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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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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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hmm 80% but a little stronger words

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CONTINUE TO SHOW SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION
ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE AND A LOW PRESSURE AREA LOCATED
ABOUT 1250 MILES EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES. ENVIRONMENTAL
CONDITIONS ARE CONDUCIVE FOR A TROPICAL DEPRESSION TO FORM
DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO AS THE LARGE DISTURBANCE MOVES WESTWARD
AT 20 TO 25 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH CHANCE...80 PERCENT...OF
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.



I was surprised
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Pretty busy all across the world:
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


Have you had too much rum?


Nahh :)
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hmm 80% but a little stronger words

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CONTINUE TO SHOW SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION
ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE AND A LOW PRESSURE AREA LOCATED
ABOUT 1250 MILES EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES. ENVIRONMENTAL
CONDITIONS ARE CONDUCIVE FOR A TROPICAL DEPRESSION TO FORM
DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO AS THE LARGE DISTURBANCE MOVES WESTWARD
AT 20 TO 25 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH CHANCE...80 PERCENT...OF
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11277
2708. bappit
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
For those who just came in or didn't see it yet... here is my update on 94L path and Gordon.
updated few hours ago..

tell me what you think or 1, -1 etc...
I'll update again later this morning ET time


Your graphic is premature. We don't have a healthy invest yet.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5961
Quoting CaribBoy:
Guys be honest.. the COC is clearly at 15.5N 41.7W

Link


Have you had too much rum?
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5172
2706. bappit
Looking at the long loop on the 94L floater, and the invest looks pretty sickly right now. The circulation is very broad. A surge seems to be coming up in the eastern half. I was thinking that maybe a burst of convection in what looked like the main part of the invest could get it healthy again, but with the circulation broadening a suddenly healthier invest seems unlikely even if convection does bloom at dmax. Looks like a long road towards developing a well defined COC.

Odd thing about the loop is that the cloud tops (IR at night) get bright for a couple frames then dim. This happens pretty much across the whole image simultaneously so it must be some artifact. Not sure what would do that.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5961
Quoting wunderkidcayman:


Nah D-MAX should fix that


You are relax. That's good lol
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I'm still up might as well...

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North...
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Even FIM takes it S and into Cuba....

"Sc... the models" means not to pay attention for the moment.... Wait until 94L reaches the islands, and you'll see the models agree....



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Quoting CaribBoy:


Well OK still at 80%... BUT IT LOOKS NOT TOO GOOD


Nah D-MAX should fix that
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11277
2700. Levi32
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Is dry air the only thing hindering 94l besides forward speed?


Pretty much. Dry, stable air that has hindered waves east of 50W all season.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


screw the models? that makes the already uncertainty that much more uncertain, or you know, kinda like being a meteorologist in the pre-digital age, and lets just say forecasting tropical cyclones didn't work so well back then ;)
I like to use the models for more than just tracking the storm, like using it to see the upper air patterns of troughs and ridges and to draw my own conclusions by extrapolating what might happen.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
NHC says Gordon is now cat 1 75MPH over the Azores

Quoting sunlinepr:


We shouldnt be taking it so serious, there is no model consensus right now.... CMC and NGP develop it and turn it N....
GFS, NHC and FIM send it S of the islands....

Follow this link and notice where it goes

Link


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


Quoting Levi32:


Not much change today except for the model speculation. I see a more well-defined low-level center than this morning, but it will still take a while to start developing in earnest.


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.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11277
Quoting Jedkins01:


screw the models? that makes the uncertainty that much more uncertainty, or you know, kinda like being a meteorologist in the pre-digital age, and lets just say forecasting tropical cyclones didn't work so well back then ;)


Well that doesn't mean I won't watch them. Won't take much into account from them though, other than from the open Atlantic to Gulf are possible tracks.
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Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook

Hurricane GORDON Public Advisory


Good night everyone have to wake up early for school.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting tropicfreak:
As for me... screw the models until we get a well defined surface circulation and a classified system. By then we will have a much better idea where it will be headed. As far as I can tell the cone stretches from the open Atlantic down to the GOM.


screw the models? that makes the already uncertainty that much more uncertain, or you know, kinda like being a meteorologist in the pre-digital age, and lets just say forecasting tropical cyclones didn't work so well back then ;)
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

lol dude your nuts lol

not going to happen


Well OK still at 80%... BUT IT LOOKS NOT TOO GOOD
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2AM:
Gordon: down slightly to 75 mph
94L still 80%.
95L still 20%.
96L up to 20% from 10%.

96E still at 10%.
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I still think 94L will end up crossing Hispanola and recurving just east of the East Coast and brushing the Outer Banks of NC before going out to sea. Will write a blog tomorrow, otherwise, gotta go to bed because I'm starting my sleep adjustment for school in 2 weeks.
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Quoting Levi32:


Not much change today except for the model speculation. I see a more well-defined low-level center than this morning, but it will still take a while to start developing in earnest.


Is dry air the only thing hindering 94l besides forward speed?
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As for me... screw the models until we get a well defined, organized and a classified system. By then we will have a much better idea where it will be headed. As far as I can tell the cone stretches from the open Atlantic down to the GOM.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


I don't like this... I don't like this at all. Anywhere but Florida. Please.



Don't worry, at this far out, the models will shift away soon enough, if you get good model agreement consistently within a 5 day distance from landfall, then it's time to start worrying.

Mathematically speaking, Boston Mass, Tampa Florida, and Brownsville Texas have a similar chance of 94L impacting these areas as a hurricane respectively. Furthermore that probability is quite low obviously.


Conclusion: don't panic, it's fun to track and watch the models, but anything beyond that is virtually a crap shoot at this time.
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There's a scary cane rides up just off the East coast. And a west moving little low in the gulf. I hope that's all that ever gets in the gulf.

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Quoting CaribBoy:
NHC will decrease 94L's development potential to 60%

lol dude your nuts lol

not going to happen
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11277
Quoting Levi32:


Not much change today except for the model speculation. I see a more well-defined low-level center than this morning, but it will still take a while to start developing in earnest.


I see a well defined LLC near the little thunderstorms at 15.5/42. With dmax approaching, convection could increase..
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Quoting Stormchaser121:
If the center of 94L is redeveloping more to the south, the track of the system will be further south and will likely head to the gulf.


We shouldnt be taking it so serious, there is no model consensus right now.... CMC and NGP develop it and turn it N....
GFS, NHC and FIM send it S of the islands....

Follow this link and notice where it goes

Link
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Quoting CaribBoy:


Where?

where what

Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
For those who just came in or didn't see it yet... here is my update on 94L path and Gordon.
updated few hours ago..

tell me what you think or 1, -1 etc...
I'll update again later this morning ET time


cool

Quoting sunlinepr:


14.6 according to this...


hmm sounds right to me

Quoting Stormchaser121:
If the center of 94L is redeveloping more to the south, the track of the system will be further south and will likely head to the gulf.


yep you hit the nail on the head

Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11277
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Still don't want it there at that time lol


Ah ok. Well it's just one run as they say. :)
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NHC will decrease 94L's development potential to 60%
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Luckily that run has the storm very week crossing FL. But spends a lot of time offshore so they will get the rain.


Still don't want it there at that time lol
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2680. Levi32
Quoting CaribBoy:


What do you think of 94L tonight?


Not much change today except for the model speculation. I see a more well-defined low-level center than this morning, but it will still take a while to start developing in earnest.
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2679. Levi32
00z GFS ensembles are mostly near or east of the operational run:

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I still say 94L will be passing Jamaica's South coast not North and I thinking tracks GOM then anywhere on the E half umm much simmilar track to Dean(07) Ivan(04) and Charley(04)
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11277
2677. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37145
Quoting Felix2007:
192 hrs, still hasn't made landfall!
thats gonna be a lot of rain for florida if that track verifies.
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5172
If the center of 94L is redeveloping more to the south, the track of the system will be further south and will likely head to the gulf.
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Quoting CaribBoy:
People please stop saying it is reforming south.. cause IT'S NOT!. Center is at 15.5N 42W. Put your glasses!


14.6 according to this...

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For those who just came in or didn't see it yet... here is my update on 94L path and Gordon.
updated few hours ago..

tell me what you think or 1, -1 etc...
I'll update again later this morning ET time

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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Didn't DRM say earlier they thought the center was farther south now and a southern shift in models may be expected? Makes me wonder if the GFS we just watched picked up on that.


Even NHC which constantly placed it over the islands now places it S and then into W Cuba ....
Link
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hey guys. just back in for a quick look at whats going on. well after further analysis. seems like LLCOC is clearly shown near 15.3N 42.2W. looking at it closer seems like its trying to relocate Southwards, and this was expected by many on here including Dr. Jeff Masters himself


Where?
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2670. daws99
Thanks
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


I don't like this... I don't like this at all. Anywhere but Florida. Please.


Luckily that run has the storm very week crossing FL. But spends a lot of time offshore so they will get the rain.
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hey guys. just back in for a quick look at whats going on. well after further analysis. seems like LLCOC is clearly shown near 15.3N 42.2W. looking at it closer seems like its trying to relocate Southwards, and this was expected by many on here including Dr. Jeff Masters himself
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11277
2667. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37145
Quoting Levi32:
00z CMC still turns 94L sharply northwestward upon reaching the Caribbean as it strengthens.


What do you think of 94L tonight?
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2665. Levi32
00z CMC still turns 94L sharply northwestward upon reaching the Caribbean as it strengthens.
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2664. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting daws99:
Good nite all, those runs make it a very close call for us here in Jamaica. What would be the approximate time approaching JA thanks.


GFS has 94L near there ~4 days.
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I don't like this... I don't like this at all. Anywhere but Florida. Please.
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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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