or even stalled?...
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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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