Bud the strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane so early in the year; 94L may develop

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:14 PM GMT on May 25, 2012

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Category 2 Hurricane Bud is weakening, but still presents a formidable rainfall threat as it continues north-northeast towards an expected landfall between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico late Friday night. Thursday night at 11 pm EDT, Bud peaked at Category 3 status, with 115 mph winds, becoming the earliest Category 3 hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific. Recent Satellite loops show that Bud has weakened, though. The eye has disappeared, and the cloud pattern has shrunk and appears squashed, due to an increase in dry air, wind shear, and cooler sea surface temperatures affecting the storm. These hostile conditions should continue to weaken Bud to a Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm by the time of landfall. Bud is projected to cross the coast in a rugged, relatively unpopulated area, so wind and storm surge damage will probably be light to moderate. Heavy rain will cover a much wider area, and will be the main threat from Bud. The coast where Bud is headed towards is very mountainous, and numerous flash floods and dangerous mudslides will affect the region, probably including the cities of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. I don't think Puerto Vallarta will see much in the way of wind or storm surge damage, since it is in a well-protected location and will probably be on the weak (left-front) side of the hurricane. Manzanillo is at higher risk, since it will probably be on the stronger right-front side of the hurricane.


Figure 1. True-color satellite image of Hurricane Bud taken at 12:25 pm EDT May 24, 2012. At the time, Bud was a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

A record May for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season
Bud is the strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane on record for so early in the year, and is tied with Hurricane Alma of 2002 (115 mph winds) as the second strongest May hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific. Only Hurricane Adolph of 2001 (145 mph winds) was stronger. Also, Bud's appearance on May 21 marked the earliest date since record keeping began in 1949 for formation of the season's second named storm. The previous record was set in 1984, when the second named storm formed on May 29. Hurricanes are uncommon in the Eastern Pacific in May; there have been just twelve since record keeping began in 1949--an average of one May hurricane every five years. If Bud ends up making landfall in Mexico as a hurricane, it would be only the second Eastern Pacific May hurricane on record to hit Mexico. The other was Hurricane Agatha of May 24, 1971, which hit the same stretch of coast that Bud is threatening. Agatha made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane about 45 mi (75 km) from Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Ocean temperatures this year in the region where Aletta and Bud formed are only slightly above average, so the large-scale atmospheric patterns are probably more to blame for this year's exceptionally early start to hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Invest 94L.

Invest 94L off the Georgia coast could develop this weekend
An area of disturbed weather (Invest 94L) a few hundred miles east of the Georgia coast is headed northeast at about 15 mph. The disturbance has not become more organized over the past day, due to very high wind shear of 40 - 55 knots. However, the latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that wind shear will drop to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, on Saturday and Sunday. Most of our reliable models predict that 94L could organize into a subtropical or tropical depression or storm on Saturday or Sunday off the coast of Georgia/South Carolina. NHC is giving 94L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical or subtropical depression by Sunday morning. A ridge of high pressure is expected to build in over the weekend off the East Coast, which will force 94L to the west back towards the coast, and heavy rains from 94L are likely to begin affecting coastal South Carolina, Georgia, and Northern Florida on Saturday and Sunday. There is a lot of dry, continental air on the west side of 94L, so the rainfall amounts from the storm will be limited unless until the center makes landfall. If these rains do materialize, they would be welcome, considering the moderate to severe drought conditions in the area.

I'll have an update Saturday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

I SAW IT FIRST! ;D


Good lord who cares? lol.
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Renumber.

Beryl at 11pm
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
1230. cg2916
We have just seen something that hasn't been seen in 125 years. That's kinda cool.
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Quoting cg2916:
invest_RENUMBER_al942012_al022012.ren

Hey-o! Hello Beryl!

I SAW IT FIRST! ;D
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invest_RENUMBER_al942012_al022012.ren

2-0-0

First time since 1908 that two storms have developed before June 1st.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24574
Moving west now, imo.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Looks like we're not getting a renumber tonight.
Wait until 9:55-10:05p.m EDT. Trust.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
We have Beryl!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
T.C.F.W.
00L/INV/TS
MARK
33.10N74.25W

What do the numbers 00L/INV/TS?
Is that the renumber?
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1223. cg2916
invest_RENUMBER_al942012_al022012.ren

Hey-o! Hello Beryl!
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1222. Grothar
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

The renumber could come at anytime.
Can one of you give me a link to the location where the renumber will be announced?


You won't need a link, it will be posted on here about 300 times.
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1221. cg2916
Convection trying to cover the center now. I wonder if the NHC will actually start it off as tropical
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

The renumber could come at anytime.
Can one of you give me a link to the location where the renumber will be announced?

Link
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Still nothing.

Might have to wait another 3-6 hours.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
1217. Bitmap7
ukmet says warm core:



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1216. cg2916
Surprised there hasn't been a renumber yet.
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1215. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
T.C.F.W.
00L/INV/TS
MARK
33.10N74.25W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972
Looks like we're not getting a renumber tonight.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24574
Quoting Thrawst:
Omg. Best sunset ever after yet ANOTHER crappy day in the Bahamas. Getting really sick n' tired of it.

SUN :(
I feel u .... I was just glad to see some other colour in the sky beside grey.... took some pics which I will try to upload in a few.

Quoting trey33:


No day in the Bahamas is crappy.... come to Tampa.
TRUST me... this past week would have been a serious challange.

Though I agree Tampa would not compare favorably most of the time... lol....
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I can't possibly see why they would need more data to upgrade this.

The renumber could come at anytime.
Can one of you give me a link to the location where the renumber will be announced?
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1211. Bitmap7
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Diagram was valid at 06z (2a.m EDT) today. ;)


My bad:



Going to cold core.
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You can pretty clearly see where landfall and reemergence are with these models:
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9756
I heard of an un-tasked rowboat mission. Apparently Jim Cantore is going to the center to take real time samples before the upgrade. What a trooper.
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Quoting SCwannabe:


System starting breathe...feeder bands on SE &NW

I see it as well.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Taking on a more classical look, convection continues to increase. The NHC is probably looking for more data before renumber, or it won't come at 11.

I can't possibly see why they would need more data to upgrade this.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting SCwannabe:


System starting breathe...feeder bands on SE &NE


NW...I meant
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Considering the pattern is looking 2004ish and 94L just battled 70 knots of shear and dry air and is about to become Beryl, I think we will see numbers that resemble 2004 with the focus of storm formation being much closer to home as opposed to 2010 and 2011.
Agreed.The Floridians are not happy hearing that.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Diagram was valid at 06z (2a.m EDT) today. ;)

Oh wow, so should it be full on warm core now?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Convection continues to grow and develop.



System starting breathe...feeder bands on SE &NE
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Convection continues to grow and develop.

Looks like it will be a rainy, windy night here if 94L keeps on its heading.



Taking on a more classical look, convection continues to increase. The NHC is probably looking for more data before renumber, or it won't come at 11.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24574
Quoting Bitmap7:
Even though 94l looks full on cold core, the phase diagram shows its slightly warm core.

Diagram was valid at 06z (2a.m EDT) today. ;)
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Think this will bring a tropical storm forces winds to Charleston area?


Look at the Post Below yours, Do you see how large the windfield of this storm is?
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Quoting Bitmap7:
Even though 94l looks full on cold core, the phase diagram shows its slightly warm core.


In that case, Its a complete toss-up to if the NHC says TS or STS
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Convection continues to grow and develop.

Not going to be a good beach weekend up and down the East Coast, unless you are a surfer.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Convection continues to grow and develop.

Eastern inflow channels developing convection.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
had a confirmed tornado:
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9756
1195. cg2916
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Convection continues to grow and develop.



Grow being the key word here.
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Quoting cg2916:


Satellite says TS winds as well. We're most likely getting STS Beryl at 11.

yeah i agree, STS at first, but likely will transition to tropical storm overnight.
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1193. Bitmap7
Even though 94l looks full on cold core, the phase diagram shows its slightly warm core.

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Quoting washingtonian115:
I just hope the rest of this hurricane season is as interesting...
Considering the pattern is looking 2004ish and 94L just battled 70 knots of shear and dry air and is about to become Beryl, I think we will see numbers that resemble 2004 with the focus of storm formation being much closer to home as opposed to 2010 and 2011.
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Convection continues to grow and develop.

Looks like it will be a rainy, windy night here if 94L keeps on its heading.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
If this is going to be named at 11pm, the renumber has to be in the next 15 minutes...
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Let the Beryl begin!
It's now heading WNW toward the coast as it makes its turn toward the South.
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1188. cg2916


Satellite says TS winds as well. We're most likely getting STS Beryl at 11.
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1187. trey33
Quoting skook:



St Pete Beach


We set a couple record highs today, so it was a perfect beach day. While we do need the rain, quite a few fires breaking out, and highs in Brandon topping out just shy of 100, I wouldn't mind if 94l takes it sweet time, making its turn towards the Fl coast. Businesses could sure use the tourism dollars, and I'm sure people wouldn't mind waiting for some rain for a couple more days.



Gorgeous pic
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 499
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:

Tomorrow? I thought this was third gear?
C. 75 mph

Wow, Im surprised to how many of those who cast a vote for 75 mph cane.
5 said Tropical storm Beryl
4 Said Hurricane Beryl
that's a close enough vote to me ;)
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1185. skook



St Pete Beach


We set a couple record highs today, so it was a perfect beach day. While we do need the rain, quite a few fires breaking out, and highs in Brandon topping out just shy of 100, I wouldn't mind if 94l takes it sweet time, making its turn towards the Fl coast. Businesses could sure use the tourism dollars, and I'm sure people wouldn't mind waiting for some rain for a couple more days.
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Lets not forget these traditional names...Wishcaster,Downcaster,Doomcaster,troll.... and it'll feel more like hurricane season...
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1183. trey33
Quoting Thrawst:
Omg. Best sunset ever after yet ANOTHER crappy day in the Bahamas. Getting really sick n' tired of it.

SUN :(


No day in the Bahamas is crappy.... come to Tampa.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 499
Think this will bring a tropical storm forces winds to Charleston area?
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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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