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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956. edmac
StormO, are you looking at the same ocean, or is that just another random comment. Dry Air ???? Shear ????
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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.
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Quoting stormno:
skykid you have hit it on the nose shear and dry air will kill this just like it did danny....this has no chance to develop into anything major..the track will take it out to the fish...Stormno


Wow... I was with you when you were an outsider before Claudette formed, but I think your WAY off with this thinking Stormno
Member Since: June 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 485
NOGAPS at 180 hours

Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2342
Quoting Ameister12:
94L is heading in to some very heavy shear (30-50 kts).



Im done explaining...
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18z NAM 36hours
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
SavannahStorm, do you want to post the 1898 Cat for landfall or shall I? You know you want to :)


No thanks. I'll pass. Don't want to think about it.

Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2342
If the dvorak classification is correct on where the COC is, then 94L is moving at 23MPH, lol, it went from 51.5W to 53.6 west in 6 hours (140/6: 23.333 etc...)
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Quoting Barbados:
Which is correct?

18 GMT 08/31/09 15.6N 53.4W 25 1008 Invest
18 GMT 08/31/09 14.6N 53.4W 25 1008 Invest


14.6N 53.4W is the latest data.
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NOGAPS Link
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Quoting SavannahStorm:


Actually, if you check the hi-res NOGAPS it suggests a landfall somewhere north of central Florida.

Almost looks like it's curving back out at that point.. hard to tell.. But it's still way too early for any landfall predictions. IMO
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Quoting canesrule1:
These graphs are very misleading and should never be used, imo. I remember they told me a ULL had a surface circulation.



Those maps are not run on ULL's. Those are storm specific images that are accurate.
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94L is heading in to some very heavy shear (30-50 kts).

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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.


Quoting 100l:



I agree with this completely!



Well, I and I'm sure many others on here disagree completely. This is one of the more callous things I've seen posted on here.
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Cabo looks to peak at cat 1, MAYBE. Worst looks to go north...
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I've read about the San Diego hurricane in the 1850s--not going to look up the exact year now. But I was/am curious about what storm had made the northernmost landfall as a hurricane on the Mexican Pacific coast since good meteorological observations began. Thanks y'all!


StSimon - be quiet!! No hurricane in San Diego - they can't be following me.
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Quoting canesrule1:
interesting, watch out for JFV, might have a heart attack, lol, SFLA might just get the brunt.



yeah really. but its about time we get a little potential tropical action!
the next few days will sure be interesting. especially if 94l blows up.

see ya when the action breaks canes.
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Quoting canesrule1:
wow! that is sad.This model is suggesting a SFLA landfall, and this model is the Bible for the NHC, so that is what he means.


Actually, if you check the hi-res NOGAPS it suggests a landfall somewhere north of central Florida.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2342
Quoting tmangray:
What's the furthest north on the Mexican Pacific coast a hurricane has made landfall I wonder.>>>

I'm not sure, but it couldn't be too far given the cold water, at least on the west coast. No hurricane has ever made landfall in California, although there is a murky and meager record from the 1800s of what may have been a hurricane in extratropical transition phasing with the passage of midlatitude trough off San Diego. Other than that, only a single tropical storm during the 1930s which came into LA. There was also the extraordinary extratropical remnant of a typhoon which affected the Oregon and Northern California coastline in 1962, the Columbus Day Storm. I actually recall that firsthand.


That's why someone here said "I'll never see a cane in Texas after October" and I was wanting to post "I wouldn't use the word never...", especially in a place like the GOM.
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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
94L seems to have lost some organization this evening.

Trend is re-curve this year, will it hold?




I think it is working on expanding its windfield.

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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
94L seems to have lost some organization this evening.

Trend is re-curve this year, will it hold?


These graphs are very misleading and should never be used, imo. I remember they told me a ULL had a surface circulation.
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:

Aha! A comrade! (or comradette?) lol


:)
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I have the live webcam up and running on XtremeHurricanes.com

That is the best shot I can do from here at this hotel...
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Which is correct?

18 GMT 08/31/09 15.6N 53.4W 25 1008 Invest
18 GMT 08/31/09 14.6N 53.4W 25 1008 Invest
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


a good analogy is a forest fire, it may be destructive but it leads to bigger and better things.

True. Still no fun if you're the underbrush, though. No picnic for the trees either. But on the larger scale it tends to work out all right in the end.
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Quoting StormChaser81:
No suit can protect a person against debre moving that fast, hes just asking to get hurt or worse by chasing storms for just video footage, Besides the footage hes not helping the scientific community. Hes risking other people lives when he gets in trouble and needs rescued. Personnly he about as sharp as a beach ball.

Yes, It's nice to have live coverage of a land falling hurricane! I hope this individual and his organization respects the fact that a CAT 4 OR 5 HURRICANE will be making landfall not too far from where he is at! I hope his suit is 2" titanium if he thinks he's gonna ride out 140-155MPH winds! I believe 155MPH winds will basically destroy almost anything standing except reinforced concrete!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting btwntx08:
895: no he wasn't
wow! that is sad.
Quoting TexasHurricane:


Huh? What are they sayong?
This model is suggesting a SFLA landfall, and this model is the Bible for the NHC, so that is what he means.
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920. edmac
If Ike says it, it must be fact
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Quoting gtownTX:


What's ironic to me about RitaEvac's original statement about the whole state feeling a storm.......I'm in central Tx. and last year when I saw Hurr. Ike's massive size, I was sure that Ike would break the miserable drought and bring some much needed rain. We prepared for wind and big storm predictions.......Guess what?

Only a couple hours drive from the coast and we didn't even get a breeze much less a drop of rain. Fortunate for us, sadly tragic for those nearer the Gulf.

So yes, to say an entire state experience's a storm is just plain silly.(unless maybe you are in tiny Rhode Island or Delaware. LOL)


Well by watching it on tv, it appears as if it is actually covering the entire state. It's very decieving for people to watch who don't live where the storm is and are watching it on television.
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Looks like we could have 95L & 96L coming off the African Coast very shortly
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


Huh? What are they saying?


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?
Quoting CycloneOz:
I have arrived at Cabo San Lucas. My room has wifi...so I'll be attempting a live hurricane webcam...although I'm very limited on static shots at this hotel...I'm blocks away from the ocean.

Everything is okay, but Cabo-people are beginning to freak out a bit. There are huge lines of waiting cars for gas and grocery stores are packed. The only places that seem calm are the poorer villages to the east. Everyone there is just sitting around looking at the sky.

I'm very busy getting my equipment ready to go first thing in the morning...so not many updates between now and then.

Current conditions. Hot, humid, overcast, light rain...and no wind to speak of.

It is the calm...

CycloneOz---

You gotta be gettin' jacked up right about now. That's gonna be a helluva blow! We'll be praying for you...
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2898
Quoting TropicalNonsense:
the United States Navy Forecast Model [NOGAPS] has it nailed with 94l. Dead On.

Soon the WU Servers are going to be heating up.

interesting, watch out for JFV, might have a heart attack, lol, SFLA might just get the brunt.
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94L seems to have lost some organization this evening.

Trend is re-curve this year, will it hold?


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What's the furthest north on the Mexican Pacific coast a hurricane has made landfall I wonder.>>>

I'm not sure, but it couldn't be too far given the cold water, at least on the west coast. No hurricane has ever made landfall in California, although there is a murky and meager record from the 1800s of what may have been a hurricane in extratropical transition phasing with the passage of midlatitude trough off San Diego. Other than that, only a single tropical storm during the 1930s which came into LA. There was also the extraordinary extratropical remnant of a typhoon which affected the Oregon and Northern California coastline in 1962, the Columbus Day Storm. I actually recall that firsthand.
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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.
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sorry,mistype...I meant what are they saying?
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908. IKE
Quoting Txwxchaser:
852. IKE 7:54 PM GMT on August 31, 2009
Quoting Txwxchaser:
761. IKE 7:32 PM GMT on August 31, 2009
ECMWF is the most reliable model. If it shows 94L doing the same on the next couple of runs, I would bet my paycheck that is what will happen.

I'm not ready to say it is now, but if it shows it on a couple of more runs....


IKE...could you link for me please...thx



Link

thx IKE..question. This shows a recurve around 70-75 lat. Wouldn't it take a strong trough to push it N. so soon/suddenly. What do I know?



It looks like it shows a trough or a low, north of 94L, when it makes the turn. It shows a high north of it a day or two before it turns and then.....a dramatic turn after the high is completely eroded by what looks like a significant trough on September 8th.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting stormobserver:
I don't remember a time when all the models were pointing Bill to Florida. Ever.


At the time when Bill was still just a wave coming off Africa, the long term models did show Bill going toward Florida.
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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.