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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Quoting A4Guy:


I am up in Broward and it was a disaster here after Wilma as well. No way we only had Cat 1 winds - don't care what they say! If it truly was Cat 1 winds...then if we ever get a Cat 3 storm, this place will be leveled.


there was A LOT of tornadic activity with wima as well i think. there must have been because there is no way 4 huge trees in my house were knocked down so quickly
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94L wrapping the area of showers and thunderstorms on the western quadrant around its COC.

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Quoting mikatnight:


It's not a Star Wars storm trooper suit, is it?


No, it's better than that. Lots of kevlar, froggtoggs, helmet, fireman boots, extrication gloves, catcher's leg protectors and torso protection and other assorted goodies that CycloneOz would have to divulge. Those are just the items I saw. He's ready to go. Obviously he's been thru enough hurricanes to know what to do in any situation.
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And so the shear starts to rip 94L apart. Anticyclone sure worked out. EURO nailed another one. The latest run shows it a fish as well.
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Wilma was a cat 3 not a 1.
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Quoting SavannahStorm:
NOGAPS at 180 hours



We'll have to wait and see if that spans out.
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1000. JLPR
Also who cares what anyone here says =P
We will soon know exactly how is 94L since there is a HH plane heading to it right?
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
Quoting cutlerbay32:


Well! That does explain that. I thought they said it was a 1. Maybe I have it confused with Rita which was also bad, just not as bad. Sorry I should have looked it up first. Anyway, a 1 is better than a higher number of course, but either one is dangerous.


ya, can someone confirm what wilma was when it went over se florida?
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Hurricane Jimena Floater - JSL Color Infrared Loop

IF you can check the Trop Forecast Points Box CycloneOZ,..

Id consider the fact if she Stays on Trend and guidance,your going to be very Near or In the right front Quad.

I advise EXTREME caution and to stay indoors for this one.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128676
it's already feeling the shear. why do you think there is nothing on the NW side of the storm?

if you want to see a nice anticylone, look to the east of 94L east of 40W. see how big the area of 5-10 kts of shear is compared to where 94L is? that would be a very favorable environment.
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Quoting aspectre:
732. RitaEvac "Hi everybody my first post on here! I was in the path of Rita and evacuated up I-45... and blah blah blah!!
nobody gives a damn. Why do people do that stuff?
"

For right now, why not? There ain't nothin' goin' on in the Atlantic ceptin' blob watchin'. And Jimena is so far from landfall that the system's got a ways to travel before the chatter-ban should go into effect.

And there wouldn't be all that much interest in weather itself but for how it affects or will affect people. eg Even amongst meteorologists,

only a handful care about the Category8+ cyclones on Jupiter.

Whereas annecdotes of experiencing a hurricane or a tornado or other types of severe natural phenomena are intinsicly "that coulda been me."
Then there is the "don't be an idiot" warning they give. eg I'd always thought I'd been in a hurricane.....until folks on this blog mentioned that Tampa hasn't been hit by a hurricane in well nigh forever.
So the worst I've experienced has probably been the equivalent of a tropical storm from being within the outer bands of a hurricane.


... Say no to drugs, people
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1983
992. A4Guy
Quoting cutlerbay32:
858. Quoting BrockBerlin 7:55 PM GMT on August 31, 2009
well at least one good thing can be said about Jimena, it has a fairly small and on the current path Cabo would probably only receive tropical storm to Cat.1 sust.winds. But points north could be in for trouble.


I was w/out power for 10 days after Wilma in Miami- and they said it was a category 1. Trees down, it was a mess everywhere. My office closed for a week. Glass from windows everywhere. My point is that even a cat 1 is nothing to sneeze at.


I am up in Broward and it was a disaster here after Wilma as well. No way we only had Cat 1 winds - don't care what they say! If it truly was Cat 1 winds...then if we ever get a Cat 3 storm, this place will be leveled.
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I was w/out power for 10 days after Wilma in Miami- and they said it was a category 1. Trees down, it was a mess everywhere. My office closed for a week. Glass from windows everywhere. My point is that even a cat 1 is nothing to sneeze at.


Ugh...Wilma! What a b****! I live in Jupiter and that girl blew right over my house. Quite a bit of damage for a storm of that category. I agree...it was nothing to sneeze at.
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Quoting jeffs713:

What about the people who are filling in said hole, or rebuilding the house? They are increasing their wealth. Yes, things are being destroyed that were there before. But newer, more expensive things are being put into place. Many areas rebuild "bigger and better" after a wave of destruction. Many areas hit by Katrina are rebuilding to be more ecologically friendly, and more efficient. Same thing for areas hit by Ike. Not to mention, the people who are gaining the funds from rebuilding (construction, mostly) are injecting a good amount of their earnings back into the local economy.


But WHO is really making financial gain? The family living in a FEMA trailer who lost their home, car, furniture and livelihood, or the transplant who came down with the out of county or out of state construction company? Of course *someone* is making money, but it often isnt the local laborer. Kind of hard to go to work when your home and car were destroyed by flood water or airborne debris.

A huge tornado came through Trumbull County, Ohio in 1985 and destroyed many homes and businesses. Folks lost a lot of money paying for repairs. No one write in to the newspaper expressing joy over how this storm helped the local economy. Tornadoes are small potatoes compared to most hurricanes.

I'm sure this is open for debate, the above statement is my opinion.
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Quoting stormno:
fire all you has to do is look at the wv loop and the surface map this system has worse conditions then danny had...sorry i call it as i see it...Stormno


Well.. we are all definitely entitled to our opinions. I certainly don't agree with yours at the moment. If it ends up the way you are predicting I'll mail you a gift certificate for a cup of coffee
Member Since: June 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 487
so what your saying is that a cat 3 or 4 in sfla area in 5 to 7 days
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Quoting canesrule1:
SHIPS intensity model saying a CAT 3 or 4 SFLA landfall.


He was talking about CABO, i.e. Hurricane Jimena. You are such a Flacaster you even have Jimena going to South Forida...
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guys, dont listen to cnesrule1. he is the biggest wishcaster there is. everything is coming to fl to him, because he lives there. he is not one to trust
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Part of the problem with 94L may also be its passage over the cooler wake of Bill.
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Quoting btwntx08:
958. canesrule1 8:17 PM GMT on August 31, 2009
Quoting largeeyes:
Cabo looks to peak at cat 1, MAYBE. Worst looks to go north...
SHIPS intensity model saying a CAT 3 or 4 SFLA landfall
this baja california not sfla
oops, i misread it, sorry.
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Quoting slavp:
I'm in Erath. I don't recall too much flooding for Lili. But the year before, in 2001, TS Allison caused a lot of flooding over here.


My bad, i confused the 2...
I know it was for Lilli that I delivered the generator though... she was without power close to 2 weeks if memory serves correctly!
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980. WXHam
I know it's early but it seems 94L is reorganizing the COC as of 1745 UCT. Try the link below and see the video.



Link
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Quoting btwntx08:

still see anticyclone over it no problem with shear


Hey Future, how's that?
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1983
Quoting kingzfan104:


im not positive, but i love experiencing hurricanes and i was looking back at the cne, and it was a cat 3 when it crossed over se florida


Well! That does explain that. I thought they said it was a 1. Maybe I have it confused with Rita which was also bad, just not as bad. Sorry I should have looked it up first. Anyway, a 1 is better than a higher number of course, but either one is dangerous.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
732. RitaEvac "Hi everybody my first post on here! I was in the path of Rita and evacuated up I-45... and blah blah blah!!
nobody gives a damn. Why do people do that stuff?
"

For right now, why not? There ain't nothin' goin' on in the Atlantic ceptin' blob watchin'. And Jimena is so far from landfall that the system's got a ways to travel before the chatter-ban should go into effect.

And there wouldn't be all that much interest in weather itself but for how it affects or will affect people. eg Even amongst meteorologists,

only a handful care about the Category8 cyclones on Jupiter.

Whereas annecdotes of experiencing a hurricane or a tornado or other types of severe natural phenomena are intinsicly "that coulda been me."
Then there is the "don't be an idiot" warning they give. eg I'd always thought I'd been in a hurricane... until folks on this blog mentioned that Tampa hasn't been hit by a hurricane in well nigh forever.
So the worst I've experienced has probably been the equivalent of a tropical storm from being within the outer bands of a hurricane.
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Quoting JLPR:
Anticyclone with 94L
people the shear moves too
the atmosphere isn't paralyzed, it flows


94L wont feel the shear unless its anticyclone dies
exactly
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973. Relix
Current Trends: 94L moving WNW. At it's current movement if it has no jogs or changes it would end up in 19.1 and 61W, quite close to PR. I doubt the center is at 14.6 though, if its farther north then you can go farther north. After that... it all depends on the high!!

EDIT: It was 14.3 at 5AM, impossible its at 14.7AM right now.
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Jimena JSL Image


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128676
971. 900MB
Quoting IKE:


If it is heading into 30-50 knots of shear, it will likely be ripped apart.
Quoting IKE:


If it is heading into 30-50 knots of shear, it will likely be ripped apart.


Confused. Dr. Jeff says: "The forecast for 94L
Shear will remain low, 5 -10 knots, over the next 5 days"
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Quoting btwntx08:

still see anticyclone over it no problem with shear

that anticyclone is tiny.

it looks like 20-30 kts of shear is already affecting the NW quadrant which is why it's void of any convection.
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Quoting southernstorm:
Lost another client down on mississippi coast due to they couldnt afford the inflated homeowners insurance and they were forced to move. All the utilites have raised thier rates because their revenue is down due to loss of population in this area. Our own house payment has increased $300 a month just for the homeowners insurance. Sounds wonderful for the economy doesnt it? I cant wait for the next big one so we can get back on our feet!


Biloxi resident here! Do you think that another storm will help us get back on our feet? Our home insurance is more than our principal and interest. Our utilities have gone up. And now the Mississippi Development Authority says that they made a mistake in giving us a grant and they want their money back. I said I would never move . . . . but never say never!
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Quoting SavannahStorm:
NOGAPS at 180 hours

That is the 12z run, the 18z is suggesting a SFLA hit.
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Quoting cutlerbay32:
858. Quoting BrockBerlin 7:55 PM GMT on August 31, 2009
well at least one good thing can be said about Jimena, it has a fairly small and on the current path Cabo would probably only receive tropical storm to Cat.1 sust.winds. But points north could be in for trouble.
Action: Quote

I was w/out power for 10 days after Wilma in Miami- and they said it was a category 1. Trees down, it was a mess everywhere. My office closed for a week. Glass from windows everywhere. My point is that even a cat 1 is nothing to sneeze at.


im not positive, but i love experiencing hurricanes and i was looking back at the cne, and it was a cat 3 when it crossed over se florida
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964. JLPR
Anticlone with 94L
people the shear moves too
the atmosphere isn't paralyzed, it flows


94L wont feel the shear unless its anticlone dies
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


14.6N 53.4W is the latest data.


The center must have re-formed, wow this this is WEAK.
961. IKE
Quoting Ameister12:
94L is heading in to some very heavy shear (30-50 kts).



If it is heading into 30-50 knots of shear, it will likely be ripped apart.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
The problem with that track is that 94L is moving WNW and the Bermuda high will not let it move NW, nor will the ULL to its west.
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Quoting kuppenskup:
Honestly, Im not trying to scare anyone but I see the two low pressure systems pulling off to the N & E in the next 72hrs with a strong high pressure gradiant moving in thereafter and with very little shear and a water temp of 81-82 degrees I would be a little concerned if I was a Florida resident right about now.


We are definitely lurking . . . and watching
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Quoting largeeyes:
Cabo looks to peak at cat 1, MAYBE. Worst looks to go north...
SHIPS intensity model saying a CAT 3 or 4 SFLA landfall.
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956. edmac
StormO, are you looking at the same ocean, or is that just another random comment. Dry Air ???? Shear ????
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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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