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 Grothar:


Oh, that's Culebra!
chubacabra...?
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This is going to suck.




SHIPS is sticking with about the same forecast intensity, and 3 day cone, if it existed, would already include the Lesser Antilles.
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Evere one this go too bed this like I am and you all will feel vary good about a new day and new tracking
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
Quoting AussieStorm:

At least your prepared. A lot of people aren't.

I wonder if the boy with the certain shower screen has all of his neighbourhood prepared since he's always begging for a Cat 3-5.

P.S My wife just got her full drivers licence.




this guy?

I heard the state of florida is ready for the big one because of him

#hurricanepreparedness2k12
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2309. Grothar
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


Could I have the link Gro?


No.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


thats not mid level, but anyway let us all agree to wait till sunrise. so we can get some visible images. so we can really see whats going on. ok


I know you won't believe it, but the spin you are looking at is very much mid-level. Thus, you can barely find it on the last few frames of satellite loops.
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I got it Gro sorry...it came up easy...unlike some others.
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5237
Quoting Patrap:


If I get any more prepared I'd have get another Case of well, you know.

Hurricane Preparation 2012




It's time to dust off that family disaster plan, or in many cases, create one.

Keeping your family safe during a hurricane starts with proper planning. One in six Americans live along the eastern seaboard or the Gulf of Mexico, making hurricane preparation a must for many and their families.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
The fact that anyone has to dispute where the center is located shows you that it still has some work to do before being classified.
I agree. I'm somewhat impressed by the NHC's liberalism/progressivism (socialism? Since we're using leftist political terms to describe forecasts) with 94L's percentages.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Patrap:


If I get any more prepared I'd have get another Case of well, you know.

Hurricane Preparation 2012




It's time to dust off that family disaster plan, or in many cases, create one.

Keeping your family safe during a hurricane starts with proper planning. One in six Americans live along the eastern seaboard or the Gulf of Mexico, making hurricane preparation a must for many and their families.



At least your prepared. A lot of people aren't.

I wonder if the boy with the certain shower screen has all of his neighbourhood prepared since he's always begging for a Cat 3-5.

P.S My wife just got her full drivers licence.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

Here scroll down and they are on the right. ATL from 1851 - 2012
Of course I know THAT... but I keep having to change pages - twice - just to grab an image.... why not make it simpler? There's a nice space under "how to start your own blog and add images"....

Pretty please?
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Quoting Grothar:
Hey anybody notice that the FIM7 I have been posting since yesterday has 94L staying in the Caribbean




Could I have the link Gro?
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5237
Quoting JeffMasters:
As far as a Gulf landfall goes, we may not have a good forecast on this until Friday morning. The trough of low pressure capable of pulling 94L to the north enters Western Canada Thursday night, and will get sampled by the North American radiosonde network in time for the 00Z Friday runs of the models. So far, the GFS pushes this trough faster to the east than the ECMWF, resulting in the GFS's 18Z prediction of a W. Florida landfall. It wouldn't take much of a shift in this trough for a Yucatan/Veracruz Mexican landfall to result, instead. All that being said, the pattern we've seen so far this year is for Yucatan landfalls, so that increases the odds in my book. Also, we have that huge drought region in the Midwest, which tends to create its own high pressure bubble, which reduces the odds of storms making the turn and hitting the Central or Western Gulf Coast. If 94L makes it to the Western Caribbean, the two most likely options are a Yucatan/Veracruz landfall, or on the Gulf Coast east of New Orleans.

Jeff Masters

I can - many here can - assure you that drought is a positive feedback loop.

You can literally witness rain lead to more rain, and drought produce even more drought. We need an Erin for the Midwest, a wide-swath rain-maker.
Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3278
I have done a very loaded tropical update...just released now.

This one took a while for me to get out because it is very very active right now in the Atlantic. I also point out that we have a slight chance of equaling or getting ahead of the record 2005 season (in terms of tropical storm numbers by Aug 22)....
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Quoting MississippiWx:


ATCF center fixes don't go off decaying mid-level circulations. They go by the actual low level center, which is exactly where they placed it.


thats not mid level, but anyway let us all agree to wait till sunrise. so we can get some visible images. so we can really see whats going on. ok
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12549
2298. Gearsts
94l is entering warmer waters of 28c and should look better by tomorrow morning.
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Things for 94L:
1. Low wind shear
2. Warm SSTs
3. Model support

Things against it:
1. Fast movement
2. Some dry air
3. Massive size (at least a short term disadvantage)



I won't be back on tonight but I'm thinking we'll see 94L stay 80% at 2AM, unless convection really diminishes in which case it would go to 70%... Earliest I think it will be a TD is tomorrow late morning/early afternoon. Watch for models to trend south and weaker, maybe not tonight but tomorrow morning if organization doesn't improve.

Real pretty storm developing here:

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2296. Grothar
Quoting Abacosurf:
And a little something NE of PR.


Oh, that's Culebra!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
V (KT) NO LAND 25 27 30 35 40 53 66 79 91 96 100 102 102

SHEAR (KT) 4 1 6 6 3 7 3 8 4 10 7 13 8

700-500 MB RH 67 66 65 63 65 58 56 56 56 56 60 60 60

HEAT CONTENT 19 20 14 13 24 36 44 64 61 69 70 106 87


Thats an average of 6 knots of shear throughout the entire forecast period, that's low.
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The fact that anyone has to dispute where the center is located shows you that it still has some work to do before being classified.
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Folks, NOW is the time to review your preparedness plan, and know what you'll stock up on.

It's better to have a plan in place and not use it, than not to have a plan, and need it!
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2292. Patrap
Quoting AussieStorm:

What did you feel then. a 1in tsunami?
I'm doing ok mate, as well as my body and mind will allow me to be.


A lil South Louisiana mischief between 2 of us.


..Choot um Liz!!


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
now guys, this is the part wich gets me ticked off. its now clearly seen on shortwave ir and rgb the LLCOC located near, 14.0N 40.1W and ATCF has it at 15.1N 40.6W . now what I will do to make fair chance I will keep an eye on that and as sunrise come tomorrow that will determine when we have a clear rgb and vis images


Are you tracking the LLC or the Mid Level?
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
now guys, this is the part wich gets me ticked off. its now clearly seen on shortwave ir and rgb the LLCOC located near, 14.0N 40.1W and ATCF has it at 15.1N 40.6W . now what I will do to make fair chance I will keep an eye on that and as sunrise come tomorrow that will determine when we have a clear rgb and vis images


ATCF center fixes don't go off decaying mid-level circulations. They go by the actual low level center, which is exactly where they placed it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2288. Patrap
Quoting AussieStorm:
The posts and comments on here about soon to be Isaac are concerning. Some saying it's a fish storm, others saying through the Caribbean.
At this time with a storm that hasn't even been designated a tropical stor or hurricane let alone a depression, it can go anywhere, and affect anyone.
The comparisons of Irene? Please, there have been many other storms in the past that have tracked northward along and into the Eastern Seaboard. Bertha, Hugo, FLOYD!
So it's not where will Isaac go, it's more like Are You Prepared?
Help spread education of awareness and preparedness for this will be the ultimate gift anyone could receive. Instead of hypothetical forecasts of it will go here, it will go there.

Courtesy of Barometer Bob


Now is the time to prepare. Not just sit and analyse what models are saying.


If I get any more prepared I'd have get another Case of well, you know.

Hurricane Preparation 2012




It's time to dust off that family disaster plan, or in many cases, create one.

Keeping your family safe during a hurricane starts with proper planning. One in six Americans live along the eastern seaboard or the Gulf of Mexico, making hurricane preparation a must for many and their families.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting palmpt:


Levi... Just ignore comments like that. You are giving an objective view. The last thing you want is the last word. You are are a pro. That guy does not know you... Obviously!


What happened? Some loser dissing Levi again for Debby? Some people are such morons. Levi's a good kid in my book and I just love his tidbits,he explains in laymen terms whats going on and why.And a added plus for me is you don't have to have a Phd in Theoretical Physics to understand him....thank god for me I had a hard time with Pre Algebra!!!...lol.........Keep up the good work Levi.
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5237
Quoting Grothar:
Hey anybody notice that the FIM7 I have been posting since yesterday has 94L staying in the Caribbean




Not a good scenario.
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now guys, this is the part wich gets me ticked off. its now clearly seen on shortwave ir and rgb the LLCOC located near, 14.0N 40.1W and ATCF has it at 15.1N 40.6W . now what I will do to make fair chance I will keep an eye on that and as sunrise come tomorrow that will determine when we have a clear rgb and vis images
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12549
Quoting MississippiWx:


No. Convective organization is still poor and needs to expand in coverage.
Might wait til tommorrow morning then huh.
Member Since: June 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 93
Quoting JeffMasters:
As far as a Gulf landfall goes, we may not have a good forecast on this until Friday morning. The trough of low pressure capable of pulling 94L to the north enters Western Canada Thursday night, and will get sampled by the North American radiosonde network in time for the 00Z Friday runs of the models. So far, the GFS pushes this trough faster to the east than the ECMWF, resulting in the GFS's 18Z prediction of a W. Florida landfall. It wouldn't take much of a shift in this trough for a Yucatan/Veracruz Mexican landfall to result, instead. All that being said, the pattern we've seen so far this year is for Yucatan landfalls, so that increases the odds in my book. Also, we have that huge drought region in the Midwest, which tends to create its own high pressure bubble, which reduces the odds of storms making the turn and hitting the Central or Western Gulf Coast. If 94L makes it to the Western Caribbean, the two most likely options are a Yucatan/Veracruz landfall, or on the Gulf Coast east of New Orleans.

Jeff Masters
Doc, I'm going to print and keep this for later referral. I was prepared for Ike by paying attention to a FORMER blog poster who called Ike almost 8 days out. I think your comments are sound and reasonable. Too many on here don't see the entire picture as you do. thanks
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Quoting Patrap:


That takes a lil more mojo usually Aussie.

LoL

Hows ya doin mate?

What did you feel then. a 1in tsunami?
I'm doing ok mate, as well as my body and mind will allow me to be.
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Quoting Grothar:
Hey anybody notice that the FIM7 I have been posting since yesterday has 94L staying in the Caribbean


And a little something NE of PR.
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Quoting Tropicalupdate:
Could this be a TD then since LLC is under T'storms?


No. Convective organization is still poor and needs to expand in coverage.
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2279. Patrap
Well that was well covered.

; )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
2278. Patrap
Quoting BahaHurican:
Doc, before I forget, can you add a link to the hurricane archives in your recommended links list? I see pple using the Wikipedia maps for past tracks when we have an excellent source of our own right on the site but not particularly accessible...



The best page for all the tools for 90 percent of my post come from the Tropical Page here on wunderground.


www.wunderground.com/tropical
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting BahaHurican:
Doc, before I forget, can you add a link to the hurricane archives in your recommended links list? I see pple using the Wikipedia maps for past tracks when we have an excellent source of our own right on the site but not particularly accessible...

Here scroll down and they are on the right. ATL from 1851 - 2012
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Best area of low level rotation is at 15.1N 41.0W. Shortwave imagery shows it well, right under new thunderstorms.

Could this be a TD then since LLC is under T'storms?
Member Since: June 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 93
Quoting Patrap:


Was creepy plotting it twice with Graph tacks in the GOM that's fer sure.


If i remember correctly (i was 6) we didnt get rain the first time but we did the second
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Pffft, that's nothing. I go to sleep around 3a.m, and have to be awake by 5:45a.m. You'll get used to never sleeping eventually hahaa.

I wish that's how it worked for me. If I don't get my sleep, I become a zombie. :P

Anyway, the SW Azores are really starting to feel the effects of Gordon now.

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Correction to post above...should say 41.0W.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
2196- So JMA says 10 minute sustained of 65 kts and JTWC has one minute sustained of 55 kts???



Well, maybe it's a bug or a typo...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The posts and comments on here about soon to be Isaac are concerning. Some saying it's a fish storm, others saying through the Caribbean.
At this time with a storm that hasn't even been designated a tropical stor or hurricane let alone a depression, it can go anywhere, and affect anyone.
The comparisons of Irene? Please, there have been many other storms in the past that have tracked northward along and into the Eastern Seaboard. Bertha, Hugo, FLOYD!
So it's not where will Isaac go, it's more like Are You Prepared?
Help spread education of awareness and preparedness for this will be the ultimate gift anyone could receive. Instead of hypothetical forecasts of it will go here, it will go there.

Courtesy of Barometer Bob


Now is the time to prepare. Not just sit and analyse what models are saying.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2270. Grothar
Hey anybody notice that the FIM7 I have been posting since yesterday has 94L staying in the Caribbean


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
V (KT) NO LAND 25 27 30 35 40 53 66 79 91 96 100 102 102

SHEAR (KT) 4 1 6 6 3 7 3 8 4 10 7 13 8

700-500 MB RH 67 66 65 63 65 58 56 56 56 56 60 60 60

HEAT CONTENT 19 20 14 13 24 36 44 64 61 69 70 106 87
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32531
Quoting Levi32:


My blog entry from this morning has my thoughts on the system. If my thoughts change it will be in tomorrow morning's post.
alright can't wait for the tidbit.
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2267. Grothar
Quoting bappit:

LOL I do like posts of the ensembles like Dr. M used in the blog because they show a spread downrange. Sorry my comment earlier offended.


I very rarely get offended. Just befuddled.
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2266. Patrap
Quoting weatherh98:


ill never forget carl aradondo calling it that


Was creepy plotting it twice with Graph tacks in the GOM that's fer sure.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Best area of low level rotation is at 15.1N 41.0W. Shortwave imagery shows it well, right under new thunderstorms.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Doc, before I forget, can you add a link to the hurricane archives in your recommended links list? I see pple using the Wikipedia maps for past tracks when we have an excellent source of our own right on the site but not particularly accessible...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.