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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I don't like this... I don't like this at all. Anywhere but Florida. Please.
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People please stop saying it is reforming south.. cause IT'S NOT!. Center is at 15.5N 42W. Put your glasses!
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5927
Quoting sunlinepr:
Dry air keeps eating 94L.... It is regenarating closer to the ITCZ



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.
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2659. 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.
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94L needs to slow down!! It's racing.. already passed 42W
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5927
Quoting sar2401:


Hey, you said you wanted comments. :0 The graphics are very nice, but I would like to see more of your thinking about the general path and intensity. I'm especially interested in what you think 95L might do to influence 94L. If it gets stronger and hangs around long enough, that might be the weakness pulling 94L into the GOM. 94L is a tough forecast because it's not even a TD yet. The models keep flopping around and will do so for a good bit yet.


OK.. thanks for our comment anyway... I se what you mean, I reflected the idea of 95L influence, the trough to the north pulling the storm, the speed and timing... etc. I just can't just have the storm heading into the Gulf yet.. The idea of a northern turn is totally not ruled out... nor is the 95L pulling it into the Gulf. The path trends more towards the Yucatan and the Gulf and it's very possible for staying south of the islands.
If Isaac goes very near the islands making more than a wnw move, 95L might not catch it...but that's my idea for now..

Tomorrow I will make a more-down-to-earth graph and add and take away some things after looking at the new runs of the models and NHC data etc...

Would be a nice thing if you come up with a graph like mine and Bluestorm5's
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2656. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Kowaliga:


If I remember correctly, the ECMWF offers hi-res thru day 10 but you have to pay a fortune for it.


You can check out a higher resolution version on wundermap that goes out 8days. Click models on the right & select ECMWF & then forecast to animate.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
132hrs



Is that a TD At 132 hours?Just south of Cuba?
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5100
CMC still out to sea after clipping the islands.



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2653. bappit
Checked another presentation and found this slide which seemed interesting. It indicates the area that has to be examined in order to predict weather for a locale 1, 2 or 3 days into the future.

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Dry air keeps eating 94L.... It is regenarating closer to the ITCZ

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Should be .edu

www.meted.ucar.edu



Quoting seer2012:
The Univ. of Colorado has some free on-line training available. www.meted.ucar.ebu. Looks interesting,lots of weather courses available.
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If anyone wants my thoughts on 94L, they're contained in this blog.

However, said blog took me awhile to write, so unfortunately I'm out.

Love you guys. Don't stay up too late, lol.
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The Univ. of Colorado has some free on-line training available. www.meted.ucar.ebu. Looks interesting,lots of weather courses available.
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2648. emguy
Well, it is still to far out to say for sure, but the models have tightened a little bit...specifics are probably going to come down to intensity and or any land/lack of land interaction around Hispanola and Cuba, but the general idea is that future Isaac will be a storm affecting areas somewhere in between New Orleans and Cape Hatteras. New Orleans as a western outlier if it turns late, Cape Hatteras as an eaastern outlier if it turns early and moves through the Bahamas.

I'd say that the models really can't shift any further west on this one, unless...like Ernesto, future Isaac fails to make a connection with the trough...Then, if that happenned, it would probably compete for the Ernesto look alike contest. Since fronts are becoming stronger, and there will be an inevitible weakness, and this storm will be decent enough and just far enough north...it should turn poleward into that window between New Orleans and Cape Hatteras.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:



yeah... its not easy doing it...specially when taking every factor into consideration...but we have the idea
if it was easy,high school girls would be doing it.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 138
2646. bappit
A while back someone asked why do they bother running the models out so far in the future if the results are uncertain. I was reading some notes from here which say:

"10-15% of the time a 12-day fcst can be as good, or a 1-day fcst can be as poor as an average 4-day fcast

1-2% of all days the 12-day fcst can be made with more confidence than the 1-day fcst

Average hit rate for extended-range fcsts is low--value is in knowing when fcst is reliable"

With the ensembles they try to measure relative predictability which can indicate what parts of a model result are most reliable.

Edit: LOL and I see scotts comment right before this one. I'm not sure why people on this blog look at the models so far out.
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Why do you guys keep looking at models going out over 5 days? The chance of anything that isn't even a 1008mb low yet and it being somewhere in 6 days is like 8% chance.

You have to go short term with tropical systems. Now while it's generally agreed that this will head south of Puerto Rico in 5 days.. the stronger the system.. the more north over/near Puerto Rico it will be.. a much weaker system will stay around 15N-16N and move quicker. Right now.. just go out 3 days till it moves through the islands around 16-17N and expect it to be a Tropical Storm in 2 days or so.. and just keep watching the models GFS,ECMWF out to 5 days at most.
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Does anyone know if the resolution of the model drops off at some point in the forecast period? Wondering if that could be it. Would think there would still have to be some 850mb vorticity, albeit weak and disorganized.


If I remember correctly, the ECMWF offers hi-res thru day 10 but you have to pay a fortune for it.
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Night taco. Think I'm out too. Let's hope this thing doesn't decide to avoid those mountains. (Sorry to the folks in DR/PR/Cuba but as SG said, hopefully it will be a fast mover.)
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2642. 7544
could be a 50 to 60 mph tropical strom for fl so far
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ok I'm out for the nite :o)
I'll check back in a few days to see what the models are saying then...
Yall play nice

Taco :o)
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2640. 7544
now lets see if the eruro will follow the gfs later on
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And this. I posted this like two days ago.
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This seems plausible.

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At 240hrs, the L is still there. Interesting contrast to the 850mb vort. Shows a very slow trek up the W coast of Fla which would mean tons of rain for Fl.

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Maybe some spin @25W and perhaps the next player warming up over Cameroon.

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Quoting StormJunkie:


Does anyone know if the resolution of the model drops off at some point in the forecast period? Wondering if that could be it. Would think there would still have to be some 850mb vorticity, albeit weak and disorganized.


Yeah I was wondering could be the resolution as you say. Didn't think of that. Thanks. :) It's there at 192 and gone next frame.

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Quoting StormJunkie:


Which is pretty much how the ensembles should be used. The ensemble mean. Down the middle of that mean is a whole lot of elevation.


Bad for those in the path good for us for sure. I've been tracking these since 04 and have yet to see a storm make the trek intact.
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:
It doesn't have an 850 vort when it's pulled across Florida. Does that mean it didn't actually make landfall in the gulf?



Does anyone know if the resolution of the model drops off at some point in the forecast period? Wondering if that could be it. Would think there would still have to be some 850mb vorticity, albeit weak and disorganized.
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Quoting lottotexas:

dissipated ??????


Looks like? But I'm not the best at reading models.
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Quoting taco2me61:
Oh yea I was just adding to what you were saying . It would have to get into the Gulf for it to explode and away from land....

Taco :o)


Yep. And it was a great analogy for this run of the GFS and how much systems dislike the whole PR/DR/Cuba trek.
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2630. sar2401
Quoting GTcooliebai:
GFS 1-5 day Precip. Total:



GFS 6-10 day Precip. Total:



Hmmm...the mets here in Birmingham are completely discounting both 95L and 94L and show us high and dry until at least next Saturday. If 94L really does come up the east coast of Florida, that would leave us on the dry side of the storm, so maybe that's what they're thinking. OTOH, they may not be thinking of it all, given how far out it is and how the models runs keep moving it around. :)
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:
It doesn't have an 850 vort when it's pulled across Florida. Does that mean it didn't actually make landfall in the gulf?


dissipated ??????
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:


At the current time yes it is. The operational being down the center is pretty indicative of a solid forecast. The 00ZGFS early term is more north on this run and nearly the same in the long term. Applying that logic to chart below really puts the 00ZGFS dead center of the ensembles for the whole run.



Which is pretty much how the ensembles should be used. The ensemble mean. Down the middle of that mean is a whole lot of elevation.
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Quoting floridaboy14:
when you got the GFS ensembles going into the eastern gulf you should worry :O


Remember Debby.I swear the GFS had a system in the NE Gulf out 360 hours.
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5100
Quoting StormJunkie:


An extreme rarity...And it would need to clear Fl, and have some time in the open Gulf waters. With this GFS run, it goes straight from Cuba to riding right next to the W coast of Fl.
Oh yea I was just adding to what you were saying . It would have to get into the Gulf for it to explode and away from land....

Taco :o)
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It doesn't have an 850 vort when it's pulled across Florida. Does that mean it didn't actually make landfall in the gulf?

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It would be unfortunate, to say the least, if Typhoon Tembin were to hammer Taiwan, only to curve around and do it again. The model's suggestion of this is disconcerting.
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


So now the GFS cone is LA. to out to sea in the Atlantic.


At the current time yes it is. The operational being down the center is pretty indicative of a solid forecast. The 00ZGFS early term is more north on this run and nearly the same in the long term. Applying that logic to chart below really puts the 00ZGFS dead center of the ensembles for the whole run.

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

Link
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5927
Quoting scott39:
Ahh...weather babes are nice...who cares if she knows anything about weather!


I never watch TWC,whats their take on things? I shouldn't say never watch...I do watch when a storm is hitting and watch them get blown around.
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5100
2619. sar2401
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:



who said I was taking every factor into account, not easy doing a forecast path... the three lows are there for visualization...

I didn't draw the path straight to GOM because I see a northward shift in many of the models... so it's not all due west... and an east coast turn is totally not out of the question either..and I had to include it as well.


Hey, you said you wanted comments. :0 The graphics are very nice, but I would like to see more of your thinking about the general path and intensity. I'm especially interested in what you think 95L might do to influence 94L. If it gets stronger and hangs around long enough, that might be the weakness pulling 94L into the GOM. 94L is a tough forecast because it's not even a TD yet. The models keep flopping around and will do so for a good bit yet.
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Quoting gulfcoastmom1969:



I remember Fredrick very well... came off the end of Cuba and exploded
Yes it did and a lot of the reports back then kept saying the storm was dying down and then we had a heck of a storm.... I donot wish this on no one ... just saying

Taco :o)
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It disappear there for a minute. Finally gets pulled NE through Florida.
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Models is a tools... not 100% guaranteed. However, it's sticking with G.O.M suggestion still.
For the third consecutive run.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
GFS 1-5 day Precip. Total:



GFS 6-10 day Precip. Total:

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Again, I'll mention that we got a nasty typhoon in WPAC going toward Taiwan. Maybe Category 3/4 landfall.

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Quoting taco2me61:
Link

Maybe something like this Fredrick in "79"

Taco :o)


An extreme rarity...And it would need to clear Fl, and have some time in the open Gulf waters. With this GFS run, it goes straight from Cuba to riding right next to the W coast of Fl.
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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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