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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wow now it looks like it is going north? or even stalled?...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
31 Aug 18 Z Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
Sorry everyone,I grew up in NY about 500 miles away from where major hurricanes hit! The very little I saw was enough for me!!
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Quoting serialteg:


NHC has danced around with the coloring these past days.


Maybe cuz they don't want to predict further than a few days? Like some people do.. ;)
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
Quoting EarthMuffin:


In the weeks that followed Katrina, some areas saw 25% unemployment rates, not to mention the thousands of folks who lost their homes and businesses. I do not see the effects of major storms helping the locally affected economy.

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.
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Grothar, it is true...If you put aside the personal hardships that are faced; storms making land fall are typically very good for the local economies for 3 to 5 years. I would think that an exception would be NO simply because so many people did not come back. That said, there is plenty of work for those that did come back.



that probably works for the states but not the Caribbean sweetie
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Quoting bingcrosby:
Jimena may end up devastating the Baja region with mudslides. I wonder if Cantore is heading down to Cabo?


Cantore was in Cabo before Jimena was a TD. We all know that.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
549. DDR
TriniGirl26:
well the one good thing about 94L is that its keeping my neck of the woods cool, mostly cloudy but no rain to talk about
Trinigirl,don't be surprise if 94L throws a few showers our way,most should be north of us though.
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Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11342
547. slavp
Quoting hurricanehanna:

Was it Lili you are thinking of? It was supposed to make landfall as a 4, then dropped to a 2, then a 1 at landfall. We still had a lot of damage, but thank God it dropped in intensity. It came up Vermillion Bay if I remember right. We were without power at our home in Lafayette for 5 days.
Yes, Thank god it weakened rapidly..Im in vermilion parish, we were without power for 2 weeks...
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Quoting theman13:


If you were in the construction business after gustav here in south LA you were doing pretty good. But that was one scary storm. a huge oak in our background was knocked down and it had 4 in concrete all around it ripped up by the roots.


i know ive been through isabel they are really scary, but after the first couple of weeks when people start rebuilding it will help the economy.
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This season has been a one note charlie with the exception of Bill the blow hard. Low level circulation pushed rapidly westward, while rest of circulation being pushed of to north ie. shear.
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:

but they do have it red (50% or more) rather than yellow... so maybe they are marking it red *beyond* the next "day or so"?


Its red becuase its well organized.

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

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Quoting serialteg:


you haven't seen a late November/december hurricane have you


never will, Texas's are over after middle of October
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9686
Quoting louisianaboy444:


Well based on some of the long-range models it appears the ridging could be evident along the Eastern Gulf coast of the U.S. along with the Bermuda high it could take a path of least resistance and head up the east coast if the highs don't fully bridge but if they do fully bridge it could get pushed west into the gulf...some of the models disagree on how strong this Eastern Seaboard high could be
Thank you, Ive been trying to get an answer since this morning.
Quoting Dakster:


Heck, they way people are forecasting in advance they should be able to tell us how many Hurricanes will affect CONUS in 2010...


and i am positive at least 90% or more will be wrong lol
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Quoting EarthMuffin:


In the weeks that followed Katrina, some areas saw 25% unemployment rates, not to mention the thousands of folks who lost their homes and businesses. I do not see the effects of major storms helping the locally affected economy.


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.
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Grothar, it is true...If you put aside the personal hardships that are faced; storms making land fall are typically very good for the local economies for 3 to 5 years. I would think that an exception would be NO simply because so many people did not come back. That said, there is plenty of work for those that did come back.


I agree.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
Based on the latest QS... that his has a decent low level circulation with some 25kts to 30kts winds. If it's able to generate enough convection it should be able to survive the next 24hr to 36hr.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
Quoting TreasureCoastFl:

but they do have it red (50% or more) rather than yellow... so maybe they are marking it red *beyond* the next "day or so"?


NHC has danced around with the coloring these past days.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
Quoting SykKid:
94L is going to get torn apart.

Could you PLEASE add IMO before or after a statement like this! Newcomers to this blog may not realize that you are not an expert and that the statement is only an opinion and not fact. Also back up your statement with some data to validate the statement.
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Quoting truecajun:
gotta get some groceries. my cupboard is bare. will check in later. have a good afternoon everyone.

Your little girl is precious!!!
Have fun at the store.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Would be nice to say "folks all is clear for the CONUS this season of 09' have a great and Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and we'll see you next hurricane season in 2010"


Heck, they way people are forecasting in advance they should be able to tell us how many Hurricanes will affect CONUS in 2010...
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Would be nice to say "folks all is clear for the CONUS this season of 09' have a great and Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and we'll see you next hurricane season in 2010"


you haven't seen a late November/december hurricane have you
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Not too favorable as stated by the NHC

"CONDITIONS ARE MARGINALLY
FAVORABLE FOR THIS SYSTEM TO BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION DURING
THE NEXT DAY OR SO"

but they do have it red (50% or more) rather than yellow... so maybe they are marking it red *beyond* the next "day or so"?
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
Quoting Bordonaro:

I have never seen anything like that and truthfully I do not want to, EVER!! I grew up on Long Island in the 60's and 70's! I remember TS Doria, as a 9 yr old, it was TERRIFYING!! It was non stop thunder, lightning, rain and 50-70MPH winds for 5 hrs. I saw 2 minor hurricanes and learned that 65' maple trees can bend all the way to the ground without snapping, how winds can go from -0- to 90MPH is less than 10 seconds!! HURRICANES are huge heat pumps and the latent energy released in 1 minor hurricane can provide the power needs for the NY-NJ Metro area for 1 yr!! PEOPLE MUST ALWAYS RESPECT THEIR POWER!!


That was a thunderstorm dude, lol
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9686
521.

Afternoon nrti, good to see you as always! And good point.
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Jimena may end up devastating the Baja region with mudslides. I wonder if Cantore is heading down to Cabo?
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Quoting Grothar:


What???


Grothar, it is true...If you put aside the personal hardships that are faced; storms making land fall are typically very good for the local economies for 3 to 5 years. I would think that an exception would be NO simply because so many people did not come back. That said, there is plenty of work for those that did come back.
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Quoting Dakster:


I agree with everything except the Euro being the most reliable this year... Dr. masters advised in a previous blog that the CMC or Canadian model was the most accurate. In Fact, more accurate than the NHC has been so far this year.
The Euro has been the best with 94L so far.
Quoting stormsurge39:
How far west do you think the high will steer 94L once it is N of the Islands?


Well based on some of the long-range models it appears the ridging could be evident along the Eastern Gulf coast of the U.S. along with the Bermuda high it could take a path of least resistance and head up the east coast if the highs don't fully bridge but if they do fully bridge it could get pushed west into the gulf...some of the models disagree on how strong this Eastern Seaboard high could be
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gotta get some groceries. my cupboard is bare. will check in later. have a good afternoon everyone.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


actually a hurricane would probably help the economy, the goods that would be bought before and after the storm would likely help the economy. IM NOT WISHING A STORM ON ANYONE. just saying it would help the economy.


If you were in the construction business after gustav here in south LA you were doing pretty good. But that was one scary storm. a huge oak in our background was knocked down and it had 4 in concrete all around it ripped up by the roots.
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Good ways out in front of the convection. Still has a ways to go.


Still has the competing circulation further west. That circulation needs to dissipate for the stronger one NHC is tracking to close off.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11342
Hurricane Preparation Entry

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
Quoting Grothar:


Anyone who has ever been in a big one, NEVER wants to see another one. I have been in 6. Most very small except for Wilma. I lived and worked in Miami during Andrew. One never forgets those sights or sounds. They are not fun, they are not exciting! They not only leave scars on the landscape, they leave it on your psyche as well.

I have never seen anything like that and truthfully I do not want to, EVER!! I grew up on Long Island in the 60's and 70's! I remember TS Doria, as a 9 yr old, it was TERRIFYING!! It was non stop thunder, lightning, rain and 50-70MPH winds for 5 hrs. I saw 2 minor hurricanes and learned that 65' maple trees can bend all the way to the ground without snapping, how winds can go from -0- to 90MPH is less than 10 seconds!! HURRICANES are huge heat pumps and the latent energy released in 1 minor hurricane can provide the power needs for the NY-NJ Metro area for 1 yr!! PEOPLE MUST ALWAYS RESPECT THEIR POWER!!
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


actually a hurricane would probably help the economy, the goods that would be bought before and after the storm would likely help the economy. IM NOT WISHING A STORM ON ANYONE. just saying it would help the economy.


In the weeks that followed Katrina, some areas saw 25% unemployment rates, not to mention the thousands of folks who lost their homes and businesses. I do not see the effects of major storms helping the locally affected economy.
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well the one good thing about 94L is that its keeping my neck of the woods cool, mostly cloudy but no rain to talk about
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What should I watch and talk about? tropical wave in the Atlantic or a Cane in the EPAC with 150mph winds getting ready to pound Cabo? Nahhhhh gonna watch and talk about 94L seems to be more dangerous with its 30mph gusts
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9686
Quoting RayRayfromLa:


I do not think it is fair to tell someone that it is never going to enter the gulf with all of the uncertainy of the path. Did you see the Euro model? that is what they are predicting and that has been the most reliable model so far this Hurricane season. Everyone needs to be on guard to monitor the situation no matter where you live in my opinion.


I agree with everything except the Euro being the most reliable this year... Dr. masters advised in a previous blog that the CMC or Canadian model was the most accurate. In Fact, more accurate than the NHC has been so far this year.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


actually a hurricane would probably help the economy, the goods that would be bought before and after the storm would likely help the economy. IM NOT WISHING A STORM ON ANYONE. just saying it would help the economy.


What???
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


i didnt ask that... asked why DR. Masters and the NHC think shear will be low.


It is ok I am still waiting his reply to my question on the anticyclone. I am looking forward to his reply.
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If its not careful it may run into the TUTT to its west and it might shear it to death.
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Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't there an Upper level Low positioned in the Caribbean...The Cyclonic flow of the Upper Level low could be causing shear out of the Southwest which is causing the convection to be east of the LLC
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Hurricane Preparation Entry
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
807 PM CDT SUN AUG 30 2009

...A RETURN TO MORE TYPICAL SUMMER LIKE CONDITIONS IS
EXPECTED TO TAKE HOLD. BOTH THE GFS AND ECMWF SHOW A WEAKENING OF
THE STRONG TROUGH DOMINATING THE EASTERN THIRD OF THE NATION BY
THE END OF THE WEEK AND INTO THE WEEKEND...WITH SOME WEAK UPPER
LEVEL RIDGING TAKING HOLD BY SUNDAY. WITH THIS PATTERN
DEVELOPING...NO LARGE SCALE FORCING MECANISMS ARE EXPECTED TO
INFLUENCE THE REGION.

It specifically mentions the weakening of east coast troughs......
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Not too favorable as stated by the NHC

"CONDITIONS ARE MARGINALLY
FAVORABLE FOR THIS SYSTEM TO BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION DURING
THE NEXT DAY OR SO"


yes, but if shear was going to affect the system that much they would reduce it to orange.
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Quoting louisianaboy444:
For whom it may concern....I'm in the Weather Research lab at ULM and just asked my Professor of Atmosperic Sciences what he thinks of 94L he thinks shear is affecting it now but is expecting shear to become more favorable for development in the next 24 to 36 hours...
How far west do you think the high will steer 94L once it is N of the Islands?
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


can i get a link to that nrt, ive always ment to ask you.


ATCF
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11342

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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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