94L a threat to the Lesser Antilles; Gordon a hurricane; Helene hits Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:24 PM GMT on August 18, 2012

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A large tropical wave that emerged from the coast of Africa Thursday night (Invest 94L) is located a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa, and is headed west at 15 - 20 mph. This storm is a threat to develop into a tropical storm that will affect the Lesser Antilles Islands as early as Wednesday. The storm is under moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots, and is over waters of 27.5°C. A large area of dry air lies just to the north of 94L, as seen on the latest Saharan Air Layer (SAL) analysis. This morning's 8:15 am EDT ASCAT pass caught the east side of 94L, and showed a partial surface circulation. Satellite images show just a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity, and I expect the earliest that 94L could develop into a tropical depression would be Sunday.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Invest 94L.

Forecast for 94L
The latest 8 am EDT run of the SHIPS model predicts that wind shear will be low, 5 - 10 knots, and ocean temperatures will gradually warm from 27.5°C to 28.5°C over the next four days, as 94L tracks westwards towards the Lesser Antilles. As is typical with storms making the crossing from Africa to the Antilles, dry air to the north will likely interfere with development. However, with shear expected to be low, dry air may be less of an issue for 94L than it was for Ernesto or TD 7. The storm should maintain a nearly due west track through Monday night, to a point near 50°W, about 700 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. At that point, a trough of low pressure passing to the north of 94L may be able to pull the storm more to the northwest, as suggested by the latest 06Z (2 am EDT) run of the NOGAPS model, and by three members of the GFS model ensemble forecast (Figure 2.) However, the models have been trending more towards a solution where this trough is not strong enough to influence 94L's path. This scenario will be more likely if 94L takes its time to develop, since a weaker storm will be smaller and shallower, and less likely to respond to the trough passing to the north. Our two best performing models, the GFS and ECMFW, both take 94L through the Lesser Antilles. The ECMWF, which predicts that 94L will stay weak and not develop, is faster, bringing the storm through the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday. The GFS model is slower, bringing 94L to the Lesser Antilles on Thursday as a hurricane. The models have shown poor run-to-run consistency in both the timing and the track of 94L, so it is difficult to assess which land areas might be most at risk, and when. A database of historical probabilities of storms in the same location as 94L maintained by Dr. Bob Hart of Florida State University reveals that historically, 45% of storms in this location have eventually hit land, with Canada (13% chance) and North Carolina (15% chance) the most likely targets. In their 8 am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 94L a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday morning.


Figure 2. The 00Z (8 pm EDT) run of the GFS model from August 17, 2012, was done 20 different times at low resolution using slightly different initial conditions to generate an ensemble of forecasts (pink lines.) The high-resolution operational GFS forecast is shown in white.

Gordon becomes a hurricane
Hurricane warnings are flying for the central and eastern Azores Islands as Hurricane Gordon heads eastwards at 18 mph. Gordon became the third hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season at 5 am Saturday morning, and is sporting an impressive-looking eye on visible satellite loops. Gordon should be able to maintain hurricane status until Sunday, when wind shear will rise steeply to 30 - 40 knots, and ocean temperatures will drop to 25°C. The combined effects of high wind shear, dry air, and cooler waters will likely act to weaken Gordon to a strong tropical storm by the time it arrives in the Azores Islands Sunday night, but the storm will be strong enough to bring damaging winds and heavy rain to the Azores Islands. Gordon is not a threat to any other land areas, and the extratropical remnants of Gordon will not bring any strong winds or significant rain to Europe. The last time the Azores were affected by a tropical storm was in 2009, when Tropical Storm Grace brought 65 mph winds on October 4. No significant damage was reported. Ironically, the last hurricane to affect the Azores was the 2006 version of Hurricane Gordon, which caused minor damage in the Azores, consisting of mostly fallen trees and power outages. However, after Gordon became an extratropical low, four injuries due to falling debris from high wind were reported in Spain, and Gordon brought high winds and rain that affected practice rounds at the Ryder Cup golf tournament in Ireland. About 126,000 homes were without power after the storm in Northern Ireland and one injury was reported.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of Hurricane Gordon.

Helene makes landfall in Mexico
Tropical Storm Helene made landfall near 10 am EDT as a tropical storm near Tampico, Mexico, with 40 mph winds. Helene's formation on August 17 ties 2012 with 1933 for the 2nd earliest appearance of the Atlantic's eighth tropical storm. Helene's rains should remain south of Texas, but moisture from Helene may feed into a stalled frontal system over the northern Gulf of Mexico and bring heavy rains to the northern Gulf Coast early next week.

I'll have a new post this afternoon, giving a quick global weather summary for July, the 4th hottest July in Earth's history.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Dakster:


I have three full 40lb propane tanks for a BBQ grill...

I am not saying that we shouldn't prepare - BUT my main fear is that if something major hits, someone in Texas may be enjoying my BBQ grill and propane.
Roflmao!!!..you know..its funny but..it could happen
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664
The SST;s are really warm all the way up the East Coast.
That is the Jersey Shore and Long Island on the upper left. Very unusual to see temperatures this warm.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25086
Quoting LargoFl:
amazing..some of the houses had their roofs still on..funny how the wind picks and chooses

"Suction Vortices"
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looks like will need too keep a eye on the wave be hide 94L
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114653


The spin is still there, and stalled just inland. It would not have to go far to get back over the GOM.
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Quoting xtremeweathertracker:

Nope LOL

FIM



GFS



NAM



CMC




HWRF



Morning...er afternoon. :) Thanks for the update.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Gordon is very Handsome at this hour... could be reaching 90 mph...

Beautiful storm.
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Wow.

GFS just spams CV and central Atlantic waves for the next week.

They're everywhere.

Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting opal92nwf:
This website has amazing pictures from hurricane Andrew. The Pinewood Villas below happen to be right where my grandfather lived shortly before he passed away (before Andrew).
Link
amazing..some of the houses had their roofs still on..funny how the wind picks and chooses
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664
Quoting LargoFl:
yes the stronger storms..blowing a shattered tree across the street at 100 mph or more at my house, I'd want that heavy plywood up

You can never assume anything...
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Gordon is very Handsome at this hour... could be reaching 90 mph...
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Quoting weatherh98:


heard the new models came out:P
oh boy that red one would mean doom if That proved true
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664
Quoting xtremeweathertracker:


That is all the latest model runs i could find....and all of those show reformation in some way...check out Levi's video he explains it very well...or my video which is much has a much more primitive explanation! LOL

lol...will do. Thanks!

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Quoting BahaHurican:
So why'd they name the place ZephyrHills, then???

Hey, Aquak...
thats a great question. little hills maybe. might be because of the water.
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413. Skyepony (Mod)
Hurricane Gordon


Aqua~ We have our Mt Landfills:)
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Quoting Grothar:


We bought a stand alone generator Briggs & Stratton and the installation was finished the morning Katrina hit. Best investment we ever made. Adds a lot of value to one's home as well. It runs everything in the house.


I have one as well... Although I still get my family out of the area when one hits.
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This website has amazing pictures from hurricane Andrew. The Pinewood Villas below happen to be right where my grandfather lived shortly before he passed away (before Andrew).
Link
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
look for a renumber to occur during the next 12 hrs

09L is being born


It looks pretty good right now. Almost deserves blob status. I think it will consolidate earlier than they expect. Also notice the pre-blob coming off of Africa.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25086
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
..and looks like one right behind it too
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664
Quoting hurricanehanna:

Holy Canoli! I've head my head in paint fumes all morning....am I seeing this right?


That is all the latest model runs i could find....and all of those show reformation in some way...check out Levi's video he explains it very well...or my video which is much has a much more primitive explanation! LOL
Member Since: May 31, 2011 Posts: 57 Comments: 566
Euro begin initialization:



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Quoting opal92nwf:
It's really interesting. My grandfather is a realtor here in NW Florida, and he said people with new houses being built don't have to put up shutters anymore because the windows they make now are shatter proof. Although I think I would cross my fingers if it's a cat 3 or stronger...
yes the stronger storms..blowing a shattered tree across the street at 100 mph or more at my house, I'd want that heavy plywood up
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664
Quoting weatherh98:


heard the new models came out:P


Ar ar ar
Member Since: July 18, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I fail to see how this isn't at least 90 mph.


The waters there are warmer than average in that area this year. We already have had Hurricane Chris in Forum in June far out in the north Atlantic. that right there was a sign that the waters out to the northeast Atlantic were warming up. now it is hotter. could be bad news if a Hurricane goes up the east coast of the US.
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Quoting Dakster:


I have three full 40lb propane tanks for a BBQ grill...

I am not saying that we shouldn't prepare - BUT my main fear is that if something major hits, someone in Texas may be enjoying my BBQ grill and propane.


We bought a stand alone generator Briggs & Stratton and the installation was finished the morning Katrina hit. Best investment we ever made. Adds a lot of value to one's home as well. It runs everything in the house.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25086
look for a renumber to occur during the next 12 hrs

09L is being born
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
Quoting xtremeweathertracker:

Nope LOL

FIM



GFS



NAM



CMC




HWRF


Holy Canoli! I've head my head in paint fumes all morning....am I seeing this right?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The invest is definitely intensifying, and clearly has full rotation on RGB imagery.

It has the south side "Yank" that I like to see in invests, which signifies deepening pressure and better rotation.


I think it's for real, because it should have plenty time to get going before any land interaction happens, unlike the past few Caribbean waves...


It could easily make TD or even TS before 40W...

Ships has 45mph at 24 hours mark, and that's near 35W...so we got a live one here for sure...
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting Levi32:
Good afternoon.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Saturday, August 18th, with Video


Great video Levi, in my video i posted earlier today i discussed the possibility of Helene reforming over the western GOM....possibly a piece of her energy combined with the frontal system pushing into the GOM.
Member Since: May 31, 2011 Posts: 57 Comments: 566


heard the new models came out:P
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Will that Upper Low play a roll down the road?

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It's really interesting. My grandfather is a realtor here in NW Florida, and he said people with new houses being built don't have to put up shutters anymore because the windows they make now are shatter proof. Although I think I would cross my fingers if it's a cat 3 or stronger...
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Quoting Chicklit:

You've gotta be kidding me...

Nope LOL

FIM



GFS



NAM



CMC




HWRF

Member Since: May 31, 2011 Posts: 57 Comments: 566
First thing is first though the Antilles need to watch this as they will be the first one impacted.I don't think the high will be weak enough to allow this to only clip the northern most Islands.From there we'll see where the "I" storm will go.Someone is likely going o be hit though.
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Quoting LargoFl:
I bought last year what everyone seems to forget..a charcoal grill..if you dont have power for weeks..you will need to cook food after the storm passes..you wont need electricity or gas


I have three full 40lb propane tanks for a BBQ grill...

I am not saying that we shouldn't prepare - BUT my main fear is that if something major hits, someone in Texas may be enjoying my BBQ grill and propane.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
LOL... tallest point in Broward County... lol


Hey, I happen to live on Coral Ridge. It is pretty high.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25086
Quoting Grothar:


They do. As a matter of fact, it's probably the most clicked button on the blog.


LOL, I just realized that!
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Quoting keithneese:



I'm with you on that. We keep a charcoal supply on hand year round. You never know when you may need it regardless of hurricane season or not. I went through Ivan and Katrina and I think anyone who has been through a bad storm will agree that one way to make the kids feel normal again is a nice home cooked meal. It may be in the dark lol, but that one simple act can bring a sense of normalcy to everyone for a short time.
yes and people like me with a freezer full of food..without electricity..you need to cook that food when it thaws..gee this is going to be an event IF..it happens here
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664


Plenty of ingredients coming together over the GOM for a gumbeaux.
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Quoting aislinnpaps:
Sometimes I wish there was a button for a simple 'I don't like this post', not that it's a bad one, just I don't agree or don't like what it says or shows.


They do. As a matter of fact, it's probably the most clicked button on the blog.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25086
Quoting LargoFl:
I bought last year what everyone seems to forget..a charcoal grill..if you dont have power for weeks..you will need to cook food after the storm passes..you wont need electricity or gas


As a reminder, CO poisoning is one of the most frequent cause of death in the aftermath of a storm.

Remember to put grills and generators outside of the house
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Quoting BahaHurican:
I'm taking the posting of past tracks on this one as forecast of the the models' suggested tracks for the next 24 hrs... or the previous 24, depending on whether the GFS already used it... lol

But this does remind me to check w/ my dad about one of the plywood shutters that for some reason wasn't working. As u may be aware, plywood can cost more closer to the storm's arrival, if for no other reason than the cheaper lighter weight plywood sells out first.

Devilled ham??? uh... not so much... lol

A lot of my family was in south Miami/Homestead for Hurricane Andrew, and my Aunt had plywood put in her windows so it was pretty much wedged inside the frame. It was estimated that they had 150 mph winds at their house, and all of the plywood stayed on, except for a sliding glass door, but that was becuase a projectile smashed it in half.
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Quoting LargoFl:
you know its kinda funny, yet so dangerous with a hurricane coming in on you..and..you live in an apartment building..you cant do what we homeowners can do..you cant plywood the windows etc..most you can do is buy the batteries and food stuffs etc..kinda scary..me..i'd be on the highway headed out of its path..cant imagine being in an apt, no lights,widows blown out..just sitting there, everything in the street destroyed..maybe for weeks..geez..and this is millions of people huh
In Nassau apartment owners [i.e. landlords] are expected to secure their rental properties BEFORE they tend to their own hurricane needs at home... not saying it always happens... but I can't imagine a hi-rise say on Biscayne Bay, or along the Ft. Lauderdale beach, without shutters etc. That would be crazy stuff...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21187
Quoting GTcooliebai:
7 days 6 hours.
THanks..so next weekend starts the danger time IF the track holds..gee..right about the time the HUGE crowds start coming to Tampa for the convention
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664
Quoting LargoFl:
I bought last year what everyone seems to forget..a charcoal grill..if you dont have power for weeks..you will need to cook food after the storm passes..you wont need electricity or gas



I'm with you on that. We keep a charcoal supply on hand year round. You never know when you may need it regardless of hurricane season or not. I went through Ivan and Katrina and I think anyone who has been through a bad storm will agree that one way to make the kids feel normal again is a nice home cooked meal. It may be in the dark lol, but that one simple act can bring a sense of normalcy to everyone for a short time.
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BULLETIN
HURRICANE GORDON INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 12A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082012
200 PM AST SAT AUG 18 2012

...GORDON EXPECTED TO PASS NEAR THE EASTERN AZORES SUNDAY NIGHT AND
MONDAY...


SUMMARY OF 200 PM AST...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...34.0N 37.7W
ABOUT 660 MI...1060 KM WSW OF THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...E OR 90 DEGREES AT 18 MPH...30 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...983 MB...29.03 INCHES
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting RTSplayer:
This is the rigged SST:

Remember, yellow and green are less than 1C anomaly, so "near normal"...




The Great Lakes up by me are quite toasty this summer.. if 94L moves a bit more west it could stall over the lakes and we could have a first on our hands....

..im kidding...im kidding..
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Sometimes I wish there was a button for a simple 'I don't like this post', not that it's a bad one, just I don't agree or don't like what it says or shows.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


A propane tank will last so much longer than a charcoal grill. Especially if you buy and extra tank.
yeah..i bought the charcoal kind..have bags on hand..love the smell of a steak on charcoal lol
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664

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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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