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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reemerging and stronger over the atlantic
120 hours Euro--Florida, you've been asking for rain..well you bout to get it!!

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Quoting 1900hurricane:

The thing with the convection is that it is largely a product of the upper level jet streak at the moment. It'll be interesting to see how much convection remains near the center as the speed max moves away. I don't doubt that 94L can build convection on its own, but it has a good deal of help right now from non-tropical forces, which can be noted in the more linear nature of the convection at the moment.


This is exactly why it is not a tropical cyclone yet.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Q: Assuming that 94L develops, what will be its peak intensity?

A. Invest
B. Tropical Depression
C. Tropical Storm
D. Hurricane/Major Hurricane

I'm going to have to go with C.) - 60 knots or 70 mph.
Going to agree with your estimate. Maybe even a little higher if it becomes a TD/TS by today.
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And, want to wait for a few more frames but, I see a west component.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Convection isn't that much of a problem in my eyes. The circulation is still relatively ill-defined in the lower-levels towards the surface and that's probably what's stopping it from being classified. Convection is actually pretty impressive for the rather dry mid-to upper-level environment and unfavorable upper-level winds.

The thing with the convection is that it is largely a product of the upper level jet streak at the moment. It'll be interesting to see how much convection remains near the center as the speed max moves away. I don't doubt that 94L can build convection on its own, but it has a good deal of help right now from non-tropical forces, which can be noted in the more linear nature of the convection at the moment.
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Q: Assuming that 94L develops, what will be its peak intensity?

A. Invest
B. Tropical Depression
C. Tropical Storm
D. Hurricane/Major Hurricane

I'm going to have to go with C.) - 60 knots or 70 mph.
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If the NHC has new coordinates for the low, wouldnt the 12Z models have the wrong data?
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These models are from 6z/12z however, you can see that MOST of the models indicate that 94L won't go much further north, if at all, from it's current location.

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Wet in  Grand Cayman

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What I find interesting by the models is not so much what 94L does after it makes landfall, but what it does after that. It's being forecasted by quite a few of the models to re-emerge off the US Coast and regain tropical storm status. That means 94L will be around for a longer time than Alberto.
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271. Gorty
Quoting ncstorm:
The Euro in 24 hours



48


96


still running


Wow... the euro looks like it has it pretty strong.
Member Since: November 8, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1058
Quoting Patrap:
There's a invest?

: P


Which bank?

Im not funny, I'm terrible at it. Anyway 94L should become 02L tonight.
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269. TXCWC
Both 12Z GFS and EURO say landfall just south of Jacksonville, Fl. NE Florida looks to be a very good bet right now, despite what track models said earlier this morning.
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268. Gorty
Quoting Patrap:
There's a invest?

: P


Yeah and it is looking better. Sure sign the sheer is weakening.
Member Since: November 8, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1058
The 12z Euro in 24 hours



48


96


still running
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Quoting Grothar:


That is why I posted that image below. I don't see anything in their reasoning right now. Right now I would go with you on moving the track farther South. I am still trying to find why the tracks moved so much farther North between the 0600Z and th 012Z.

(This is why one should never let their grandchildren draw hurricane track maps.):)




Grothar is clearly ten times older than National Hurricane Center.

Therefore his word is the word of the land!



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Quoting cedarparktxguy:


Thank you Mr Cantore...

Huh?
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There's a invest?

: P
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Quoting Levi32:
Very weird that they switched 94L's coordinates from the southern low to the northern baroclinic low, which shifted the 12z model tracks northward into South Carolina, which does not seem as likely. The southern low seems more likely to be dominant and eventually absorb the baroclinic wave, holding the track farther south than depicted here as a result of shifting 94L's center location on the model initializations. I believe it was a mistake to do this, but we shall see.



That is why I posted that image below. I don't see anything in their reasoning right now. Right now I would go with you on moving the track farther South. I am still trying to find why the tracks moved so much farther North between the 0600Z and th 012Z.

(This is why one should never let their grandchildren draw hurricane track maps.):)


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26802
262. Gorty
94l is looking better now.
Member Since: November 8, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1058
Quoting BrickellBreeze:


The models are corrupted by this change by the NHC, therefore they are too far north.


Yeah, because the NHC is nothing but a bunch of dumb &$%es...

;)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I don't know if this will become "Beryl" until recon flies out tomorrow afternoon.

Expect 80-90% at the next STWO though.


Thank you Mr Cantore...
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12Z Nogaps..takes it to florida
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258. MahFL
Only 35 kt's of shear now on 94L.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3678
POSS T.C.F.W.
94L/INV/XX
MARK
31.01N/75.18W
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


NHC initialized 94L in the CoC that will eventually get sucked into the low to the south. Georgia and FL seems more likely that South Carolina.


The models are corrupted by this change by the NHC, therefore they are too far north.

I Agree with you
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Quoting Levi32:
Very weird that they switched 94L's coordinates from the southern low to the northern baroclinic low, which shifted the 12z model tracks northward into South Carolina, which does not seem as likely. The southern low seems more likely to be dominant and eventually absorb the baroclinic wave, holding the track farther south than depicted here as a result of shifting 94L's center location on the model initializations. I believe it was a mistake to do this, but we shall see.



It already appears to be getting absorbed.

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would be nic if we had a new two
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I don't know if this will become "Beryl" until recon flies out tomorrow afternoon.

Expect 80-90% at the next STWO though.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40721
251. txjac
Quoting LargoFl:


I totally hope that pans out ...
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Models still say North Florida/ South Georgia.


NHC initialized 94L in the CoC that will eventually get sucked into the low to the south. Georgia and FL seems more likely that South Carolina.
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Quoting HurricaneProneArea:


You don't have to know. But I did begin back in 07. Sad that folks such as Drakoen, Weather456, Ike, and Storm no longer blog in here.


You mean FootW? lmao...Sorry all, could not resist the temptation...

As far as the spot goes...I tend to agree with the 30N 75.2W ish area. Seems to be the general vort center at this point. Sheared, and not much to sustain it right now, would not be surprised to see it take hold, but wouldn't be surprised if it shifted at some point either.
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Very weird that they switched 94L's coordinates from the southern low to the northern baroclinic low, which shifted the 12z model tracks northward into South Carolina, which does not seem as likely. The southern low seems more likely to be dominant and eventually absorb the baroclinic wave, holding the track farther south than depicted here as a result of shifting 94L's center location on the model initializations. I believe it was a mistake to do this, but we shall see.

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Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:
Based on the visible, it does appear that a low level coc is forming at approximately 31.0n 75.1w.


Agree. That is what I was thinking. That buoy #41002 is located at 31.8N 74.8W with winds coming from 100 degrees (slightly south of due east), which makes sense that would be where it is located based on the buoy location and wind flow. Interesting too that pressure is falling rapidly and winds are 27kts, gusting over TS force. Could be interesting next few days.
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Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26802
Quoting CybrTeddy:
12z ECMWF running. System still targeting N Florida according to the model at 1005mb. Moderate tropical storm.


Models still say North Florida/ South Georgia.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


You are a valuable member of this blog, I hope you will stay many more years to come.

Thank you..I have had a lot of help from fellow bloggers, and am grateful for there time and knowledge.:)
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are any of my posts visible?
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40721
12z ECMWF running. System still targeting N Florida according to the model at 1005mb. Moderate tropical storm.
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...HURRICANE HUNTER FINDS THAT BUD CONTINUES TO WEAKEN...

11:00 AM PDT Fri May 25
Location: 18.9°N 105.5°W
Max sustained: 80 mph
Moving: N at 7 mph
Min pressure: 990 mb
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40721
Buoy 250 miles East of Charleston. Notice pressure is falling rapidly.

Station 41002
NDBC
Location: 31.862N 74.835W
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 16:50:00 UTC

Winds: E (100°) at 27.2 kt gusting to 38.9 kt
Significant Wave Height: 9.8 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 8 sec
Mean Wave Direction: SE (140°)
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.89 in and falling rapidly
Air Temperature: 75.4 F
Dew Point: 74.1 F
Water Temperature: 77.9 F
View Details - View History
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Quoting hydrus:
The NAO is going to be notably negative. It may have what it takes to shift things a bit....


According to the run that you had just given me, it'll be extremely short-lived, Hydrus. I just do not want a pattern like in place during the summer. As it'll keep storms away from the conus, other than Caribbean crusaders which will get drown up towards us because of the front. But otherwise, I do NOT want that in place. This country cannot go through another season without a hit.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Sorry Bud maybe next time.


Looks like Don from last year.
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Trailing edge of the STJ closer than I thought. May be only 6-8 hrs till the shear lets up.

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Quoting Tazmanian:
this sure dos not look like a hurrican any more it dos not even look like a TS in fac this looks like a weak TS or TD right now if even that




I'm Thankfull that it did not hit Mexico as a major hurricane, I think we have to be glad that it weakened before hitting the coast.
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Quoting Levi32:
Good afternoon.

Blog update on 94L:

Tropical Tidbit for Friday, May 25th, with Video

Thanks
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Based on the visible, it does appear that a low level coc is forming at approximately 31.0n 75.1w.
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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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