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 ProgressivePulse:
I can say for certain that I have NEVER witnessed a 1001mb invest...


What kind of winds are we looking at for 94L? 45 mph? and wow! Looks more impressive than it did yesterday off Florida.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I know it's a little difficult to view on infrared imagery, but if you look towards the southern and southeastern semicircles the lower-level inflow channels indicate that the circulation is neatly tucked under convective activity. I'm nearly 100% sure that we have a 40kt cyclone on our hands. Up to the NHC at this point, per usual.



Oh wow excellent point, that pretty much means that because the inflow is going under convection we then must assume that The low is under it too!
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Quoting weatherh98:

Gustav... Had 60mph winds


Yeah, but nobody knew 'til recon went in. Lol.
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I'd say bag it and tag it by 11pm.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
I can say for certain that I have NEVER witnessed a 1001mb invest...

Gustav... Had 60mph winds
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I can say for certain that I have NEVER witnessed a 1001mb invest...
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Hoping they name it at 11 PM EDT.


They wanted to name it at 8pm but the blog hadn't hit 1000 posts yet, so they're having to wait.;)
I'm putting my money on a STWO at, say,...8:46pm.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Pressure is quite a bit lower too.


4mb in 6 hours sure ain't bad.
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1970
94L/Beryl also appears as though it will have a fairly good amount of time for additional intensification....it already is at 45 mph.
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Just a general observation: It's like the Atlantic and East Pacific are doing a tag-team onslaught.

i.e:
Alberto formed within 6 hours of Aletta's dissipation...
Bud was named within 6 hours of Alberto's dissipation...
And at the current rate, Beryl could be named within less than 24 hours of Bud's dissipation...
Not to mention the 2 records that have been set already with the preseason activity in both basins (a joint record) and Bud's major hurricane record (and he was fairly close to getting that hurricane landfall record)... now "Beryl" seems to be going for 2ed or 3rd earliest #2 storm...

Basically, the forecasts may be calling for a normal/below season, but between the two basins, I doubt there's ever been a start quite like this.... just my thoughts.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
AL, 94, 2012052600, , BEST, 0, 323N, 749W, 40, 1001, LO,


Pressure is quite a bit lower too.
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I know it's a little difficult to view on infrared imagery, but if you look towards the southern and southeastern semicircles the lower-level inflow channels indicate that the circulation is neatly tucked under convective activity. I'm nearly 100% sure that we have a 40kt cyclone on our hands. Up to the NHC at this point, per usual.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

This is no 70 mph tropical storm.



Pinhole;)
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Beryl can't be far off..

AL, 94, 2012052600, , BEST, 0, 323N, 749W, 40, 1001, LO,
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30241
Stronger yet still:

AL, 94, 2012052600, , BEST, 0, 323N, 749W, 40, 1001, LO, 34, NEQ, 80, 120, 0, 0, 1012, 130, 70, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
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SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
747 PM EDT FRI MAY 25 2012

FLC081-115-260015-
/O.CON.KTBW.SV.W.0008.000000T0000Z-120526T0015Z/
SARASOTA FL-MANATEE FL-
747 PM EDT FRI MAY 25 2012

...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 815 PM EDT
FOR SOUTHEASTERN MANATEE AND SARASOTA COUNTIES...

AT 747 PM EDT...DOPPLER RADAR CONTINUED TO INDICATE A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND DAMAGING
WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR NORTH PORT.
THIS STORM WAS NEARLY STATIONARY.

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL AFFECT PORTIONS OF...
NORTH PORT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IN ADDITION TO LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS...CONTINUOUS LIGHTNING
IS OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM. MOVE INDOORS IMMEDIATELY. LIGHTNING IS
ONE OF NATURES NUMBER ONE KILLERS. REMEMBER...IF YOU CAN HEAR
THUNDER...YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

&&

LAT...LON 2743 8206 2707 8205 2703 8217 2703 8225
2700 8226 2697 8234 2735 8252
TIME...MOT...LOC 2347Z 122DEG 0KT 2707 8213

$$
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Hoping they name it at 11 PM EDT.

Its definately possible...
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
**Update**
(click to enlarge)
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
Confirmned tornado near Hays. 5% tornado:


Confirmed tornado near Victoria.
2nd storm in line also has weak rotation.
55-70k tops, baseball sized hail, and max VIL
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9451
Hoping they name it at 11 PM EDT.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30241
I surely don't have ANY authority on the matter but, I'd say we have a TS here. SSD has the low at 1002mb. Who am I though.

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Quoting Gorty:


Sorry, in a hot room atm, sometimes the heat gets to me :p
Yes Beryl errrrr 94L is a horrible looking storm..but at least it gives us something to track..and puts the GW debates on hold:).
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15704
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Barry formed on June 1. :)


We sure know our stuff ;) Haha
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1970
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

2007: Andrea, Barry ~ before june.


Mmmmm, close, but Barry was classified on June 1st.
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1970
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

2007: Andrea, Barry ~ before june.

Barry formed on June 1. :)
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Quoting washingtonian115:
No as being the first named B storm before June.

2007: Andrea, Barry ~ before june.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
904. Gorty
Quoting washingtonian115:
Ahhh but they didn't have names back then...:).Post 873..wow you were just pissed.


Sorry, in a hot room atm, sometimes the heat gets to me :p
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Looks can be deceiving and from what I have heard it takes a while for a Hurricane to wind down.


True, but Bud isn't winding down so much as being completely demolished by the mountains and dry air. I'd be suprised if it even has a defined circulation anymore.
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1970
Quoting AussieStorm:
UPDATED!!!!
94L Elongated closed low at the surface.

Winds@1000mb (Surface)


Winds@925mb


Winds@700mb


Winds@200mb


Click Images for full size.


That model analysis is missing the clear westerly winds that have developed this afternoon that are making the circulation clearly closed and rounder than it was this morning.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It's happened before, in both 1908 and 1887.
Ahhh but they didn't have names back then...:).Post 873..wow you were just pissed.
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Quoting allancalderini:
Really!!! I thought they will put him at 40 to 45 mph from his appereance.
Looks can be deceiving and from what I have heard it takes a while for a Hurricane to wind down.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
No as being the first named B storm before June.

It's happened before, in both 1908 and 1887.
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898. Gorty
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Hey, if it meets the requirements, it meets the requirements. There is no "beauty" requirement in the official definition of a tropical cyclone, nor should there be. Don't expect this to look like a well-developed hurricane. Out of the thousands of 40-45mph cyclones that have been recorded, only a handful could be called pretty.


Best response so far. Thanks :)
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UPDATED!!!!
94L Elongated closed low at the surface.

Winds@1000mb (Surface)


Winds@925mb


Winds@700mb


Winds@200mb


Click Images for full size.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

This is no 70 mph tropical storm.

I'd be shocked if this was even a TD by 5 AM.
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
I'm just speculating here...but the NHC at the moment has a lame-duck head, and this is one of those Friday night storms, plus it's before a major holiday. There's lobbying that comes from tourism boards and higher in the political realm. I'd speculate there's a good disagreement between the forecasters with outside influences. I'll feel a lot better when Dr. Knabb gets there.


Excellent point!
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:



Correct me if I'm wrong, but after it wraps around, all quadrants will have convection?


If it wraps all the way around, yes, though it will be difficult for it to do so with the dry air on the southwest side of the circulation.
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Well, it is an intermediate advisory. The National Hurricane Center doesn't like to make drastic changes then.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It wouldn't "make" history...It would tie it though.
No as being the first named B storm before June.
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Quoting Gorty:
If this were the 1980s then I doubt this thing would of gotten named. Back then, scientists knew less about TCs and this disgusting excuse of a TC would of gone un-named back then. They would look at it and say "wow, a poor looking-sheared system, with a poor CoC".


Hey, if it meets the requirements, it meets the requirements. There is no "beauty" requirement in the official definition of a tropical cyclone, nor should there be. Don't expect this to look like a well-developed hurricane. Out of the thousands of 40-45mph cyclones that have been recorded, only a handful could be called pretty.

And it's COC is actually pretty well-defined for this stage. Not really poor. Strong vorticity and presence on visible loops.
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Quoting Gorty:

If this were the 1980s then I doubt this thing would of gotten named. Back then, scientists knew less about TCs and this disgusting excuse of a TC would of gone un-named back then. They would look at it and say "wow, a poor looking-sheared system, with a poor CoC".
Back then in the 1000s BC in tribal Africa, when someone contracted the influenza they thought that it was a curse from the gods for not giving a sufficient amount of sacrifices. But now the term influenza is substituted with "common cold" and could be contracted for simply walking in the rain without an umbrella. What a disgusting excuse for a disease though.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM BUD INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 20A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022012
500 PM PDT FRI MAY 25 2012

...BUD WEAKENS TO A TROPICAL STORM...HURRICANE WARNING AND WATCH
DISCONTINUED FOR THE COAST OF MEXICO...


SUMMARY OF 500 PM PDT...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...19.5N 105.5W
ABOUT 80 MI...130 KM WNW OF MANZANILLO MEXICO
ABOUT 65 MI...105 KM SSE OF CABO CORRIENTES MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH...115 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 360 DEGREES AT 7 MPH...11 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...998 MB...29.47 INCHES
Really!!! I thought they will put him at 40 to 45 mph from his appereance.
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Quoting Levi32:
45 minute-old microwave pass shows the curved band that is forming in the NW quad and trying to wrap around the center:




Correct me if I'm wrong, but after it wraps around, all quadrants will have convection?
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:


A 70mph TS seems pretty generous to me...

This is no 70 mph tropical storm.

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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Are you talking about Don?
Pffft. That was nothing but a ball of dust.


just like Bud the Dud.
guess it was mexico's best bud after all.
And definitely a Bud Light.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM BUD INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 20A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022012
500 PM PDT FRI MAY 25 2012

...BUD WEAKENS TO A TROPICAL STORM...HURRICANE WARNING AND WATCH
DISCONTINUED FOR THE COAST OF MEXICO...


SUMMARY OF 500 PM PDT...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...19.5N 105.5W
ABOUT 80 MI...130 KM WNW OF MANZANILLO MEXICO
ABOUT 65 MI...105 KM SSE OF CABO CORRIENTES MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH...115 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 360 DEGREES AT 7 MPH...11 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...998 MB...29.47 INCHES


A 70mph TS seems pretty generous to me...

Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1970
Quoting aislinnpaps:
Some interesting weather for so early in the season, now hoping the big D doesn't repeat itself for Texas and Louisiana.

Are you talking about Don?
Pffft. That was nothing but a ball of dust.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting CosmicEvents:
I'm just speculating here...but the NHC at the moment has a lame-duck head, and this is one of those Friday night storms, plus it's before a major holiday. There's lobbying that comes from tourism boards and higher in the political realm. I'd speculate there's a good disagreement between the forecasters with outside influences. I'll feel a lot better when Dr. Knabb gets there.


The tropics just had to make it difficult for him...
nice going away president of "here is what we think of you"
lol
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9451
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM BUD INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 20A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022012
500 PM PDT FRI MAY 25 2012

...BUD WEAKENS TO A TROPICAL STORM...HURRICANE WARNING AND WATCH
DISCONTINUED FOR THE COAST OF MEXICO...


SUMMARY OF 500 PM PDT...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...19.5N 105.5W
ABOUT 80 MI...130 KM WNW OF MANZANILLO MEXICO
ABOUT 65 MI...105 KM SSE OF CABO CORRIENTES MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH...115 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 360 DEGREES AT 7 MPH...11 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...998 MB...29.47 INCHES
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30241

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About JeffMasters

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