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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Post #70 screws up the blog with an unclosed HTML tag.
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Quoting txjac:
Dangit!!!! You guys are addicting!!! I'm sitting here at work ...reading the blog ...and NOT working!!!

lol ...thank goodness its a holiday weekend and no one is really paying attention!



Ditto
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Quoting WDEmobmet:
O well im using explorer at work so cant use anything else... thanks for the help though


There is the option of firefox portable off a thumb drive. I had to do that at my last work site.
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Quoting WDEmobmet:
Dang it Hydrus...

ADMIN
FFFFFIIIIIXXXXX the BLOG
What ever I did to mess things up, I apologize. I was trying to show some good footage..I pulled it.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Hydrus that last post screwed up the blog.
What happened.?
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127. Gorty
Ok Idk anymore with 94l. Is it even looking good or not?
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126. Skyepony (Mod)
Looking at model error average for 94L..just about all aren't even with in 100nm 24hrs out..
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Time will tell. If the models have a dead on track for a system that hasn't formed yet, and is 3 days away from landfall, I would be extremely impressed.


Truest words spoken all morning.

In fact - in my simple minded opinion - I feel that if we look at history (and i havnt..just how it seems) - where it shows the track of it going this far in advance is probably more likely to be the place it wont be. Very rarely do they have it nailed this far out.

Nothing scientific in my post - just how it seems and knowing how often models get shifted over the course of 3 days.
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POSS T.C.F.A.
94L/INV/XX
MARK
30.86N/77.56W
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Quoting stormpetrol:


ITs actually been non stop this morning, though not very heavy, lots of energy left from 94L, if shear keeps low the tropical wave in the east/central caribbean now might develop into somthing!

Hopefully it will stop soon!
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Quoting WxLogic:
I'll have the 18Z AVN maps soon. That will show if 94L is less elongated.
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hey guys we need to keep an eye on that tropical wave in the E caribbean once it reaches the central and W caribbean
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Quoting Grothar:
BrickellBreeze,

I do have it set to 50 and it still is messed up. Do you know what post it was so I can do delete it?

Try #72
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As of 15Z... LLC is starting to consolidate (less elongated that earlier today):

850MB:



700MB:



500MB (still some work to do):



- For now, I do believe any further displacement to the N should considerably slow to be non existent. Which should give it enough time to pull itself together. I put the center around 31N 75.5W (with a couple small vortex(es)rotating around it).

- Shear is on the decrease and low level convergence still decent:



Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
112. Grothar 4:37 PM GMT on May 25, 2012 +0
Who messed up the blog? I've been getting messages from bloggers who can't even get in. I can't post anything.
Action: Quote | Ignore User
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 33 Comments: 13104


ok if ya do things the old way

but maybe you can't remember

lol
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BrickellBreeze,

I do have it set to 50 and it still is messed up. Do you know what post it was so I can do delete it?
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Flood maps.


Didn't think about that. (Slaps self in face)
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Quoting Grothar:
Who messed up the blog? I've been getting messages from bloggers who can't even get in. I can't post anything.


It was a post on the last page, just set your number of comments show to 50. And you will be fine.
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Here you can see the upper level trough beginning to lift to the north and east. Pretty soon, this will put 94L beneath the the trough axis, which features much lower shear than the system is currently encountering. Also, the progressive moment of the upper trough means that the elements of baroclinic forcing currently acting upon 94L will begin to decline as the 200-300 mb jet streak moves away.

Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11667
Quoting StormJunkie:
BB, that is pretty much exactly what the models are saying right now. Although I would not be surprised if it were as far S as the cape, or as far N as the SC/NC border. Time will tell. If the models have a dead on track for a system that hasn't formed yet, and is 3 days away from landfall, I would be extremely impressed.


The Models have remained constant with the track of 94L, (North FL or Georgia) but no one knows how intense it will become.

I assume, the Sooner it becomes closed, the faster it will be able to attain more organization.

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Who messed up the blog? I've been getting messages from bloggers who can't even get in. I can't post anything.
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02E/XH/B/XX
RW FLAG ON
MARK
18.00N/105.00W
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Wow Bud, you really let yourself go...
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Quoting yqt1001:
Looks like the luck is in Mexico's hand. Dry air must've just destroyed Bud.


I wish the Cuyutl√°n, MX. Radar was working, would give a nice view.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Jacksonville hasn't had a Direct hit from a Tropical System in at least 50 years.

How does he know which area is the most vulnerable?

Flood maps.
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BB, that is pretty much exactly what the models are saying right now. Although I would not be surprised if it were as far S as the cape, or as far N as the SC/NC border. Time will tell. If the models have a dead on track for a system that hasn't formed yet, and is 3 days away from landfall, I would be extremely impressed.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16505
Quoting StormJunkie:
Hey all, good to see a few of the usual suspects around.

My man's chasing thunderstorms from 1500 miles away again huh? Pure rocket scientist I tell ya.

Looks to me this will be a slow mover and have a feeling those models will shift around a bit for the next day or so.

Here's a pretty nice webcam from Folly Beach, SC. May be a little far north by time it makes landfall, but still a good link to have.



I'm thinking a Landfall around the Georgia/Florida border.

But that would still give points east and north, heavy rain and some wind. (Its such a large system)

But the brunt of the Wind would be in North Florida/ Southern Georgia.
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Hey all, good to see a few of the usual suspects around.

My man's chasing thunderstorms from 1500 miles away again huh? Pure rocket scientist I tell ya.

Looks to me this will be a slow mover and have a feeling those models will shift around a bit for the next day or so.

Here's a pretty nice webcam from Folly Beach, SC. May be a little far north by time it makes landfall, but still a good link to have.

Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16505
New page.

These percentages should go up over the next couple of hours.



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Whoa. Why is the blog all jacked up looking all of a sudden? nevermind..its fine now...weird?
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Looks like the luck is in Mexico's hand. Dry air must've just destroyed Bud.

Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1286
Quoting nigel20:
More rain for Grand Cayman



ITs actually been non stop this morning, though not very heavy, lots of energy left from 94L, if shear keeps low the tropical wave in the east/central caribbean now might develop into somthing!
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Quoting KennyNebraska:
Cyclone Oz has posted that he is going to Jacksonville. He says he is going to be in a flood zone area for this storm.

I think it would be interesting if he can broadcast a flash flood in progress.


Jacksonville hasn't had a Direct hit from a Tropical System in at least 50 years.

How does he know which area is the most vulnerable?
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99. Skyepony (Mod)
Tornado wedding..

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More rain for Grand Cayman

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O well im using explorer at work so cant use anything else... thanks for the help though
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96. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Yeah I agree and there maybe a nice shift south on the models as this appears to be the center forming due east of Cape Canaveral by about 300 miles. It also doesn't appear to be to the NE that much anymore either.


NASA/GMAO GEOS-5 has been suggesting this for ~48hrs.
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Quoting WDEmobmet:
Dang it Hydrus...

ADMIN
FFFFFIIIIIXXXXX the BLOG

Ain't nothing wrong with the blog. Use FF or Chrome and you'll have no problems.
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The blog is fine in CHROME.

restart ya browser .
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Dang it Hydrus...

ADMIN
FFFFFIIIIIXXXXX the BLOG
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Quoting Gorty:


Certainly looks sub tropical in that image.


000
FXUS62 KMFL 251508
AFDMFL

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 428 AM EDT FRI MAY 25 2012/

DISCUSSION...

THE MAJOR SYNOPTIC FEATURES INFLUENCING SOUTH FLORIDA AND
ADJACENT WATERS INCLUDES A SURFACE LOW JUST NORTH OF THE
NORTHWEST BAHAMAS AND A LARGE AMPLITUDE UPPER LEVEL TROUGH ACROSS
THE SOUTHEAST U.S. AND EASTERN GULF WITH THE AXIS EXTENDING JUST
WEST OF SOUTH FLORIDA AND INTO THE VICINITY OF THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA. THE SURFACE LOW IS STILL EXHIBITING FEATURES OF A
DEVELOPING BAROCLINIC SYSTEM.
THE LOW IS FORECAST TO MOVE
NORTHEAST TODAY BUT BY TONIGHT IS FORECAST TO STALL AS A LARGE
AMPLITUDE RIDGE ACROSS THE WESTERN ATLANTIC IMPEDES ITS
MOTION...WITH THE LATEST SUITE OF MODELS SUGGESTING THE LOW COULD
RETROGRADE TO THE WEST OVER NIGHT AND BE OFF THE COAST OF THE
CAROLINAS BY SATURDAY MORNING. THE GUIDANCE CONTINUES TO MOVE THE
DEVELOPING SURFACE LOW FURTHER WEST SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY
WITH THE GFS SUGGESTING IT COULD BE OFF THE SOUTH
CAROLINA/GEORGIA COAST SUNDAY AT 12Z WHILE THE ECMWF SUGGESTS
THAT IT COULD POSSIBLY MOVE FURTHER SOUTHWEST OFF THE NORTHEAST
FLORIDA COAST. AS OF 00Z...THE INVEST TRACK GUIDANCE SUGGESTS
SOME SIMILAR SCENARIOS WITH A FEW OUTLIERS.
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Quoting Gorty:


Certainly looks sub tropical in that image.

Stormchaser2007 posted this on the last blog:
"This is actually MUCH more warm core than I thought..."
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
We have recon tomorrow!

000

your only 12mins late. LOL :-)

And I just caught and killed a mouse with my bare hands.
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In Other Weather Related News

Tornado doesn't stop Kansas couple's wedding day
Link
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Thanks Dr. Masters....Good morning all
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:


Certainly looks sub tropical in that image.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Afternoon All. Low shear coming in from the west.




Yeah, as the subtropical jet progresses, it will put put 94L beneath the relaxed shear zone of the upper level trough axis, which should give it a pretty good shot at developing.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11667
In the image above that Dr. Masters have of 94l is the eye like feature where the center is? it is looking better than a few hours ago from when I last saw it.
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Beginning to get some rain here in southeast NC
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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.