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 nrtiwlnvragn:
HPC Sunday night




Looks about Right.
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A tidbit from the tropics by weather enthusiast Levi Cowan.Link
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Jim Cantore should be here momentarily
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Poll Time: Where will this system 94L land?

A: Daytona, Florida
B: Jacksonville, Florida
C: Savannah, Georgia
D: Charleston, South Carolina
E: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
F: Carolina Beach/Wilmington, North Carolina
G: Beaufort/Morehead City, North Carolina
H: Out into open ocean without landfall


A or B
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Quoting Brock31:


Not surprising. There are starving people in those million dollar beach front homes for Gods Sake!


apparently it was some business owners who said the tropical advisories caused huge reservation cancellations and it turned out that the storm actually didnt hit, so they thought they could sue
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Poll Time: Where will this system 94L land?

A: Daytona, Florida
B: Jacksonville, Florida
C: Savannah, Georgia
D: Charleston, South Carolina
E: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
F: Carolina Beach/Wilmington, North Carolina
G: Beaufort/Morehead City, North Carolina
H: Out into open ocean without landfall
C
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Quoting StormJunkie:
That's odd Levi because the 18z BAM's have actually shifted North a considerable amount. Also, looking at the rest of the 12z's (GFS, Ukm, etc) they all seem to show S GA.

Based strictly on a mild tendency for the globals to follow shifts in the BAM, I would not be surprised to see a slightly N shift in the 18z globals.


But they won't be as far north as the 12z suite, which was completely botched and had South Carolina landfalls as the majority due to improper initialization coordinates.

18z is already in. Notice the shift back south:

12z:



18z:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
HPC Sunday night


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Much warmer at the surface than one would expect with a former baroclinicly induced system.

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Quoting K8eCane:


you know they attempted to sue NHC once for loss of revenue


Not surprising. There are starving people in those million dollar beach front homes for Gods Sake!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

A lot of heavy rainfall and gusty winds.


Well, this should be fun :) Interesting to see if this will be weaker or stronger than what Hurricane Irene did to my place in Clayton, NC. All we got was light rain and 40 mph winds from Irene. Maybe it'll be stronger and soaker this time when I visits Charleston.
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That's odd Levi because the 18z BAM's have actually shifted North a considerable amount. Also, looking at the rest of the 12z's (GFS, Ukm, etc) they all seem to show S GA.

Based strictly on a mild tendency for the globals to follow shifts in the BAM, I would not be surprised to see a slightly N shift in the 18z globals.
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Commerce owns the nws in wilmington nc
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The 94L ATCF file has been fixed such that the center it tracks is consistent, so the 12z coordinate has been changed to 30.0N. However, it was 31.4N until they changed it later after they switched back to the southern center for 18z. This was the 12z model suite, initialized at 31.4N:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Pretty straigth forward thinking here

Orlando
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Quoting Levi32:


You can still see the remnants of the baroclinic trough to the northwest in that velocity field, with the southern low clearly the dominant one. The 18z ATCF coordinates should go back to that center. They should never have left it.


Well...

There ya go.

AL, 94, 2012052518, , BEST, 0, 312N, 752W, 35, 1009
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Poll Time: Where will this system 94L land?

A: Daytona, Florida
B: Jacksonville, Florida
C: Savannah, Georgia
D: Charleston, South Carolina
E: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
F: Carolina Beach/Wilmington, North Carolina
G: Beaufort/Morehead City, North Carolina
H: Out into open ocean without landfall
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MHX out of Newport, NC seem to not be as confident with the development as the NHC is.

""NHC has a high probability of development however...currently the low is sheared and looks extratropical. Conds may become more favorable for development over the weekend""
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Quoting ncstorm:


what?..thats crazy!



crazy but true
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Nice summary of the latest models on 94L and possible outcomes from the PM Tallahassee NWS outlook:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
330 PM EDT Fri May 25 2012

...Watching the Tropics over this Memorial Day Weekend...

.SHORT TERM (Tonight through Sunday)...
For consistency sakes we will continue to lean close to the GFS solution especially with respect to the future development and track of an area of low pressure off the Southeast U.S. coast. There is
still a lot of uncertainly but it appears that the greatest impact (potential for heavy rain) will be beyond the short term period. The latest run of the GFS shows the low lifting to the northeast tonight
stalling several hundred miles east of Charleston as deep layer ridging builds north of the system. As the ridging continues to strengthen, the low tracks to the southwest moving inland over northeast Florida Sunday afternoon/evening. This is about 6 hours slower than the previous run so we backed off a bit on PoPs for Sunday.

.LONG TERM (Sunday night through next Friday)...
The long term forecast confidence remains on the low side due to the uncertainty with how a developing area of low pressure just off S FL east coast affects the local region. See short term discussion for initial evolution. New models trending a tad slower and except for NAM clustering well. 00z GFS Sun night brings low to vcnty of Madison FL. ECMWF a tad slower brings it to ern most Big Bend where
it stalls thru Wed keeping wrn portion of area relatively dry before upper ridge breaks down as low shifts ewd. UKMET and CANADIAN similar but slightly to the N of ECMWF. Outlier NAM which does generally poor with tropical systems brings it to VLD then swwd into Apalachee Bay and will be discounted. Based on recent trends and the fact that GFS has shown more run to run consistency and favored by
hydromet prediction center, will lean towards it in forecast.

Thus, the large scale longwave pattern commences rather amplified. This is highlighted in the Nrn stream with weak ridging over West Coast, deep trough ewd across Plains with low over MT/ND, ridge ewd to Ern seaboard with axis Great Lakes thru OH Valley. Srn stream features weak troughing West coast to Srn Plains, and closed low over SE GA with ridge over extreme Wrn Atlc. At surface, short
term models seem to agree that low will be blocked by mid/upper ern ridge from moving too far N so it will be shunted back SWWD. On Sun night, this places 1011mb low underneath the ridge and invcnty of SE
Big Bend with high off Carolina coast with ridge wwd to TN Valley. This will provide for rain and breezy to windy conditions.


Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9120
18Z 500MB VORT:



Increased organization at MID levels compared to this AM.
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Anyone think this will go to Charleston, South Carolina? I'm actually going down there this weekend for a family visit from Saturday morning to Monday morning. Think Charleston will get anything from this system?

A lot of heavy rainfall and gusty winds.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31992
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Anyone think this will go to Charleston, South Carolina? I'm actually going down there this weekend for a family visit from Saturday morning to Monday morning. Think Charleston will get anything from this system?


Overcast Skies and Heavy Rain ATM.
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NOAA solution (25 KM) should provide a better take on exact location



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Quoting K8eCane:


you know they attempted to sue NHC once for loss of revenue


what?..thats crazy!
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15278
It seems that 94L is also becoming more vertically stacked as well. The 850mb circulation has parked itself over the LLC and begun to really spin-up with winds approaching 53 knots.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Got some tropical storm-force winds in there.





Station 41002
NDBC
Location: 31.862N 74.835W
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 18:50:00 UTC
Winds: ESE (120°) at 31.1 kt gusting to 38.9 kt
Significant Wave Height: 7.9 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 8 sec
Mean Wave Direction: SE (143°)
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.79 in and falling rapidly
Air Temperature: 74.8 F
Dew Point: 74.7 F
Water Temperature: 77.9 F
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Quoting StormJunkie:


A little confused. You're saying that there was something N of 31.2ish that was being tracked at some point?


Yes, the 12z coordinate was 31.4N where the baroclinic low was, moved much farther north than the 6z coordinate. That's why the 12z suite all took it into South Carolina. Notice the 18z coordinate is now 31.2N, back with the southern, main center, where it should have always been.

Invest 94 L
As of 05/25 18:27 UTC:

Location: 31.2N 75.2W
Maximum Winds: 35kt Gusts: N/A
Minimum Pressure: 1009mb
Last closed isobar: 1014mb
Radius of last closed isobar: 120nm
Radius of maximum winds: 70nm

Link
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Anyone think this will go to Charleston, South Carolina? I'm actually going down there this weekend for a family visit from Saturday morning to Monday morning. Think Charleston will get anything from this system?
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Quoting fortpiercecane1:
I wonder if we will get any rain out of this system on the treasure coast?


Interestingly Enough, Points North of Landfall will receive Heavy Rain and Wind.

Points Close South will also Receive Wind and Rain.

Points South of Cape Canaveral will get the tail of the storm (A.K.A the Trough which is parked over the bahamas will retrograde west)
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Waiting for the U turn for development.
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sheer is already dropping and in 24 hrs should be around 15-20kts over 94l,maybe less
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Quoting Brock31:


Its Memorial Day Weekend!

Wrightsville Beach needs there $2.00 an hour parking meters jam packed this weekend.


you know they attempted to sue NHC once for loss of revenue
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448. 7544
just a dejevue with this 94l wsw turn kinda reminds you of ILENE back in the 80s i believe where it came down the fla pin isular from this area its in now and at the last min and drenched fla than became stronger over the state and tuned into a hurricane anyone else remember that one fooled everyone
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Quoting Levi32:


You can still see the remnants of the baroclinic trough to the northwest in that velocity field, with the southern low clearly the dominant one. The 18z ATCF coordinates should go back to that center. They should never have left it.


A little confused. You're saying that there was something N of 31.2ish that was being tracked at some point?
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The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that central Cuba has received between 6 to 20 inches or rainfall, creating floods and mudslides, and rain continues. Freeport, Bahamas reported a 24-hour total of 9.7 inches. The gives System 94L a high chance for becoming a tropical cyclone this weekend when conditions will be better for further development. Coastal interests from the Carolinas southward through northeastern Florida should monitor the progress of this system over the Memorial Day weekend.
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Quoting 7544:


agree itg may just wind up back down south as far as orlando or even west palm wait watch and see on thisone could fool everyone imo


Your thinking Too far south. Its not going to go South of Daytona, The ridge is powerful, but it isnt that powerful...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The Wilmington, NC NWS here is giving us a 30% chance of scattered showers tomorrow and a 50% chance of scattered showers Sunday.

Conservative much?


Its Memorial Day Weekend!

Wrightsville Beach needs there $2.00 an hour parking meters jam packed this weekend.
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Got some tropical storm-force winds in there.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31992
MLB AFD 3:29PM:

SAT NIGHT-MON...FORECAST IN THIS TIME FRAME WILL HINGE ON EVENTUAL
DEVELOPMENT AND TRACK OF SHEARED LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OFF THE SE U.S.
COAST. ECMWF 12Z RUN COMING IN PRETTY CONSISTENT WITH IT`S PREVIOUS
RUN AND 12Z GFS HAS TRENDED CLOSER TO THIS SOLUTION AS WELL. THIS
SCENARIO CONTINUES TO SHOW LOW PUSHING BACK TOWARD THE NE FL COAST
DUE TO RIDGE BLOCKING IT TO THE NORTH. MODELS CONTINUE TO DEEPEN THE
LOW AND HAVE IT APPROACHING THE NORTHEAST FL COAST SUNDAY AND
ONSHORE OVER THE NORTHERN PORTION OF THE PENINSULA SUNDAY NIGHT INTO
EARLY MON. THIS EXPECTED TO BRING INCREASED RAIN CHANCES AND
INCREASING WINDS...ESP ACROSS THE NORTHERN SECTIONS IF THE LOW
TRENDS TOWARD THE SOUTHERN END OF SOLUTIONS. FORECAST TWEAKED THIS
WAY BUT WILL NEED ADDITIONAL REFINEMENTS THROUGH LATER RUNS.
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I wonder if we will get any rain out of this system on the treasure coast?
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439. Gorty
Quoting interstatelover7165:
Touche, because the center is slowly nudging itself under the convection.

Quick Poll

Do you think we will have Subtropical Depression 2 or Subtropical Storm Beryl at 5?

A: YES
B: NO

I think A; Subtropical Depression 2.


I dont think yet. Probably will wait till tomorrow to see how it does over night to see if the convection will persist and to see if the structure can keep organizing.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Well...

Looks like 94L is starting to interact with that upper-level feature and beginning to curl around itself. The western side is really tightening up now.

Should see designation AOA 12 hours. My guess is around first light tomorrow.

Pressures are lowering and the circulation has really wrapped up in the past 6 hours.



You can still see the remnants of the baroclinic trough to the northwest in that velocity field, with the southern low clearly the dominant one. The 18z ATCF coordinates should go back to that center. They should never have left it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
437. TXCWC
EURO MAY be on to something as the GGEM, while taking longer to do so - ALSO has Beryl making landfall in NE Florida only to turn back a day or 2 later regaining strength back off the Florida East Coast where it came from.
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Quoting weatherh98:
I think by 5 we will have a sts beryl,
Touche, because the center is slowly nudging itself under the convection.

Quick Poll

Do you think we will have Subtropical Depression 2 or Subtropical Storm Beryl at 5?

A: YES
B: NO

I think A; Subtropical Depression 2.
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Well...

Looks like 94L is starting to interact with that upper-level feature and beginning to curl around itself. The western side is really tightening up now.

Should see designation AOA 12 hours. My guess is around first light tomorrow.

Pressures are lowering and the circulation has really wrapped up in the past 6 hours.

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So this is pretty cool - 94L is passing over this buoy, and you can see the pressure fall back on May 22nd from Alberto, and now the current pressure fall due to 94L in the same location:

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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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