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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1682. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting AussieStorm:

um....What!!!!!
Beryl ain't going there, maybe as a remnant low but nothing else.
Quoting AussieStorm:

um....What!!!!!
Beryl ain't going there, maybe as a remnant low but nothing else.
. GFS has this going right up the US coastline.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting StormTracker2K:

Another one into the ignore list, Haven't needed to do this for months.
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Bud goes poof
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1678. unf97
Quoting pvbeachbum:
Shoot! First day I decide to check on the blog thinking that I am early for hurricane season, only to find myself smack dab in the middle of the cone for Beryl here in PV Beach, just southeast of downtown Jax...

I am not ready for this yet... especially since all is now up to me alone...

Can I hope that the cone will change???


Yeah it is going to be a very interesting Memorial Day weekend around the Jacksonville area. I am also here in Jax and we are looking at hopefully just some significant rainfall and hopefully not so much a damaging wind threat.
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With Global Warming hurricane season may need to be bumped up to 5/15.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Oz just posted that he is at Jacksonville Beach at the pier parking lot. He also said that his video test worked.

I have enjoyed reading all the posts tonight. Good night.
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I was just reading about North Florida river levels being at record lows. The NHC has Beryl doing a clockwise loop around Jacksonville, FL that will take over 48 hrs. The North Florida area is so dry that we can probably handle a foot a rain over that time period. The rivers desparately need rain plus there are fires breaking out over this area as well.
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Typhoon Sanvu
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1673. MahFL
Quoting AussieStorm:
When did they name it STS Beryl?



11pm EDT.
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1672. 7544
Quoting StormTracker2K:
Wow the 0Z GFS is further south and stronger with the track of Beryl

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
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1671. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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I guess Beryl wants to visit NYC as well. Shocked no one is posting this. A TS in May over Long Island?
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting AussieStorm:
When did they name it STS Beryl?



A little more than an hour ago ;)
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Quoting AussieStorm:
When did they name it STS Beryl?



A Special Outlook was issued before 9.

Then 11PM it was named.
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
**THE LATEST**
(click to enlarge; graphics can further be enlarged in Link window)



Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
When did they name it STS Beryl?

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Quoting Patrap:



Also seeing a improved Dvorak tonight.

...click image for Loop





Looks like she is making an effort to shut out that dry air.
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0z GFS then shows Beryl right over Wilmington, NC as a strong TS Beryl come Wed after a stall over FL for 2 days.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting MississippiWx:
Neat looking system:



Beautiful isn't she?
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1662. MahFL
Quoting GTcooliebai:
If this track verifies it would take Beryl into the Jacksonville area which is an unusual track, especially for May.







It's an unusual track for any month. I am 13 miles SW of JAX.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Local met in Orlando said some areas could up to 8" of rain across N C FL.



We shall see, moisture will be very high, and cyclonic flow off the gulf can mean impressive rainfall in my area. No way to know for sure where the rain actually sets up at this point, but the point is drought relief is coming.
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00z GFS at peak (lol)

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1659. Patrap
Wilmington
NEXRAD Radar

Base Reflectivity 0.50° Elevation
Range 248 NMI


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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Link or Image? Please?
. I'm on my I Phone and can't paste images right now but I'm sure someone on here will
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
I think the track will still fall a little bit further south, but only time will tell. I'm out for the night, night folks.
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Neat looking system:

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
1655. Patrap



Also seeing a improved Dvorak tonight.

...click image for Loop



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Local met in Orlando said some areas could up to 8" of rain across N C FL.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Monster super cell did a number on Kansas tonight...

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Quoting MississippiWx:


It will have a lot to do with the pattern change across North America. The pattern has been one of ridging across the east, with intermittent troughs getting split/stalled off the coast. High pressure to the north aids in low pressure to the south. A pattern switch to trofiness in the east will not be a favorable setup for our usual early season tropical spots.



thanks
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Wow the 0Z GFS is further south and stronger with the track of Beryl


Link or Image? Please?
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
Quoting Levi32:


The pressure pattern over North America looks unfavorable for providing low-level convergence in the early-season tropical breeding grounds. The MJO may also leave for a little while and then come back later next month.



i see now thanks
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Quoting Jedkins01:



No, there will be lots of moisture, and plenty of rain, don't down play it just because we are in a drought. We will get out of this drought.
Not with this storm. But, there is plenty of season left to get caught up...
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Wow the 0Z GFS is further south and stronger with the track of Beryl
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Zero/Nada, Here in the South Portion of Florida (Tampa South) , we may or may not get typical sea-breeze thunderstorms. That is all.



No, there will be lots of moisture, and plenty of rain, don't down play it just because we are in a drought. We will get out of this drought.
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Quoting yqt1001:


Me and TAWX would like to welcome you to the madness of Wikipedia Tropical Cyclone Project. :P Although only TAWX is actually in it, I just hang out in their IRC channel.

Oh, so that is who you are!
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Quoting Tazmanian:




thank you but why that long?


It will have a lot to do with the pattern change across North America. The pattern has been one of ridging across the east, with intermittent troughs getting split/stalled off the coast. High pressure to the north aids in low pressure to the south. A pattern switch to trofiness in the east will not be a favorable setup for our usual early season tropical spots.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
1644. Patrap
Anyone discounting Development in the Atlantic, for the next 3 weeks plus...definitely has never spent a June along the GOM.

That's a factoid to consider.

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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Its alot closer to becoming a tropical storm then other STS's ive seen before...
I'm not questioning that as it looks like it is breaking off from the old frontal boundary as we speak and just needs to get the convection to spin around to the eastern side of the circulation.
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1642. Levi32
Quoting Tazmanian:




thank you but why that long?


The pressure pattern over North America looks unfavorable for providing low-level convergence in the early-season tropical breeding grounds. The MJO may also leave for a little while and then come back later next month.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26685
From a nearby buoy you can really see the drop in pressure and intensification of Beryl.



Buoy is positioned here:

31.862 N 74.835 W (Google Maps)
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Quoting Levi32:


I believe Beryl will be the last significant threat for Atlantic development until the 2nd half of June.




thank you but why that long?
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1639. Patrap
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1638. Levi32
Quoting Tazmanian:
Levi32 what will the next ch of a name storm be ?


I believe Beryl will be the last significant threat for Atlantic development until the 2nd half of June.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26685
Quoting Hurricane1956:
Just wondering what effect if any are we going to feel here in Miami?,some local met's were saying that the storm moving SW for a while will bring a lot of the moisture to all of Florida?,any thoughts about this?,this is a big system.


Zero/Nada, Here in the South Portion of Florida (Tampa South) , we may or may not get typical sea-breeze thunderstorms. That is all.
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
Quoting GTcooliebai:
It seems void of convection on the southeast side of the circulation.

Its alot closer to becoming a tropical storm then other STS's ive seen before...
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1635. Patrap
Folks should already have a Plan and supplies for Hurricane Season.

Be Pro-active and help your neighbors, esp the elderly and those who may not know a Storm is Brewing.

Take time to clean your street storm drains and secure outdoor furniture and other objects.

Have a 3-5 day supply of water and canned food and batteries for Lighting and such.

If in low lying areas prone to flooding, be aware of the rains expected.

Help one another.





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Levi32 what will the next ch of a name storm be ?
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Yeah!!! We in North Florida really need the rain... Fortunately, given that we sit at the mouth of the Saint Johns river, which is significantly cooler than the Atlantic Ocean temps, Beryl is likely to be weakened as a result, and will be just another Nor'Easter for us. It's one of the reasons why the Jacksonville area hasn't had a head-on Hurricane in nearly 50 years (Hurricane Dora - 1964)...
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Just wondering what effect if any are we going to feel here in Miami?,some local met's were saying that the storm moving SW for a while will bring a lot of the moisture to all of Florida?,any thoughts about this?,this is a big system.
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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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