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

Share this Blog
40
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1732 - 1682

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41Blog Index

1732. Levi32
Quoting NJcat3cane:
@levi do u think beryl will wrap all the way around or be lopsided its whole life?


Storms like this are likely to be lopsided somehow most of their life. There's too much dry air for everything to be perfect.

------------------------------------------------- -----

Oh on the Anchorage thing, I must be really tired because for some reason 1700 sq. miles seemed way too large of a number, but it is correct.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
MahFL: Jacksonville, FL is the largest city in the USA area wise.
1702 VAbeachhurricanes: Nope, Anchorage Alaska is 1,700 square miles
1726Levi32: Say what....

Kinda hard to believe when Alaska's governor tells everybody she can see Russia from her home.
Nonetheless, Alaska is a part of the USA.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1730. kabloie
Quoting geepy86:
nope Sitka is bigger almost 2900 sq miles,Anchorage is fourth.
Jacksonville is largest in continental US

I am almost positive that Alaska is on the same continent as Florida.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Say what....
Levi awakes! What is your opinion on Beryl?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
As lopsided as it is, will we get much rain here in St. Augustine. NHC shows it comming in just N of Jax,
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
@levi do u think beryl will wrap all the way around or be lopsided its whole life?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1726. Levi32
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Nope, Anchorage Alaska is. 1,700 square miles


Say what....
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
I have just released an updated blog post at 1:21 AM....

Enjoy.....and leave comments on how to make those posts even better....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Yes, NHC has declared SubTropicalStormBeryl at 25May9pmGMT,
but it's still ATCF data for 94L at 25May6pmGMT
EYW is KeyWest . MEO is RoatanIsland . ACK is NantucketIsland

The southernmost unlabeled dot is the southernmost position of 94L that will fit on this particular map.
The northernmost unlabeled dot was where NHC declared STS.Beryl at 25May9pmGMT
The dot immediately beneath it was the most recent ATCF position for 94L at 25May6pmGMT
[Edited out: screwed up a coordinate]
And the previous map for comparison
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
shears still definitly affecting her right now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ilovehurricanes12:
1. SATELLITE PICTURES AND REPORTS FROM NOAA BUOY 41002 INDICATE THAT
THE LOW PRESSURE AREA...CENTERED ABOUT 300 MILES EAST OF CHARLESTON
SOUTH CAROLINA...IS BECOMING BETTER DEFINED AND HAS DEVELOPED
THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY NEAR THE CENTER. IF CURRENT TRENDS
CONTINUE...ADVISORIES COULD BE INITIATED LATER TONIGHT. THIS SYSTEM
HAS A HIGH CHANCE...NEAR 100 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A SUBTROPICAL OR
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. LITTLE MOTION IS
EXPECTED TONIGHT...BUT A WEST-SOUTHWESTWARD OR SOUTHWESTWARD MOTION
SHOULD BEGIN TOMORROW AND CONTINUE THROUGH SUNDAY. COASTAL
INTERESTS FROM THE CAROLINAS SOUTHWARD THROUGH NORTHEASTERN FLORIDA
SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM OVER THE MEMORIAL DAY
WEEKEND. IN ADDITION...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND FLOODING WILL
CONTINUE THROUGH AT LEAST TONIGHT OVER PORTIONS OF CENTRAL CUBA AND
THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS
SYSTEM...PLEASE SEE HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE...AND PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE
its already a storm...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 7544:


here u go

Link


At ~105hrs, this run produces a spinning ball of rain in the Western Caribbean at around 15N 80W. It does not, however, develop it too much. We shall see what tomorrow morning's models look like.

Interesting.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
are any of the models depicting any potential future storms after beryl-- atlantic or pacific--? or were the last two weeks just a temporary up tick in activity?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
blog died smh
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 7544:


here u go

Link

Thank you!!!!!!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1715. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NHC and models were right, shear has dramatically decreased in this area.. Beryl is now under 20 knots of wind shear according to CIMMS



I'm thinking 60-70 mph. at landfall between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, possibly my location here in Palm Coast, which is under a Tropical Storm Warning.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1713. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1712. MahFL
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Nope, Anchorage Alaska is. 1,700 square miles


Alaska does not count :P.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1711. geepy86
nope Sitka is bigger almost 2900 sq miles,Anchorage is fourth.
Jacksonville is largest in continental US
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting watchingnva:
That and the lights aren't real time...just a superimposed image...


what are you talking about? its changing as i turn on and off my light :p
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
my "stillwaitingcast" for beryl
:sunday 12am-8am landfall,near daytona beach,cat 1
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1708. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1707. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That and the lights aren't real time...just a superimposed image...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
euro out yet?..been the most bullish with this storm so far
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1704. 7544
Quoting Hurricane1956:

Hello can somebody please post the link to the 0Z GFS,thank you.


here u go

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1703. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MahFL:


Jacksonville, FL is the largest city in the USA area wise.


Nope, Anchorage Alaska is. 1,700 square miles
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1701. MahFL
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Its interesting this map makes ATL look like the largest city in the country. I don't think any other city sprawls out as much as Atlanta does in the US.


Jacksonville, FL is the largest city in the USA area wise.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1700. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
<
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1699. MahFL
Quoting 7544:
now will we get a 2am update from the nhc


Hint, the NHC public advisory tells you the time of the next advisory :).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
5 day totals predicted by the GFS model.



Drought Index Map for the Southeast.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:
Its interesting this map makes ATL look like the largest city in the country. I don't think any other city sprawls out as much as Atlanta does in the US.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1696. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 7544:

s
agree with the gfs we still dont know how strong that high will be could even get to go alittle further south than jax imo we should know more latter and see if the models or even the nhc cone will shift further down to the south wait watch and see mode here

Hello can somebody please post the link to the 0Z GFS,thank you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 12george1:
Guys, just for the record, this is the first time since 1908 that two tropical cyclones in the pre-season reached at least tropical storm intensity. List of off-season Atlantic hurricanes
Those were hurricanes too!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If it was not for 94l/Beryl we will probably have track the tornadoes over Kansas.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well earlier I said that if Beryl were to become a TS by today it would reach hurricane status at some point. Well it became a STS so I will add another condition. If by 11 AM EDT it makes the transition I will bet it becomes a hurricane.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1691. 7544
now will we get a 2am update from the nhc

nite taz
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1690. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Tazmanian:
Good night everyone
see ya tomorrow taz
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Guys, just for the record, this is the first time since 1908 that two tropical cyclones in the pre-season reached at least tropical storm intensity. List of off-season Atlantic hurricanes
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

Another one into the ignore list, Haven't needed to do this for months.
. ????? For what?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:
I like this image you can see the city lights.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good night everyone
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1685. Skyepony (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Monster super cell did a number on Kansas tonight...

That cell is incredible. The storm reports tell the whole tale. Not to mention its still going.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MahFL:


11pm EDT.
Quoting BrickellBreeze:


A Special Outlook was issued before 9.

Then 11PM it was named.
Quoting tropicfreak:


A little more than an hour ago ;)

Thanks
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1682. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1732 - 1682

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Light Rain
62 °F
Light Rain