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 ncstorm:
Hey Everyone!

So the Dynamics models have shifted north for the 12Z and took florida out of the equation..lets see what the 18Z will do?



I have relatives in NC, if this forms, might tell em to get ready
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6469
32N 76W??? I know there are many swirls out there as well, including that one. That one appears to be moving SW. The one near 31N 75.3W showing some low cloud arcing around it. At 32N 76W, that shows low clouds moving S/SE to the south of that swirl. I am thinking this one near 31N 75.3W will become the dominant low.

This just goes to show that this system has a bit of time before it gets itself together, as it is still disorganized.
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Quoting HurricaneProneArea:
David Thomas, how are you?



reported
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Quoting ncstorm:
Hey Everyone!

So the Dynamics models have shifted north for the 12Z and took florida out of the equation..lets see what the 18Z will do?



Well...I guess my hunch 2 AM this morning was good...I was putting a forecast further northeast than the models with an anticyclonic loop on May 28....

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Quoting emcf30:


LMAO Taz, you called it first.



yep
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Quoting jeffs713:
151. If you've been blogging here since 07, why the new handle? What was your old handle?


How have you been? I haven't seen you on in awhile. It's as dry as I have ever seen it here and that's even with 5" of rain so far this month. Lakes are nearing record low levels and Springs in N FL are drying up so hopefully this system can deliver some rain here.
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Spotting JFV has come down to an art on this blog.

The only thing truly stopping 94L from becoming a tropical cyclone is the elongated circulation. It wouldn't surprise me to see 02L by late tonight.
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24 hours..48 hours..72 hours..84 hours..
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Quoting hydrus:
yes a deep one a pattern buster
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Hey Everyone!

So the Dynamics models have shifted north for the 12Z and took florida out of the equation..lets see what the 18Z will do?

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Quoting StormTracker2K:


LOL!!! Good catch buddy!

Anyone want to bet that our newest troll won't answer?
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


You know I didn't even think of that. Thank you and Taz for giving me the heads up.


He said that he'd been here since 2007... Why would u need a new account
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6469
Some video of the sever storms I filmed yesterday in St. Pete

Link
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Quoting Tazmanian:
I new it


LMAO Taz, you called it first.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


You know I didn't even think of that. Thank you and Taz for giving me the heads up.




your welcome
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Quoting jeffs713:
151. If you've been blogging here since 07, why the new handle? What was your old handle?


LOL!!! Good catch buddy!
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Quoting weatherh98:


Yea me too


You know I didn't even think of that. Thank you and Taz for giving me the heads up.
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I new it
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151. If you've been blogging here since 07, why the new handle? What was your old handle?
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Quoting Tazmanian:
i smell JFV on the blog


Yea me too
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6469
Quoting HurricaneProneArea:
Tracker, you're always on top of the models, so therefore, tell me, did the noon GFS show Chris on the horizon, or not?

Also, yesterday afternoon you stated on here that the 12Z ECM run showed Chris developing in the Carib by mid next week, which turned out to be a lie.

Please, my friend, do not lie like that, 'cause at first I actually believed you.

Thanks.


It did as a weak system. Look below.

Look at the feature near the Yucatan.

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150. HurricaneProneArea 1:25 PM EDT on May 25, 2012


Really bad start for your first post on this Blog.
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155. MahFL
94L is spinning up nicely.
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i smell JFV on the blog
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Chris? Y'all...its not even 100% that Beryl is gonna form from 94L...
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CMC is showing a strong system heading for St. Augustine/Palm Coast area.

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Quoting HurricaneProneArea:
Can someone please post the noon GFS run, 'cause I'd like to see whether it forms Chris at all throughout its run.


Welcome to the blog! Just in time
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6469
I put out a prediction on 94L...trackwise a bit different than the models...around 2 AM this morning. So my post isn't as fresh...but let me know what you think....
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Looks like te shear is dropping very fast
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6469
Quoting hydrus:
What happened.?


Hey I've done the same thing so don't worry. I had to have Doc fix one of my post a couple of months back.
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Quoting ecflweatherfan:
Good afternoon all! Gosh, it has been a while since I have been on here. Things are getting off to an early start for sure.

IMO, for what it is worth, the apparent LLC of 94L appears to be consolidating around 31N 75.3W. Seem right to you???
Nope 32 n 76w
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6469
Quoting HurricaneProneArea:
Come on now, y'all. Please stop ganging up on poor Hydrus like that!

It wasn't entirely his fault either.

Good afternoon, everybody!
Lol..I want to know exactly what happened, so it wont happen again...At least not because of me...:)
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Quoting RTLSNK:


It was comment #70, MikeVentrice.

Put him on your ignore list and the blog clears right up. :)
Does me putting him on ignore fix the problem.? Or the fact that I removed the posts with the inserted video.?
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UPDATED!!!!
94L Elongated closed low at the surface but getting organized higher in the atmosphere.

Winds@1000mb (Surface)


Winds@925mb


Winds@700mb


Winds@200mb


Click Images for full size.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Good afternoon all! Gosh, it has been a while since I have been on here. Things are getting off to an early start for sure.

IMO, for what it is worth, the apparent LLC of 94L appears to be consolidating around 31N 75.3W. Seem right to you???
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94L

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Best thing about 94L for now is that it's proximity (and distance) from the AL/FL/GA is giving us a beautiful sunny (but hot) start to the Labor Day Weekend......Beaches of the Panhandle, Gulf, and SE coasts gonna be packed this weekend. However, and if you have children, be mindful of rip current activity particularly on the East Coast.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
I'll have the 18Z AVN maps soon. That will show if 94L is less elongated.


We shall see...
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4965
Quoting RTLSNK:


It was comment #70, MikeVentrice.

Put him on your ignore list and the blog clears right up. :)
Will do..I pulled the video..To bad, it was good stuff..
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Quoting hydrus:
What ever I did to mess things up, I apologize. I was trying to show some good footage..I pulled it.


It was comment #70, MikeVentrice.

Put him on your ignore list and the blog clears right up. :)
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Post #70 screws up the blog with an unclosed HTML tag.
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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.