94L still disorganized; Hurricane Gordon bearing down on the Azores

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:44 PM GMT on August 19, 2012

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A tropical wave (Invest 94L) located midway between the Lesser Antilles Islands and the coast of Africa is headed west at 20 - 25 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 light wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, and is over waters of 27°C. A large area of dry air lies just to the north of 94L, as seen on the latest Saharan Air Layer (SAL) analysis and water vapor satellite loops. This dry air is interfering with development, and this morning's visible satellite loop shows that 94L's heavy thunderstorm activity is a bit sparse. The storm does have an impressive amount of spin at middle levels of the atmosphere, though. A pass from the Indian OceanSAT-2 satellite Saturday night at 10:06 pm EDT noted a broad, elongated center of nearly calm winds several hundred miles in diameter at the surface, and nothing resembling a well-organized closed surface circulation. 94L will pass near buoy 41041 on Monday morning. The first hurricane hunter mission into 94L is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.


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 be near 27°C through Monday, then warm to 28°C by Tuesday night. As is typical with storms making the crossing from Africa to the Antilles, dry air to the north will likely interfere with development, and the SHIPS model predicts increased dry air as 94L approaches the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday. 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. Our two best performing models--the GFS and ECMWF--have both been taking 94L through the Lesser Antilles with every run for the past 36 hours. Both models continue to agree on the timing, with 94L arriving Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The BAMM model, which performed as well as the ECMWF and GFS at 5-day forecasts in 2011, is showing a track just north of the Lesser Antilles. Given this agreement among our top three models for long-range forecasts, I give a 60% chance that 94L will pass through the Lesser Antilles. In their 8 am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 94L a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Tuesday morning. The GFS model has backed off on its forecast that 94L will develop into a hurricane before reaching the islands, and is now predicting 94L will be a tropical storm with 40 - 50 mph winds at that time. The ECMWF model does not develop 94L. It is unlikely that 94L will be able to organize quickly enough to become anything stronger than a Category 1 hurricane before reaching the islands, given the storm's current struggles with dry air, and the lack of model support for intensification. With 94L staying relatively weak and disorganized, the chances of it turning to the northwest and missing the Lesser Antilles, as the NOGAPS model has been predicting, are diminishing. The GFS model predicts that 94L will go on to hit the Dominican Republic as a strong tropical storm on Friday, though the storm could also miss the island, passing just to the north or the south. At longer ranges, the storm is capable of going anywhere from Canada to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula; it's too early to tell.


Figure 2. The 00Z (8 pm EDT) run of the GFS model from August 18, 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. The GFS ensemble forecast is showing decreasing risk to the U.S. East Coast at long ranges, and an increasing risk to the Gulf Coast.

Gordon bears down on the Azores
Hurricane warnings are flying for the central and eastern Azores Islands as Hurricane Gordon barrels eastwards at 21 mph. Gordon's peak 110 mph winds it had last night made it the strongest hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season so far. Latest visible satellite loops show that cold water and high wind shear are taking a toll on Gordon, with the southern portion of the storm deteriorating and the eye beginning to open up. However, Gordon will still be a Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm when it passes through the Azores Monday morning. Winds at Ponta Delgada were 11 mph out of the east at 10 am EDT this morning, but will rise through the day as Gordon approaches.

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.


Figure 3. MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Gordon taken on Saturday August 18, 2012, at 11:50 am EDT. At the time, Gordon was a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Jeff Masters

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2763. LargoFl
For those folks travelling to Tampa for the convention, here is our 7-day forecast..have a safe trip..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39262
2762. LargoFl
Quoting bigwes6844:
good morning folks! I just got off work and see its pretty darn active!
good morning wes!..going to be an active week alright, lets see what today produces,still days away for the first storm, but a rainy week ahead around My area
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39262
i tell ya one thing, if any type of storm slows down in the GOM, they will be growing big time. in better words RI
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Quoting mitthbevnuruodo:
Golly, was sort of thinking something might at least have made TD last night as was looking like was getting pretty organised.

Was just looking at the Azores webcam someone posted yesterday, a few seem to be offline today, dunno if they're from the south island nearest Gordon or not. A few show the tides are roaring pretty well though.

Ugh, those WPac storms and their RI. Just scary over there. This year China seems to be main target over Philipines so far
yep west pac!
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Wow taiwan is in huge trouble now a 65mph T.S> is now up to 110 mph with much higher gusts and a 20 mile diamter eye.No less than a cat 3 at landfall i would not be surprised if it would be even stronger than that at landfall.China and taiwan have been hit hard this year usually its northern luzon province in the philiphines.
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Golly, was sort of thinking something might at least have made TD last night as was looking like was getting pretty organised.

Was just looking at the Azores webcam someone posted yesterday, a few seem to be offline today, dunno if they're from the south island nearest Gordon or not. A few show the tides are roaring pretty well though.

Ugh, those WPac storms and their RI. Just scary over there. This year China seems to be main target over Philipines so far
Member Since: October 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 852
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lol@2753 I think everyone's got that look right now!
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You know, as much as you can "pre-prepare" for these systems, for me it's the actual work that has to be done that is the hardest to do. Between a villa, a house and two boats...get my drift?

-L
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Quoting VirginIslandsVisitor:
Good morning to you too!

Just sitting here reading the blogs, trying to get some idea of where this is going (94L) and trying to plan my week....

Lindy
yea its really getting active and we havent even reach the peak of the season yet.
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Good morning to you too!

Just sitting here reading the blogs, trying to get some idea of where this is going (94L) and trying to plan my week....

Lindy
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any arrangements on 94L yet anyone?
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good morning folks! I just got off work and see its pretty darn active!
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2748. emguy
Convective development...and this thing would be rollin'...I actually belive the structure of 94L has improved some more in the last few hours...it just needs more boomers...
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Goodnight all,will be back in the morning to check the 06z and 12z GFS And other models to see about some consistency amongst themselves! Keep upthe good fight!!!
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2746. emguy
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


As always emguy,do dtop in more often if you can.I find your post's and positions well though out and very informative. Thank You for all your post's.


Thank you. I will deffinately try to do that...especially now that it is going to become increasingly busy.

Also because I like being here to talk to everyone, and I truely enjoy discussion on here with you. I'm really we've done that since Debby, and I'm glad you shared that water vapor loop tonight. It was very informative product to see...You keep those posts and those links rolling too! :D
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Quoting emguy:


Actually...that loop shows slowly erroding dry air. That said, dry air at the mid levels may be somewhat more expansive. The conditions are becoming increasingly favorable, the circulation of 94L is better defined, so slow increase in organization and strenght is likely.


As always emguy,do dtop in more often if you can.I find your post's and positions well though out and very informative. Thank You for all your post's.
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Weaker system..and well to the south
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2743. 7544
96l now its getting busy out there reminds you of 2005 getting pretty close numbers wise and its not even peak yet goona be a real busy today latter on today on the blog stay tuned
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2742. emguy
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


Even with all this dry air?


Actually...that loop shows slowly erroding dry air. That said, dry air at the mid levels may be somewhat more expansive. The conditions are becoming increasingly favorable, the circulation of 94L is better defined, so slow increase in organization and strenght is likely.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Now that loop looks like it is moistening the area in front of it.Is that other Low in front of 94L still around?
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Gordon no parlee Frances...

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Quoting CaribBoy:


Nahh :)


:)
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
NHC says Gordon is now cat 1 75MPH over the Azores



well the better models say S and the CMC is nicked named "Can't Model Crap" for a reason and NGP is almost no better




I say its doing fine. well developed LLCOC, however relocation to the S seem to be ocouring. besides that D-MAX rolls in, and convection explodes, then bam. I'd say we hould have TD 9 by 5AM or 11AM the latest.


Even with all this dry air?
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Identity crisis?

Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 245
2hrs old...









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Huge 94L.... Dry air E of PR beginning to mix up with WV..and the extension of dry air is closing E of the islands.... That's the pocket of Dry Air thats been affecting 94L... What will 94L do? Follow the wave pattern of the ITCZ into northen S America or move into the islands?

We'll check.... tomorrow....
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EURO seems to have a problem getting this going.

Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 245
Quoting CaribBoy:
96LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


YO CHILL

Quoting sunlinepr:
96L Looks Fishy....



it just got here git it sometime I am not looking at forecast I am looking at where it and and current movement that is it

ok I am off to bed now Iand I'll be back at about 6am
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Little comment before I turn in. 94L has been plagued by having a very large center besides being a large system in general. The northern center which is the most organized has been competing with the wave to it's sw and another center to it's south which have not had to fight dry air. It looks like the northern and southern centers are merging tonight as the moisture is really blooming. Should be a big boy tomorrow. Still wondering if wave to the sw will get sucked up, or stay it's own entity.
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Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 245
Quoting sunlinepr:


Yes, so early that it could end up in Mars...


Sure is getting busy out there.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 245
Quoting CaribBoy:


You are relax. That's good lol

lol but the looks of it you ain't lol

Quoting CaribBoy::



Guys be honest.. the COC is clearly at 15.5N 41.7W

Link


Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


Have you had too much rum?


yep or something called "Jrunkrabati" is like the raw rum strong as hell can knock you out if you even take a sniff

yeah 94L is relocating by the looks of it
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Quoting AllStar17:


Far too early to make any definite predictions with 96L. Heck, it is too early for predictions with 94L, let alone 96L.


Yes, so early that it could end up in Mars...


Curiosity lasered a stone in Mars...
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Quoting CaribBoy:


looks like no ... EURO IS WEAK!


Lol. You are correct again. :)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 245
Nope Caribbean it is

Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 245
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


You are correct. It does move it NW right off the bat. Wonder if it will take it out to sea? Guess we'll find out.


looks like no ... EURO IS WEAK!
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Looks Fishy....



Far too early to make any definite predictions with 96L. Heck, it is too early for predictions with 94L, let alone 96L.
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96L Looks Fishy....


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Lol models show the USUAL WNW/NW route for 96L. They sure need an upgrade as 96L will travel much south of that!!
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2719. Walshy
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It is important to note that Irene was a pretty bare system struggling with dry air before it was classified last year.
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Quoting CaribBoy:


North...


You are correct. It does move it NW right off the bat. Wonder if it will take it out to sea? Guess we'll find out.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 245
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96LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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2714. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39262
2713. emguy
I also agree with Levi. The low is more defined and consilidated on 94L this evening, when compared to the morning.

I'd probably put it closer to 15N, 42.8W based on the shortwave, but seriously, all of our efforts to locate a "center" are nothing more than good conjecture right now.

Overall, the center is on the western edge of the moisture envelope on the water vapor...so dry air remains a factor for sure...but by this time tomorrow night, I wouldn't be shocked if we were discussing a tropical depression...The next stage of development will be flushing some of this dry air out...although, it will not be able to flush all of it out in the next 24-48.
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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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