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

Share this Blog
40
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1132 - 1082

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41Blog Index

So, will it be subtropical or tropical? How strong will it get? Where will it go?

But the real question:

Why am I still awake for the sake of an invest 4000 miles away from me at 2:22 am?
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1971
Quoting BahaHurican:
I didn't even know NHC had a 100% rating on TCFP.... lol... that's pretty amazing.

Now I want to see if it will really hit GA....

Georgia's coast is one, pretty small, target to hit. Florida, Not so much.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting cg2916:
Just cleared a comments page in 16 minutes. 3.125 comments per minute, or 1 every 19.2 seconds.

Welcome to the blog!


we are going faster this time so far....
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9731
1129. trey33
Quoting Cayman2010:
Meanwhile, it's been raining all day again here. 94l has has a long tail.


Cayman what is the forecast for tomorrow there? Have some friends down there for a wedding, so just wondering.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Chicklit:


Wow, vorticity has improved. Anybody have a buoy pressure reading?
29.75 in. at Buoy 41002 Link
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
I didn't even know NHC had a 100% rating on TCFP.... lol... that's pretty amazing.

Now I want to see if it will really hit GA....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1126. Speeky
100% chance for 94L to devolop according to NHC
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
LOL. It appears as though 94L/Beryl may follow Alberto's track in reverse (at least initially)
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
Quoting BahaHurican:
Evening all. I guess something must have happened to 94L... over 1000 comments in less than 12 hours on a Friday in May????

Things have cleared over New Providence a lot since this morning and this afternoon's rains. We actually had a bit of a sunset!

I'll go back and read a bit now, but if this is the start of the season, I need to start popping corn from now....
Meanwhile, it's been raining all day again here. 94l has had a long tail.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bitmap7:
Pretty strong spin on pre beryl.


45 mph storm, in the making, and could be 60 mph by tomorrow morning, soooooo. Yeah :P
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting Bitmap7:
Pretty strong spin on pre beryl.



Wow, vorticity has improved. Anybody have a buoy pressure reading?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
when would the next update of the atcf site be
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
**TROPICAL UPDATE**



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GTcooliebai:
You can see wind shear has really come down.



94L is probably "Gellin" in the 30kts. Considering it got to where it is now in sometimes over 70kts.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5447
94L has finally merged with that UL system.

Shear should really drop-off now.

300mb wind vectors reveal the circulation over the convective canopy.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15916
Quoting hurricaneben:
When (and if) 94L forms into a tropical cyclone, will any watches/warnings be issued for the U.S.?

We'll probably see Tropical Storm Watches go up for the FL/GA coastline at 11PM or tomorrow morning, changing to a warning by tomorrow night into Sunday morning.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32230
1116. trey33
Quoting iluvocala:
I hate to say it, but we need the rain so very badly here in north Florida. This storm really is not a bad thing.


Tampa too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cg2916:
Just cleared a comments page in 16 minutes. 3.125 comments per minute, or 1 every 19.2 seconds.

Welcome to the blog!

Wow, How are you calculating that! Genius!
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
1114. Bitmap7
Pretty strong spin on pre beryl.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Tight consensus, but they are moving more South on each run.



Bring it on, Mom changed the 2 p.m. pool party to 4 p.m. Sunday cocktail hour.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I hate to say it, but we need the rain so very badly here in north Florida. This storm really is not a bad thing.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1111. cg2916
Quoting GTcooliebai:
You can see wind shear has really come down.



The 30-40 knots on the south is the only thing holding this back, save for the dry air.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricaneben:
When (and if) 94L forms into a tropical cyclone, will any watches/warnings be issued for the U.S.?

Beryl is forming tonight, Stated by NHC, They gave 94L a 100% chance of forming by tonight. And I imagine there would be watches and warnings posted, because it appears that the only place it can go, is into the U.S.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
1109. Speeky
Quoting hurricaneben:
When (and if) 94L forms into a tropical cyclone, will any watches/warnings be issued for the U.S.?


yup, It appears that 94L will be quite the rain threat for northern florida and the coast of georgia and south carolina
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1108. cg2916
Quoting hurricaneben:
When (and if) 94L forms into a tropical cyclone, will any watches/warnings be issued for the U.S.?


Tropical Storm for GA and FL, maybe SC.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Just figured everyone else would be pressing f5 on the NHC page, GO WU POWER! ;D


Not everyone who reads this blog is a weather geek :)
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1971
You can see wind shear has really come down.

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
1105. cg2916
Just cleared a comments page in 16 minutes. 3.125 comments per minute, or 1 every 19.2 seconds.

Welcome to the blog!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Here it comes.

..wait for it.


LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NICycloneChaser:


I know it's obvious to most here that you've made this up, but when you post something which could be perceived as official from the NHC, be sure to explicitly mention that it's your own work.

Just figured everyone else would be pressing f5 on the NHC page, GO WU POWER! ;D
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
When (and if) 94L forms into a tropical cyclone, will any watches/warnings be issued for the U.S.?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Have to remember that GRE uses the RAP, so it's not always 100% accurate.

Winds could be much higher in the cells around the circulation.

Oh, you're right, I completely forgot about that.

Thanks for reminding me.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32230
Released GRLevel3 2.02


Link
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
Evening all. I guess something must have happened to 94L... over 1000 comments in less than 12 hours on a Friday in May????

Things have cleared over New Providence a lot since this morning and this afternoon's rains. We actually had a bit of a sunset!

I'll go back and read a bit now, but if this is the start of the season, I need to start popping corn from now....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1098. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting NICycloneChaser:


I know it's obvious to most here that you've made this up, but when you post something which could be perceived as official from the NHC, be sure to explicitly mention that it's your own work.
it would be the right thing to do to avoid confusion
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
oh grlevel 3v 2 is out
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
Does anyone else find it amazing that Beryl is forming in almost the exact same spot as Alberto, and will (at least initially) take an identical path?

I've noticed the weather here in the northeast has been extremely cyclical lately. We have some showers monday, all-day rain tuesday then clearing up in the evening. Then repeat the following week... for all of May.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WxLogic:
Pretty much tells you where Beryl is heading... WSW to SW:


That high off to it's west is going to be building in to the north of it, so either way, yes, Its going to end up heading SW-WSW
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
First Advisory pretty apparant to me.
...Second Named Storm Of season forms off the Carolinas...
Tropical Storm Beryl
45 Mph sustained winds
1001 Millibars
Moving NNW @ 6 mph.


I know it's obvious to most here that you've made this up, but when you post something which could be perceived as official from the NHC, be sure to explicitly mention that it's your own work.
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1971
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
possible debris ball:


Dual-pol has nothing and there isn't even a tornado on the ground per ChaseTV
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15916
According to radar animation, 94L (Beryl) has begun a turn towards the west.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32230
1091. WxLogic
Pretty much tells you where Beryl is heading... WSW to SW:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The highest I could find at 10 meters is 40 mph. However, considering the buoy reported 45 mph, we know that is a little off. In addition, GREarth shows winds at the 850 mb level are already at 60 mph, so they could definitely work down farther as the night progresses.



10 meter winds ^


Have to remember that GRE uses the RAP, so it's not always 100% accurate.

Winds could be much higher in the cells around the circulation.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15916
Buoy 41002 250 NM East of Charleston, SC is showing WSW winds Link
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting winter123:
Sanvu needs love, too :)
This is a nice-looking storm.
I actually posted about Sanvu on my Facebook page earlier today, haha.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Has a preseason TS ever hit Florida?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The highest I could find at 10M is 40 mph. However, considering the buoy reported 45 mph, we know that is a little off. In addition, GREarth shows winds at the 850 mb level are already at 60 mph, so they could definitely work down farther as the night progresses.


Which means we could see tomorrow morning...
...Beryl Strengthens...
60 Mph sustained winds
997 MB
Moving WSW @ 2

xD im good at these... not really :P
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
possible debris ball:
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9731
1084. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
they are going to have to init advs 02l is being born
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Doppler22:
Besides all the Tropical Weather stuff.... There is a really nasty Tornado Warned cell going towards La Crosse, KS.

Well defined hook echo


Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15916
Quoting Charmeck:


Why renumber?? It should get named!

They Renumber the storm from 94L to 02L< Marking that it's upgraded to a Tropical Cyclone.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129

Viewing: 1132 - 1082

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.