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 LargoFl:
you folks are going to hit the 1000 post mark tonight for sure


Been a while since it's happened.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3026
681. Gorty
Quoting LargoFl:
you folks are going to hit the 1000 post mark tonight for sure


You just helped :p
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Quoting Skyepony:
I-4 reopened.. Memorial Day Weekend is saved..
lol..ty for the good news
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you folks are going to hit the 1000 post mark tonight for sure
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678. Skyepony (Mod)
I-4 reopened.. Memorial Day Weekend is saved..
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
DEACTIVATE BUD



Have they deactivated him? I see nothing on ATCF.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3026
Quoting GTcooliebai:
A Feels like temperature of 117 in Hudson, holy cow!
local weather guy said it was 99 today in tampa,gee i walked the dogs and almost wilted..this is MAY isnt it? not august
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Quoting reedzone:
9L looks better then Bud.


Considering the last 9L was Irene, I would agree.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3026
DEACTIVATE BUD

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
Quoting Levi32:
18z GFS initialization is still hopeless. It has 94L's central pressure at about 1013mb, but in reality it is 1004mb.



Give them a break, Levi! They just aren't as good as we are. They'll get better.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23749
94L looks better then Bud.
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12N/77W will probably be the next AOI.
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Quoting floridastorm:
Does anyone know what direction the COC is headed? It seems like it is still moving NNE so how could it possibly swing back towards N FL?


A ridge of high pressure is forecast to block 94L from going ENE and forced to go around in a W or WSW direction, it should start turning by tomorrow.
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Model fields say 94L is shallow warm-core and therefore subtropical, since this is not a warm-seclusion event:



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Quoting Levi32:
18z GFS initialization is still hopeless. It has 94L's central pressure at about 1013mb, but in reality it is 1004mb.



1013 is closer to a high pressure than what it really is.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3026
Quoting winter123:


94L could be a named storm easily by 11am tomorrow if this rapid organization continues.
no its cirulation is becoming better defined it has a lot more work yet and the dry air may or could have somthing to say about it all yet so its still a wait watch see at the moment
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
Derived from (NHC) ATCF data for HurricaneBud for 25May6pmGMT:
It's most recent position is 18.9n105.5w
Its vector had held steady at North at ~8.1mph(13k/h)
MaxSusWinds had decreased from ~90knots(104mph)167k/h to ~65knots(75mph)120k/h
And minimum pressure had increased from 970millibars to 990millibars

For those who like to visually track H.Bud's path...
PVR is PuertoVallarta . ZLO is Manzanillo . LZC is LazaroCardenas

The southernmost connected dot is where TropicalStormBud became HurricaneBud
The southernmost dot on the coast-to-sea line-segment was H.Bud's most recent position

The coast-to-sea line-segment is a straightline-projection through H.Bud's 2 most recent positions
to the coastline.
The ZLO-to-coast dumbbell was the endpoint* of the 25May6amGMT* straightline projection
connected to its closest airport.
The PVR-to-coast dumbbell was the endpoint of the 25May12pmGMT straightline projection
connected to its closest airport.
On 25May6pmGMT, H.Bud was headed toward passing over the LaPrimaveraCentro in ~4&1/2_hours from now

Copy&paste pvr-19.832n105.364w, zlo-19.016n104.305w, lzc, 14.0n107.7w-14.6n107.5w, 14.6n107.5w-15.2n107.1w, 15.2n107.1w-16.0n106.5w, 16.0n106.5w-16.8n106.1w, 16.8n106.1w-17.5n105.7w, 17.5n105.7w-18.2n105.6w, 18.2n105.6w-18.9n105.5w, 18.2n105.6w-19.832n105.366w into the GreatCircleMapper for more information
The previous mapping for comparison.

* 17.3n105.7w was re-evaluated&altered to 17.5n105.7w. So an incorrect vector(direction&speed) was calculated for 25May6amGMT from using the original incorrect position.
Through recalculation using the correct position, the vector has been corrected to reflect that change.
The original incorrect vector produced an incorrect straightline projection leading to an incorrect endpoint on the ZLO-to-coast dumbbell
Nonetheless I am reposting it to maintain historicity with the previous map.
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The setup is getting better. This should enhance a good moisture wrap soon.



Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23749
18z GFS initialization is still hopeless. It has 94L's central pressure at about 1013mb, but in reality it is 1004mb.

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Quoting floridastorm:
Does anyone know what direction the COC is headed? It seems like it is still moving NNE so how could it possibly swing back towards N FL?
High Pressure from the North Atlantic and High Pressure over the Great Lakes combine and block the NNE movement and the flow around the High will induce a West to WSW/SW movement depending on the strength of the High.
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it's already rough offshore here...just spoke to a guy who had some trouble getting in....any offshore activity will be shut down this weekend from Ginny Beach south
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Quoting Grothar:
Does anyone know why the LSU maps aren't updating?


June 1 the ESL site will go operational with the Tropical Views.
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657. Gorty
Quoting winter123:


94L could be a named storm easily by 11am tomorrow if this rapid organization continues.


Lol. look at the center, it still sucks.
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646. NWS is really negative on 94L. I'm pretty sure though that 94L isn't extra-tropical.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23015
Does anyone know why the LSU maps aren't updating?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23749
Quoting Levi32:
Classic convective comma shape typical of a hybrid low wrapping in dry air from the sheared side:



94L could be a named storm easily by 11am tomorrow if this rapid organization continues.
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Quoting Gorty:


So... is it getting better?
Quoting cg2916:


Is this more tropical than subtropical now?


It is an intensifying subtropical low, but it is not tropical yet. For that to happen it needs to become vertically stacked with the upper trough to its west, which will happen tonight and tomorrow. You can see the upper low immediately west of the surface low:

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Quoting floridastorm:
Does anyone know what direction the COC is headed? It seems like it is still moving NNE so how could it possibly swing back towards N FL?


Blog Post's.
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I've got to admit it's getting better (Better)
It's a little better all the time (It can't get no worse)
I have to admit it's getting better (better)
It's getting better





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Does anyone know what direction the COC is headed? It seems like it is still moving NNE so how could it possibly swing back towards N FL?
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Quoting presslord:


that trip will almost certainly be canceled
I think you're right,you guys might get some squally weather if the storm heads back to the S.W. !
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Quoting Levi32:
Classic convective comma shape typical of a hybrid low wrapping in dry air from the sheared side:



Is this more tropical than subtropical now?
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3026
647. Gorty
Quoting Levi32:
Classic convective comma shape typical of a hybrid low wrapping in dry air from the sheared side:



So... is it getting better?
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NWS, in Wilmington, NC..someone is going to have to backtrack??

.SHORT TERM /6 AM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/...
AS OF 300 PM FRIDAY...POTENTIAL TROPICAL STORM OFFSHORE WILL BE THE
FOCUS FOR THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND FORECAST.

WV IMAGERY THIS AFTN SHOWS A DEEP TROPICAL MOISTURE PLUME STREAMING
UP FROM THE CARIBBEAN SEA INTO A DEVELOPING LOW PRESSURE OFFSHORE
THE EAST COAST OF FLORIDA. SATELLITE DEPICTION IS VERY CLOSE TO A
BAROCLINIC LEAF...SUGGESTING THE STORM IS STILL PURELY
EXTRATROPICAL. AT THE SAME TIME...VERY DRY AIR ASSOCIATED WITH A
DEVELOPING UPPER RIDGE ACROSS THE MIDWEST IS BULGING UP TO THE NORTH
AND EAST. THE WEEKEND FORECAST WILL HINGE ON A RACE BETWEEN THE
TRANSITION TO A TROPICAL/WARM CORE SYSTEM
...AND THE BUILDING
STRENGTH OF THE UPPER RIDGE TO THE WEST.

A NOTICEABLE WEAKENING TREND IS NOTED IN GUIDANCE TODAY...WHICH IS
MOSTLY DUE TO SLOWER DEVELOPMENT IN SEMI-FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT
.
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This will be interestingto watch these two high do a little squeeze play on 94L.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23749
Quoting Patrap:
Seems Hilton Head is gonna have to break out da "squeegee's".

Bring it on!
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Classic convective comma shape typical of a hybrid low wrapping in dry air from the sheared side:

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The formation of tropical cyclones is the topic of extensive ongoing research and is still not fully understood. While six factors appear to be generally necessary, tropical cyclones may occasionally form without meeting all of the following conditions. In most situations, water temperatures of at least 26.5 °C (79.7 °F) are needed down to a depth of at least 50 metres (160 ft); waters of this temperature cause the overlying atmosphere to be unstable enough to sustain convection and thunderstorms. Another factor is rapid cooling with height, which allows the release of the heat of condensation that powers a tropical cyclone.High humidity is needed, especially in the lower-to-mid troposphere; when there is a great deal of moisture in the atmosphere, conditions are more favorable for disturbances to develop. Low amounts of wind shear are needed, as high shear is disruptive to the storm's circulation. Tropical cyclones generally need to form more than 555 kilometres (345 mi) or 5 degrees of latitude away from the equator, allowing the Coriolis effect to deflect winds blowing towards the low pressure center and creating a circulation. Lastly, a formative tropical cyclone needs a pre-existing system of disturbed weather, although without a circulation no cyclonic development will take place.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
Vomiting!!


blockquote class='blogquote'>Quoting overwash12:
My friends are going deep sea fishing out of Hatteras,anything to be concerned about?
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Quoting overwash12:
My friends are going deep sea fishing out of Hatteras,anything to be concerned about?


that trip will almost certainly be canceled
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Quoting jeffs713:

94L.

Seriously, going to be some pretty squally weather and higher waves out there. I wouldn't be shocked to see an SCA posted (if there isn't one already)
Most charter boats won't go out with winds of 20 to 25 knts. People get too sick! LOL
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Quoting ncstorm:


well I do you one better because I called the east coast as seeing development before any other area


Oh, yeah? Says you! :P
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23749
Probably get a renumber tonight or tomorrow morning.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 3707
Quoting Skyepony:


There goes the pressure..







It sure is


Station 41002
NDBC
Location: 31.862N 74.835W
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 20:50:00 UTC
Winds: SE (140°) at 23.3 kt gusting to 29.1 kt
Significant Wave Height: 15.1 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 10 sec
Mean Wave Direction: SSE (158°)
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.66 in and falling rapidlyAir Temperature: 76.3 F
Dew Point: 75.0 F
Water Temperature: 78.1 F
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23749
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
T.C.F.A.
94L/INV/XX
MARK
31.69N/75.18W


You can easily see a spin and CoC.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3026
Winds have really picked up in Charleston today....


blockquote class='blogquote'>Quoting StormJunkie:


What??? No Florida Castin' for you patrap? Come on! Get on the bandwagon ;)
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Quoting overwash12:
My friends are going deep sea fishing out of Hatteras,anything to be concerned about?

94L.

Seriously, going to be some pretty squally weather and higher waves out there. I wouldn't be shocked to see an SCA posted (if there isn't one already)
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Quoting StormJunkie:


What??? No Florida Castin' for you patrap? Come on! Get on the bandwagon ;)


Is that in Louisiana?


Looking forward to a fine weekend here.

A Tad Hot, but hey, it's S.e. La.

Plus I'll be in H-town next weekend to do a 4 year post Ike follow-up.

Also NASA is Barging over the KSC Shuttle Mock-up that is going to come in to H-town right there by Emmy's Place.

Space Shuttle Replica Sets Sail for Houston
Robert Z. Pearlman, collectSPACE.comDate: 24 May 2012 Time: 11:38 AM ET


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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.