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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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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Quoting ProgressivePulse:




So now the GFS cone is LA. to out to sea in the Atlantic.
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5222
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Not a easy forecast for a rookie like me though! This is what college is for, I guess...



yeah... its not easy doing it...specially when taking every factor into consideration...but we have the idea
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2610. 7544
Quoting StormJunkie:
189hrs, a disorganized but fairly large system making its approach on Apalachicola



and looks whos following behind will it take the same path and fl get a one two punch
?
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Quoting Felix2007:
A twist!!!


Be sure to check the time stamp, that image is from the 12Z run.
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Quoting taco2me61:
Link

Maybe something like this Fredrick in "79"

Taco :o)



I remember Fredrick very well... came off the end of Cuba and exploded
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Models is a tools... not 100% guaranteed. However, it's sticking with G.O.M suggestion still.
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2606. sar2401
Quoting Patrap:
Georges 98





Ivan 04

(Ghost Of Ivan included)



Ugh...don't talk about Ivan. I mentioned this earlier and was shot down. I sure hope I'm wrong too. Ivan was a terrible storm for Alabama. We not only got cat 1 winds 100 miles inland but also a flock of tornadoes. On top of that, it looked like Ivan was coming back for a second round before it veered west. We didn't have power for two weeks, and there are still areas of forest that look like they were swept clear between the effects of Ivan and Katrina.
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Except for the large 2000' mountain in the middle of it, and don't forget the numerous mountains in Eastern Cuba which it would have to deal with directly after dealing with PR/DR. A very, very disruptive path for any tropical system to try and take.

All I'm saying is that if it happens to take this exact run of the GFS, it will have a hard time maintaining anything more than weak TS status unless it finds it's way in to the Gulf.
Link

Maybe something like this Fredrick in "79"

Taco :o)
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
More like 14.5 N 40.5 W...


Waiting new frames to be sure.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


we kinda share the same idea of the forecast...keeping the center of the storm south of the major islands
Not a easy forecast for a rookie like me though! This is what college is for, I guess...
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
It is little confusing though... I would suggest doing one cyclone or invest per graphic forecast?



sure... I'll work on that
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189hrs, a disorganized but fairly large system making its approach on Apalachicola

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228 hrs, I'm going to bed now, someone else is gonna have to post the rest
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What's it doing?
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


thanks to you both..like to hear it
It is little confusing though... I would suggest doing one cyclone or invest per graphic forecast?
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A twist!!!
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Just a quick blog post, but it's nothing special to read tonight. I am too lazy and tired to do a really detailed post so I only included my forecast and image of 94L.

Link

However, if you're too lazy to click on the link ;)

My Forecast:



we kinda share the same idea of the forecast...keeping the center of the storm south of the major islands
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Cleo 1964. Good analog.
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Quoting CaribBoy:
Link

15.5N 41.5W

This is evident.
More like 14.5 N 40.5 W...
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192 hrs, still hasn't made landfall!
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Beautiful graphics!
Quoting AllStar17:


Your graphics are very nice.


thanks to you both..like to hear it
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Link

15.5N 41.5W

This is evident.
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Quoting sar2401:


A couple of things. It's a little confusing to refer to a non-existent "Issac" when there are four invests on your map. It's not clear if you believe 95L will be a non-player in your scenario. I suspect you're too easily discounting a recurve to the north much earlier than 94L getting into the Caribbean. I also don't see sufficient weakness to draw 94L into the GOM within the time period you have on the map. If your timing is right, I think Belize and the Yucatan will take it on the chin.



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.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I favor a path into the Gulf of Mexico. That's all I'm going to say. Not picking a spot in your cone beyond western Cuba.


What a doomcaster! LOL. JK.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
FINALLY FINISHED IT...
________________________

Here is my version of what the path could most likely be... the farther out the greater the uncertainty.

Hurricane Gordon is also noted in the top right hand corner...

Summary:
I have Isaac reaching the Antilles as a weak/moderate tropical storm, them becoming a hurricane little after...If it stays south of Hispaniola he could intensify more but if not..then probably back as a storm but for now it could remain down enough to keep its intensity or strengthen slowly. They with PR could feel (indirectly) the impacts of the storm, specially Haiti.
Then hitting hard Jamaica and the Cayman Islands as a cat 2 hurricane...maybe a cat 3 hitting the Yucatan or Cuba and eventually Florida and not sure if Isaac could enter the GOM or not... if it does not recurves out...it could be a big danger for the Gulf states..OR hit severely the Yucatan and then east Mexico OR recurve north and impact as a big US East coast storm...many things could happen...

Notice the timing and intensity...it might be off if you think otherwise.
TELL ME YOUR POINT OF VIEW...FEEDBACK...COMMENTS ETC..

here it is...


if you want a bigger pic for yourself click here: Link


Your graphics are very nice.
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180 hrs
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Quoting Felix2007:
174 hrs, only slight changes from 18z


very little movement from 144-174 hrs.
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2585. 7544
thanks for the images peeps looks like landfall keywest but most of the energy to the east over miami area letts see if it turns n ne from there
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Just a quick blog post, but it's nothing special to read tonight. I am too lazy and tired to do a really detailed post so I only included my forecast and image of 94L.

Link

However, if you're too lazy to click on the link ;)

My Forecast:

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Quoting GTcooliebai:
GFS is much faster this run.

00z 150 hrs.



18z 150 hrs.



Much faster this run. 54hrs approaching the Antilles, 72hrs approaching Puerto Rico.
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Quoting Felix2007:
I don't see it being this weak honestly. 168 hrs


With the 00z runs track, I am very proud of the GFS for having it a weak system in the Keys because that is exactly how it would play out. Again, those mountains are in no way beneficial to a tropical system.

And Felix, once again...Pretty major changes from the 18z in the sense that the trek over PR/DR to eastern Cuba would leave a weak shell of a system.

Evening sg, good to see ya!
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174 hrs, track not much different from 18z
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Quoting Felix2007:
I can't see it being this weak honestly. 168 hrs


and it looks like it's stalled!
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
FINALLY FINISHED IT...
________________________

Here is my version of what the path could most likely be... the farther out the greater the uncertainty.

Hurricane Gordon is also noted in the top right hand corner...

Summary:
I have Isaac reaching the Antilles as a weak/moderate tropical storm, them becoming a hurricane little after...If it stays south of Hispaniola he could intensify more but if not..then probably back as a storm but for now it could remain down enough to keep its intensity or strengthen slowly. They with PR could feel (indirectly) the impacts of the storm, specially Haiti.
Then hitting hard Jamaica and the Cayman Islands as a cat 2 hurricane...maybe a cat 3 hitting the Yucatan or Cuba and eventually Florida and not sure if Isaac could enter the GOM or not... if it does not recurves out...it could be a big danger for the Gulf states..OR hit severely the Yucatan and then east Mexico OR recurve north and impact as a big US East coast storm...many things could happen...

Notice the timing and intensity...it might be off if you think otherwise.
TELL ME YOUR POINT OF VIEW...FEEDBACK...COMMENTS ETC..

here it is...


if you want a bigger pic for yourself click here: Link
Beautiful graphics!
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2578. sar2401
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
FINALLY FINISHED IT...
________________________

Here is my version of what the path could most likely be... the farther out the greater the uncertainty.

Hurricane Gordon is also noted in the top right hand corner...

Summary:
I have Isaac reaching the Antilles as a weak/moderate tropical storm, them becoming a hurricane little after...If it stays south of Hispaniola he could intensify more but if not..then probably back as a storm but for now it could remain down enough to keep its intensity or strengthen slowly. They with PR could feel (indirectly) the impacts of the storm, specially Haiti.
Then hitting hard Jamaica and the Cayman Islands as a cat 2 hurricane...maybe a cat 3 hitting the Yucatan or Cuba and eventually Florida and not sure if Isaac could enter the GOM or not... if it does not recurves out...it could be a big danger for the Gulf states..OR hit severely the Yucatan and then east Mexico OR recurve north and impact as a big US East coast storm...many things could happen...

Notice the timing and intensity...it might be off if you think otherwise.
TELL ME YOUR POINT OF VIEW...FEEDBACK...COMMENTS ETC..

here it is...


if you want a bigger pic for yourself click here: Link


A couple of things. It's a little confusing to refer to a non-existent "Issac" when there are four invests on your map. It's not clear if you believe 95L will be a non-player in your scenario. I suspect you're too easily discounting a recurve to the north much earlier than 94L getting into the Caribbean. I also don't see sufficient weakness to draw 94L into the GOM within the time period you have on the map. If your timing is right, I think Belize and the Yucatan will take it on the chin.
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Quoting weatherman12345:
much of centarl cuba is relaively flat


Except for the large 2000' mountain in the middle of it, and don't forget the numerous mountains in Eastern Cuba which it would have to deal with directly after dealing with PR/DR. A very, very disruptive path for any tropical system to try and take.

All I'm saying is that if it happens to take this exact run of the GFS, it will have a hard time maintaining anything more than weak TS status unless it finds it's way in to the Gulf.
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I can't see it being this weak honestly. 168 hrs
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Quoting StormJunkie:
144 hr GFS 00z.

This run is much different than the 18z. It takes it on a death ride over all of PR/DR and then over much of Cuba.



It would be a very sloppy storm after that trek.

Hi Stormjunkie, yep that would be a better path to keep it in check, at least it is moving fast so hopefully any flooding is minimal.
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162 hrs over the Keys

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GFS is much faster this run.

00z 150 hrs.



18z 144 hrs.



Forgot I had to subtract 6 hrs. since we are 6 hrs. later.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
156 hrs
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
Look at post 2534 abut the path of 94L,...tell me your thoughts...


I favor a path into the Gulf of Mexico. That's all I'm going to say. Not picking a spot in your cone beyond western Cuba.
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Quoting StormJunkie:
144 hr GFS 00z.

This run is much different than the 18z. It takes it on a death ride over all of PR/DR and then over much of Cuba.



It would be a very sloppy storm after that trek.


Like TS Fay.
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Quoting gatorchomp:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


What's that, Gator?
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Look at post 2534 about the path of 94L,...tell me your thoughts...
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Going towards south FLA
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144 hr GFS 00z.

This run is much different than the 18z. It takes it on a death ride over all of PR/DR and then over much of Cuba.



It would be a very sloppy storm after that trek.
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Quoting weatherman12345:
gfs images anyone.. plz?

here's 850mb vort at 144 hours. This isn't a very good looking path for us...
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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.