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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Evening Everybody, really interesting whats happening with the 94L scenario.
Here's a link for those who care to read it from the BBC:-
"Climate talks stall with nations 'wasting time'"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-182 10642

"China and the oil-producing states fear the breaching of the "firewall" between the traditional developed and developing worlds."

All a bit predictable as usual!
Wait until something really goes wrong!
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Quoting Tazmanian:




i was not talk about the two


i was talking about this site



Link


Ah, I see. Apologies.
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:


Unless they're planning on naming it tonight, there won't be another TWO this evening.




i was not talk about the two


i was talking about this site



Link
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pressurei increasing at the buoy now, up to 1006 mb
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9731
Quoting Tazmanian:
cant wait for 94L next update wish sould be any time now


Unless they're planning on naming it tonight, there won't be another TWO this evening.
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Quoting Progster:


Since its still partly baroclinic, the sign and magnitude of differential horizontal vorticity in the near 700mb to near 500 mb layer is probably helping it out.


Are you saying that the horizontal vorticity generated by the vertical wind velocity gradient (wind shear) is being turned vertical by rising air motions like in a supercell thunderstorm? I don't think the system has been convectively active enough for that, and wind shear is almost always more negative than positive for systems attempting to become warm-core.
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Quoting Gorty:


what does that pic show?
the colder cloud tops
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.....................Must be far offshore
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823. Gorty
Quoting LargoFl:


what does that pic show?
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I think we could have Beryl tonight !!!
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Waiting for 200 mb vorticity to catch up with 500 mb vorticity, 700 mb vorticity, and 850 mb vorticity to begin tropical transition.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
ATCFdata for Invest94 for 25May12pmGMT (previous map), and for 25May6pmGMT

According to the 12pmGMT ATCF, 94L's average travel-speed between 6amGMT and 12pmGMT (28.1n78.1w-to-31.4n76.3w) was an improbable ~36.5knots... ie 94L was outrunning its MaximumSustainedWinds AND its surface AND its 925mb AND its 700mb WindField.
(THANKS, AussieStorm, for the WindField maps)
Re-evaluation&alteration on the 6pmGMT ATCF put average travel-speed between 6am and 12pm (28.1n78.1w-to-30.0n76.4w) down to a plausible ~24.2knots.
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Now i want GREarth, GRlevel2Analyst with Dual-
Pol etc,

Ill need at least $700...sigh.


Unless Beryl starts wrapping more convection around, or creates a lot more, it may not be that large of a storm.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9731
COASTAL WATERS FORECAST...CORRECTED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON SC
437 PM EDT FRI MAY 25 2012

SOUTH SANTEE RIVER SC TO SAVANNAH GA OUT 20 NM AND SAVANNAH GA TO
ALTAMAHA SOUND GA OUT 60 NM...INCLUDING CHARLESTON HARBOR AND GRAYS
REEF NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

AMZ374-261200-
WATERS FROM SAVANNAH GA TO ALTAMAHA SOUND GA EXTENDING FROM 20 TO
60 NM-
437 PM EDT FRI MAY 25 2012

...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON...

.TONIGHT...N WINDS 10 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.SAT...N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT...INCREASING TO 15 TO 20 KT IN THE
AFTERNOON. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT...BUILDING TO 5 TO 7 FT IN THE AFTERNOON.
ISOLATED SHOWERS AND TSTMS IN THE AFTERNOON.
.SAT NIGHT...N WINDS 20 TO 25 KT WITH GUSTS TO 30 KT. SEAS 5 TO
8 FT...BUILDING TO 6 TO 9 FT AFTER MIDNIGHT. SCATTERED SHOWERS WITH
ISOLATED TSTMS.
.SUN...NE WINDS 25 TO 30 KT. SEAS 7 TO 9 FT... SUBSIDING TO 6 TO
8 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND SCATTERED TSTMS.
.SUN NIGHT...E WINDS 20 TO 25 KT...BECOMING SE 15 TO 20 KT AFTER
MIDNIGHT. SEAS 6 TO 7 FT...SUBSIDING TO 5 TO 7 FT AFTER MIDNIGHT. A
CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND TSTMS.
.MON...SE WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT... SUBSIDING TO 4 TO
6 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND TSTMS.
.MON NIGHT...SE WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5 FT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS
AND TSTMS.
.TUE...S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 4 TO 5 FT. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF
SHOWERS AND TSTMS.
.TUE NIGHT...S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 4 FT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND
TSTMS.
.WED AND WED NIGHT...S WINDS 10 KT. SEAS 4 FT. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF
SHOWERS AND TSTMS.

MARINERS ARE REMINDED THAT WINDS AND SEAS CAN BE HIGHER IN AND
NEAR TSTMS.

$$
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


what program or website is this?


GREarth

Its a program...


More detailed view:

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15921
814. Gorty
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
If it's performing this well under very high wind shear, it makes you think how it will behave tomorrow under low wind shear.


Still got dry air.
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Quoting Levi32:
The strength of the mid-level circulation (700mb) is truly impressive for an unclassified system. It has a significant presence at 500mb as well, though still elongated at that level.

700mb Vorticity:



500mb Vorticity:




Since its still partly baroclinic, the sign and magnitude of differential horizontal vorticity in the near 700mb to near 500 mb layer is probably helping it out.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


what program or website is this?

GREarth.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
If it's performing this well under very high wind shear, it makes you think how it will behave tomorrow under low wind shear.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
700mb forcing is lighting up light a Christmas tree

Convection should be firing all night as this wraps up.



what program or website is this?
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9731
cant wait for 94L next update wish sould be any time now
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According to the GOES-15 satellite even the dry, western side of the circulation has TS-force winds.

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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Now this is impressive...

LLC is firmly tucked under the convection ALREADY:



ZOOM-IN (Recommended)



Reminds me of Barry, there was a thunderstorm blowup over the LLC while the recon was in that lead to classification. That was also a sheared sheep, and there was a debate going on whether or not it was a sub-tropical or tropical cyclone. I'm leaning more tropical, as the pressure gradient is not as large as it would be (spread out), rather it's noticeably deeper by the LLC.
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Quoting wxhatt:


Just give it some time, NC doesn't stick it's nose out there in the atlantic to avoid all...


i figure it will rain some more at some point or at least its likely to
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
18gfs shows 1012 milibars going into FL, and 1008 coming out.

Something would have to be going on in the NE Gulf, and that would probably relate to a true pressure of 1000-995 mb.


It's our new tax rate. Sucks a little from everything.
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700mb forcing is lighting up like a Christmas tree

Convection should be firing all night as this wraps up.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15921
Quoting reedzone:


As Levi mentioned earlier, one could argue this is already a Subtropical Storm.


It's funny, because I've seen it all with tropical systems transitioning, and morphing.
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18gfs shows 1012 milibars going into FL, and 1008 coming out.

Something would have to be going on in the NE Gulf, and that would probably relate to a true pressure of 1000-995 mb.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9731
Quoting K8eCane:
We were getting quite a few showers earlier here in Wilmington, but I think its pulled east because the sun is shining nicely now


Just give it some time, NC doesn't stick it's nose out there in the atlantic to avoid all...
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The strength of the mid-level circulation (700mb) is truly impressive for an unclassified system. It has a significant presence at 500mb as well, though still elongated at that level.

700mb Vorticity:



500mb Vorticity:


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Now this is impressive...

LLC is firmly tucked under the convection ALREADY:



ZOOM-IN (Recommended)

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15921
On another note, for those looking for the atcf site, database for the tropical systems

I have had no issues getting onto the atcf site on my phone
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Do you mean at the latest?


I mean earliest, the NHC will want to look for sustained convection. What if 94L falls apart for whatever reason? Think of the Jose drama last year. 6-12 hours from classification is a good bet.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24173
Quoting Jedkins01:
second day in a row it has been 97, man what is it with forecasters being afraid to forecast mid to upper 90's around here?

Yesterdays local forecast for are temps: 90 to 93.

Actual highs around the area:94 to 99.

Today's forecast for area temps:90 to 93.

Actual highs:94 to 99, again.


lol


I don't care what G.W. enthusiasts say the cause of warming is, It's just darn hot, and darn early!
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Quoting Tango01:


I was thinking exactly on the same thing. Don was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. He was a real testament of how intense and powerful was last year's drought in Texas.


NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SHREVEPORT LA
344 PM CDT FRI MAY 25 2012

The "D" word is being thrown about again. Sigh...

THE 12Z GFS HAS ALSO TRENDED FASTER WITH THE DEVELOPMENT AND
PROGRESSION OF A SHORTWAVE DROPPING SE ACROSS THE PLAINS/MS VALLEY
WEDNESDAY THROUGH EARLY THURSDAY...BRINGING A SHARP COLD FRONT
THROUGH THE REGION THURSDAY. NOT QUITE BUYING THIS FASTER AND MORE
AMPLIFIED SCENARIO JUST YET...AS THE 12Z ECMWF/CANADIAN PROGS ARE
SLOWER AND LESS AMPLIFIED WITH THIS SHORTWAVE...YET MAINTAINS
DIRTY NW FLOW OVER THE SRN PLAINS/LOWER MS VALLEY THURSDAY. THE ECMWF AND
TO SOME EXTENT THE CANADIAN EVEN DEVELOP AN MCS ALONG THE RED
RIVER OF SRN OK/N TX THURSDAY...TRAVERSING ESE INTO THE NRN HALF
OF THE FOUR STATE REGION BY AFTERNOON DURING PEAK HEATING. GIVEN
THESE UNCERTAINTIES...HAVE NOT MADE MUCH IN THE WAY OF CHANGES
WITH THE LATTER PORTION OF THE EXTENDED...BUT DID TREND SLOWER
WITH THE PRIMARY UPPER TROUGH PASSAGE/ATTENDANT COOL ADVECTION
DURING THE LATE WEEK TIMEFRAME. THUS...WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT
ANOTHER WEEK BEFORE POTENTIALLY LEGIT SHOTS OF RAIN RETURN TO OUR
REGION.


GIVEN THESE ABNORMALLY HOT TEMPS...THOSE WITH OUTDOOR PLANS THIS
HOLIDAY WEEKEND ARE URGED TO DRINK PLENTY OF WATER...AND USE
CAUTION WHEN GRILLING AS DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE LED TO AN
INCREASED FIRE THREAT.
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793. Gorty
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
6 hours ago:


Now:


Yeah see too me it barely got any better.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Probably nearing sub-tropical storm status. Could be Beryl tomorrow morning at the earliest.


As Levi mentioned earlier, one could argue this is already a Subtropical Storm.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
6 hours ago:


Now:


Way to wrap up 94L!
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We were getting quite a few showers earlier here in Wilmington, but I think its pulled east because the sun is shining nicely now
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Probably nearing sub-tropical storm status. Could be Beryl tomorrow morning at the earliest.

Do you mean at the latest?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Quoting Jedkins01:
second day in a row it has been 97, man what is it with forecasters being afraid to forecast mid to upper 90's around here?

Yesterdays local forecast for are temps: 90 to 93.

Actual highs around the area:94 to 99.

Today's forecast for area temps:90 to 93.

Actual highs:94 to 99, again.


lol
your so right there jed, we were hopining you would come on today, did you get any rain at all by you last night?
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6 hours ago:


Now:
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5690
Quoting Levi32:


The southern one is now the dominant and only low. The baroclinic one literally went from being a defined circulation to being completely absorbed within the span of 8 hours.


Wow! Thanks for heads up. :)
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If 94L were to form now, it would most likely be STS Beryl and have 40 mph.
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With it being a holiday w/e on the beaches the NHC won't delay too long...I would hope
Member Since: August 14, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 535
second day in a row it has been 97, man what is it with forecasters being afraid to forecast mid to upper 90's around here?

Yesterdays local forecast for are temps: 90 to 93.

Actual highs around the area:94 to 99.

Today's forecast for area temps:90 to 93.

Actual highs:94 to 99, again.


lol
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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.