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 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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A Feels like temperature of 117 in Hudson, holy cow!
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
T.C.F.A.
94L/INV/XX
MARK
31.69N/75.18W
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Quoting Grothar:


You're OK,jeffs!


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


What exactly does this mean then?


It just means 94L is very healthy and the tight core showing up already increases its chances of tropical development tonight and tomorrow, which were already high to begin with. The main benefit of a tight core early like this is that it can throw some of that moisture over to the NW quadrant, which has already started, so that convection wrapping can begin combating the dry air to the west.
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My friends are going deep sea fishing out of Hatteras,anything to be concerned about?
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Quoting K8eCane:



i was wondering if i was the only one who saw nothing. But i wasnt gonna say anything in case it was the xanax


I thought it was just me too, lol, High five!
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Quoting jeffs713:

I totally saw it first. ;)

I will agree, it does look better with each passing hour, and I think we will have an official designation of Beryl by tomorrow evening.

right now, the biggest things holding back development are the shear (that is going down), and the dry air to the west (of which 94L just ate a slug of it).


You're OK,jeffs!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting Patrap:
Seems Hilton Head is gonna have to break out da "squeegee's".


What??? No Florida Castin' for you patrap? Come on! Get on the bandwagon ;)
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
Quoting Levi32:
The buoy wind/pressure graph is more indicative of a tropical wind core than a baroclinic one. 94L has a tight center which is several millibars stronger than any model or human estimate thought it would be today.


What exactly does this mean then?
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Quoting Patrap:
The real development?

I guess the past 12 hrs have been a er, "Illusion".

LOL

P.S. there are 2 e's in "feeder"


Three, actually. . .:>)
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Seems Hilton Head is gonna have to break out da "squeegee's".
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Quoting Grothar:
It does look better by the hour. I am also watching awave entering the Caribbean. The long term models are still hinting at a low forming off the Coast of South Florida. (I should put this in my blog so you guys won't all say " I SAW IT FIRST' :):):)


I totally saw it first. ;)

I will agree, it does look better with each passing hour, and I think we will have an official designation of Beryl by tomorrow evening.

right now, the biggest things holding back development are the shear (that is going down), and the dry air to the west (of which 94L just ate a slug of it).
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Future Beryl will maybe skip depression stage and be named instead like Alberto.


Yeah, I don't really see what basis they have for calling it a depression when buoy data is indicating winds as strong as 45 mph.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Future Beryl will maybe skip depression stage and be named instead like Alberto.
Yes, that's quite possible, likely even. Close to a certainty.
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Quoting reedzone:
Levi, I can always count on you man, this is doing exactly what you forecast it to do. 2 small vorticity's dancing around a broad low, should tighten up later tonight.

There will be watches and warnings up soon.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Smoke near Downtown Disney from the I-4 Brush Fire.



The children are NOT! going to be to happy.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17831
Quoting washingtonian115:
Future Beryl will maybe skip depression stage and be named instead like Alberto.
You never know it might skip both and go straight to a Hurricane...alright j/k.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Smoke near Downtown Disney from the I-4 Brush Fire.





Wow, I didn't realise there were such large bush fires so close to Orlando. I'd bet they wouldn't mind 94L taking a bit more of a southerly route.
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The buoy wind/pressure graph is more indicative of a tropical wind core than a baroclinic one. 94L has a tight center which is several millibars stronger than any model or human estimate thought it would be today.
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The real development?

I guess the past 12 hrs have been a er, "Illusion".

LOL

P.S. there are 3 e's in "feeder"
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Quoting Skyepony:


There goes the pressure..





With that pressure reading, and the fairly significant drop in windspeed...I'd say the center is very close to that buoy.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
Curved feder band fully developed north and west of the COC, here we go!!


The real development is starting.
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Smoke near Downtown Disney from the I-4 Brush Fire.



Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
It does look better by the hour. I am also watching awave entering the Caribbean. The long term models are still hinting at a low forming off the Coast of South Florida. (I should put this in my blog so you guys won't all say " I SAW IT FIRST' :):):)

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Future Beryl will maybe skip depression stage and be named instead like Alberto.
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606. Skyepony (Mod)
I-4 fire news is on. Traffic is ridiculous even at I-4 & 192.. Fire is close to some attractions..Nickelodeon.
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Quoting Skyepony:


There goes the pressure..





Looks like its Beryl alright....but subtropical structure.
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Quoting cg2916:


ATCF has 94L at 40 mph.


The bouy already has 45knots
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603. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Progster:
Link

S. Hatteras buoy wind speed approaching TS...pressure falling fairly fast too.


There goes the pressure..



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Quoting Progster:
Link

S. Hatteras buoy wind speed approaching TS...pressure falling fairly fast too.


ATCF has 94L at 40 mph.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
Got some thunderstorm heading toward me from 94L

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Link

S. Hatteras buoy wind speed approaching TS...pressure falling fairly fast too.
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Quoting yqt1001:


If it doesn't get named before 11pm EDT tonight, then they will probably wait for recon tomorrow.


Oh right, forgot about recon. Then yeah they will probably wait for that.
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Quoting cg2916:
Do you guys think that at 11 PM we could see Beryl, or will the NHC wait. I think they sort of jumped it with Alberto.


At the current rate of organization it's definitely possibly this becomes Beryl tonight. But you never know exactly when. The NHC is quicker to jump on some storms than others, which I guess is human.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


This?

I see nothing.



i was wondering if i was the only one who saw nothing. But i wasnt gonna say anything in case it was the xanax
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Quoting cg2916:
Do you guys think that at 11 PM we could see Beryl, or will the NHC wait. I think they sort of jumped it with Alberto.


If it doesn't get named before 11pm EDT tonight, then they will probably wait for recon tomorrow.
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1286
595. Skyepony (Mod)
Radar of the wildfire on I-4. Looks like it's starting to lay down.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


This.


This?

I see nothing.
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Do you guys think that at 11 PM we could see Beryl, or will the NHC wait. I think they sort of jumped it with Alberto.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
Quoting 10Speed:


Uh, this "brush fire" is actually taking place in one of the areas that has been getting rain on a somewhat more frequent basis than a lot of areas in Florida. I think in this case it's more about the location than drought.
yes and theyn had alot..of lightning last nite..which starts brushfires alot...but rain right now would help put this one out i guess
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The models have also been hinting at "future" Chris in the Caribbean as well.
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Quoting reedzone:
Tropical Storm Barry 2007


94L (Beryl)


See any similarities?


They look almost the exact same!
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
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Quoting cg2916:


Will it matter if convection is lacking on the west and south sides. If it does, how long until they can wrap around?
it won't take long once it does start
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Quoting reedzone:
Tropical Storm Barry 2007


94L (Beryl)


See any similarities?
yeah they look the same and one of them could make landfall in the same state as the other one
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Quoting LargoFl:
Florida is burning up..we need that rain


Uh, this "brush fire" is actually taking place in one of the areas that has been getting rain on a somewhat more frequent basis than a lot of areas in Florida. I think in this case it's more about the location than drought.
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Thanks guys. Wasn't aware the sites were changed for this season.
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Tropical Storm Barry 2007


94L (Beryl)


See any similarities?
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Quoting reedzone:
Convection increasing on the northwest side of the center, this is organizing well today.



Will it matter if convection is lacking on the west and south sides. If it does, how long until they can wrap around?
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
Even the IR is starting to look impressive.

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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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