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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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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Centre is NW of 41002 and (close to instantaneous) dp/dt now stalled. So MSLP probably is down to 1001-1002mb.

Link

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Quoting Levi32:


Not fully tropical yet until the convection can sustain itself over the center for a few hours. It is already trying to cover the center now, but wind shear is still moderate due to the tilted structure of the system, with the upper-level circulation offset to the west, imposing southerly shear on the surface low.
once this gets going, its going to be a huge storm in area, lots of folks will get rain out of this one when it comes ashore.
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Probably nearing sub-tropical storm status. Could be Beryl tomorrow morning at the earliest.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24552
water has been warmer than air according to buoy, as air goes lowere, here go the tstorms.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
The 500mb circulation is stacked along with the 700mb circulation.

If we can get that 300mb circulation to stack, this will have a very decent chance at strengthening.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
THIS IS NOW A TROPICAL STORM from Joe Bastardi?? is it a TROPICAL STORM??Link


If no one else has the ability to get excited, it's Joe B., LOL
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
THIS IS NOW A TROPICAL STORM from Joe Bastardi?? is it a TROPICAL STORM??Link


Not fully tropical yet until the convection can sustain itself over the center for a few hours. It is already trying to cover the center now, but wind shear is still moderate due to the tilted structure of the system, with the upper-level circulation offset to the west, imposing southerly shear on the surface low.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


That looks nice and closed.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
THIS IS NOW A TROPICAL STORM from Joe Bastardi?? is it a TROPICAL STORM??Link

His opinion, not official.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32715
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
local tv model has beryl pausing its SW track to drift NE briefly before continuing SW, and it has it restrenthening in the NE gulf.
if that happens and it hits this heatwave we are in along the gulf..oh boy
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Quoting wxhatt:
Levi, Do you think the baroclinic low to the north will become the dominant, as opposed to the one to the south?


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.
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Quoting reedzone:


Expect a new STWO around 8 p.m. probably saying that if the trends continue, advisories may be issued shortly 90-100%


It's looking much better, as the convection pulling into the center.



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Quoting trey33:


I took a pic of my dash and sent it to friends in Chicago. They wouldn't have believed me otherwise.
I bet your right there
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local tv model has beryl pausing its SW track to drift NE briefly before continuing SW, and it has it restrenthening in the NE gulf. before recrossing florida and going NE
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Quoting LargoFl:
yes the weather guys are amazed


I took a pic of my dash and sent it to friends in Chicago. They wouldn't have believed me otherwise.
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Quoting Levi32:


One could make a strong case for subtropical classification.


yea definitely subtropical
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THIS IS NOW A TROPICAL STORM from Joe Bastardi?? is it a TROPICAL STORM??Link
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Is it still raining in the Caymans?
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Water Vapor imagery with a Dewpoint overlay.

Not nearly as dry as I thought.

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Levi, Do you think the baroclinic low to the north will become the dominant, as opposed to the one to the south?
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
ZOOM



Looks like a closed COC to my novice eye
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
ZOOM




i thought the center was east of charleston
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ZOOM

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
Quoting trey33:


My car said 100 degrees at 3:34 pm
yes the weather guys are amazed
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Quoting SCwannabe:
At this rate we might hit 1,250 posts

That's nothing compared to previous seasons. We pushed 9000 last year.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
1004 mb pressure and the developing western side

This is probably a sub-tropical cyclone now. NHC might wait another 6-12 hours.



Expect a new STWO around 8 p.m. probably saying that if the trends continue, advisories may be issued shortly 90-100%
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55665
At this rate we might hit 1,250 posts
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Quoting LargoFl:
gee STILL 96 in tampa..


My car said 100 degrees at 3:34 pm
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Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32715
1004 mb pressure and the developing western side

This is probably a sub-tropical cyclone now. NHC might wait another 6-12 hours.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
And.....

blockquote class='blogquote'>Quoting LargoFl:
gee STILL 96 in tampa..
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Quoting LargoFl:
gee STILL 96 in tampa..
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:
Bud is absolutely falling apart. Kinda reminds me of when Don met the Texas heatwave.



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.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
To me, this is a Beryl now


94L:



Cindy, 2011:



Doesn't look far off it.
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Quoting Levi32:


One could make a strong case for subtropical classification.


and one could make a strong case that the NHC needs you
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
To me, this is a Beryl now



same here
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Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:
Might 94L be beginning to make the predicted left-turn?


I think it's a bit early to call that we have to get a good fix on the COC when it consolidates, then give it some time for accurate tracking.
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563

WHXX01 KWBC 251829

CHGHUR

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

1829 UTC FRI MAY 25 2012



DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.

PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.



ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR



DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL942012) 20120525 1800 UTC



...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...

120525 1800 120526 0600 120526 1800 120527 0600



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 31.2N 75.2W 31.6N 75.6W 31.5N 76.6W 31.3N 78.4W

BAMD 31.2N 75.2W 32.8N 73.6W 33.4N 73.8W 33.7N 75.3W

BAMM 31.2N 75.2W 31.6N 75.1W 31.5N 76.0W 31.3N 77.8W

LBAR 31.2N 75.2W 32.2N 74.1W 32.6N 73.2W 32.7N 72.9W

SHIP 35KTS 38KTS 40KTS 41KTS

DSHP 35KTS 38KTS 40KTS 41KTS



...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...

120527 1800 120528 1800 120529 1800 120530 1800



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 31.5N 80.7W 32.6N 84.0W 33.8N 83.3W 33.7N 81.6W

BAMD 34.2N 77.5W 34.9N 80.9W 36.7N 79.8W 40.9N 72.3W

BAMM 31.3N 80.1W 31.5N 83.1W 32.0N 82.9W 32.8N 80.7W

LBAR 32.2N 72.9W 30.4N 72.4W 28.6N 71.4W 27.5N 70.0W

SHIP 40KTS 34KTS 28KTS 27KTS

DSHP 40KTS 28KTS 27KTS 27KTS



...INITIAL CONDITIONS...

LATCUR = 31.2N LONCUR = 75.2W DIRCUR = 25DEG SPDCUR = 10KT

LATM12 = 28.1N LONM12 = 78.1W DIRM12 = 30DEG SPDM12 = 20KT

LATM24 = 25.1N LONM24 = 80.1W

WNDCUR = 35KT RMAXWD = 70NM WNDM12 = 30KT

CENPRS = 1009MB OUTPRS = 1014MB OUTRAD = 120NM SDEPTH = S

RD34NE = 80NM RD34SE = 120NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM



$$

NNNN
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738. wxmod
North Atlantic today. MODIS satellite image.




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Quoting Hurricanes101:
To me, this is a Beryl now


One could make a strong case for subtropical classification.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Still looks north to me.


May very well be.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I don't understand why the models aren't spinning it up -- they never have.


One of the hard things to accept is that numerical models can see things that we can't. If they unanimously refuse to deepen a synoptic-scale low, there is usually a good reason. Many times I can remember in recent years seeing new tropical storms in the MDR that were forecasted by the NHC to become hurricanes down the road but then never did, and then I would realize that all the global models were unexcited about deepening at the time, probably for good reason. Sometimes we are too quick to shed the global model intensity forecasts in favor of mesoscale nest models once development has occurred. Often they still provide relevant insight.
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Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:
Might 94L be beginning to make the predicted left-turn?

Still looks north to me.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32715
To me, this is a Beryl now
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Might 94L be beginning to make the predicted left-turn?
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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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