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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Structure wise Beryl is getting more organized.All it needs is convection.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
S.S.D.D

Pulling an Alberto, but just a little bit sooner.





It's not blowing deep convection yet, but it is popping light convection. This is a bit more organized then Alberto.. Unless you mean pulling Alberto's track sooner, then, I see your point.Once this enters the main Gulf Stream, things could get interesting.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
S.S.D.D

Pulling an Alberto, but just a little bit sooner.



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Levi mentioned that strength doesn't matter in Beryls track due to it being in shallow waters.. Weakening state will not effect the track.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
Quoting AussieStorm:

What if Beryl can wrap up, what would the peak be then?


Im assuming a High-End tropical storm or a minimal Hurricane.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


What is this???? What if it becomes some tropical entity? That would be beyond unprecedented if we had two tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean before June 1st with one of them not even in an area where anything should ever develop.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Do you have a cam from Jacksonville?


Link
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1875. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting ProgressivePulse:


Should be and due to the weakened state of Beryl. NHC is now on the right side of the guidance package.



Especially when you weed it down to the late track models NHC tends to stay closer to.

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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Seems like the NHC was right with a peak of 50-55mph. If Beryl cannot wrap up.

What if Beryl can wrap up, what would the peak be then?
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:
Big Waves already....


Jacksonville Surf Cam:
Link



They ain't big
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Here is a few live streaming cams.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Kiawah Island,SC


Topsail Island, NC



Nags Head, NC


Do you have a cam from Jacksonville?
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:


Should be and due to the weakened state of Beryl. NHC is now on the right side of the guidance package.



Seems like the NHC was right with a peak of 50-55mph. If Beryl cannot wrap up.
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Big Waves already....


Jacksonville Surf Cam:
Link


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None however are showing a trip into the GOM anymore.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


There should be a slight Shift South on the 11am track


Should be and due to the weakened state of Beryl. NHC is now on the right side of the guidance package.

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watching, forecasting, wishcasting, westcasting, can't believe we are already doing all of these and not even June 1st, lol
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Quoting LargoFl:


There should be a slight Shift South on the 11am track
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1865. rxse7en
Hey all, checking in for the season. Beautiful day here in Jax. Looking forward to Sunday, we can really use the rain.
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Quoting panamasteve:
Rain chances keep climbing here in Panama
City Beach...fingers crossed!

Panama City Beach Cam
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Lessons from Cuba

How did Cuba save lives?


The most important factor seems to be timely evacuation. Roughly 700,000 people were evacuated out of Cubas 11 million population. This is quite a feat given Cubas dilapidated fleet of vehicles, liquid fuel shortage, and poor road system. It was possible only because of the following:

Advance preparations, training, and planning
A cadre of local personnel
Trust in warnings on the part of the population
Cooperation with the Cuban Red Cross.


In addition, in Havana the electricity was turned off to avoid deaths or injuries from electrocution, and the tap water supply was turned off in anticipation of possible contamination. Reports say that Havanas population was advised to store water and food, and that they largely complied. The population at large in Havana also participated in clearing debris which could have become dangerous if airlifted by strong winds from streets, and tying down loose roofing. Cuban state television broadcasts included references to the 1932 hurricane that had killed more than 3,000 people.
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1862. Skyepony (Mod)
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1861. LargoFl
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Here is a few live streaming cams.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Kiawah Island,SC


Topsail Island, NC



Nags Head, NC
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Good morning! Looks like some of the areas in need of rain may get it.
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Already 83F here, waters closer to the coasts shouldnt be all that cold, so cool water shoudnt hurt it as much when it approaches land, just the land interactions.
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...
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Rain chances keep climbing here in Panama
City Beach...fingers crossed!
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Quoting reedzone:
Beryl should start to strengthen as it starts moving over the Gulf Stream, despite dry air intrusion.


How Long till it will move over the gulf stream?
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Quoting CitikatzSouthFL:
Good morning, everyone. Can't believe we are already watching, guessing, wishcasting, etc. this early!! Looking forward to an interesting season with great storms and NO landfalls, destruction or death to anyone. Have a wonderful Memorial weekend. Glad to be back lurking and learning. You all are the BEST!

Hmm... Isn't Beryl supposed to make landfall in a few days?
Besides that, I totally agree with your thoughts.
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Quoting K8eCane:
Im beginning to wonder if she will make the transition to tropical prior to landfall


Well, the heights need to grow (Deeper Convection) to be able to do that. Meaning that as long as convection stays weak as it is, no it won't. If it can maintain deep convection once over the Gulf Stream it could happen but, you need deep convection first and for a period of time.
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1852. K8eCane
im not thinking she will make landfall any further south than ga/fl border
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Morning All.

Beryl finally gets that 5-10kt shear environment she's been so anxious for and looses all her ventilation. Convergence/Divergence have decreased substantially. Less convection means more dry air is able to penetrate the core. It will be a good test for Beryl however as this is tough to overcome.

I was thinking to myself last night. If you take away the upper low would the LLC still be able to generate convection in the environment it's in? I think no. I wonder if it's tropical transition wouldn't kill it? Hence the declining satellite presentation.
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Beryl is in moist air except for that dry streak it is inhaling.
If it can tap into all that moisture to the east, it will become fuly rounded instead of lopsided to the west and south.:


She's helping herself by moving southwest into her convection. Should help further insulating herself and at some point block out the dry air
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Quoting CitikatzSouthFL:
Good morning, everyone. Can't believe we are already watching, guessing, wishcasting, etc. this early!! Looking forward to an interesting season with great storms and NO landfalls, destruction or death to anyone. Have a wonderful Memorial weekend. Glad to be back lurking and learning. You all are the BEST!



Good to have you aboard Citikatz. I second the no death and destruction however, I know quite a few areas would welcome the passing of a tropical weakling this season. Even a Cat 1 hurricane can be highly beneficial in clearing out old dead foliage, "as long as everyone is prepared for it." It's the lack of preparedness and disregard for the warnings that kill.
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1849. Skyepony (Mod)
Drought does seem to attract storms..loop through NFL/GA looks good..

My only doubt comes from the model verification. They are having a hard time hitting the broad side of a state.. with 24hr error 100+nm.. Single run error is better but not much.

I'm leaning south if the models end up that far off.
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Beryl should start to strengthen as it starts moving over the Gulf Stream, despite dry air intrusion.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
1847. K8eCane
Quoting islander101010:
gulf stream ahead should pop back up


Yes she hasnt hit the gulfstream again yet has she?
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1846. K8eCane
Im beginning to wonder if she will make the transition to tropical prior to landfall
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gulf stream ahead should pop back up
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1844. cg2916
Yeah, this is definitely subtropical.

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Good morning, everyone. Can't believe we are already watching, guessing, wishcasting, etc. this early!! Looking forward to an interesting season with great storms and NO landfalls, destruction or death to anyone. Have a wonderful Memorial weekend. Glad to be back lurking and learning. You all are the BEST!
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Good morning Beryl!
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1841. breald
Boy, Beryl takes a strange track.
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she's trying to wrap in some convection
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Morning folks

Morning beryl nice to see ya qurl
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Beryl, weather looking good and waves to boot. Betting conditions go down hill here in Indialantic in about 12 hours or so. Sunday the waves should be good with offshore winds for us...as long as it takes its current track ;-)

This morning report.

Link

Link


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Morning All.

Beryl finally gets that 5-10kt shear environment she's been so anxious for and looses all her ventilation. Convergence/Divergence have decreased substantially. Less convection means more dry air is able to penetrate the core. It will be a good test for Beryl however as this is tough to overcome.

I was thinking to myself last night. If you take away the upper low would the LLC still be able to generate convection in the environment it's in? I think no. I wonder if it's tropical transition wouldn't kill it? Hence the declining satellite presentation.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


It restrengthens after emerging back over water:

114 hrs






126 hrs



Oh, I see, I am surprised it would still be in such good shape by then.
Awfully close to Cape Cod and NYC
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Wow, it's near 35~40kts of vertical shear.
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Quoting Bobbyweather:
Take a look at the South Atlantic:

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Take a look at the South Atlantic:
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Hi.
Is there a possibility of another tropical storm forming within the next five days? If so, the Atlantic would have three named storms before June 1.
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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.