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 TropicalAnalystwx13:

Just look at the buoys...


20 mph
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

nah the GFS ensembles have been shifting S and W soon they too will join the pack to track as caribbean storm yeah it may get Fl but it will be on its W side/GOM side if it does


Tampa in time for last day of RNC?
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2161. bappit
Quoting indianrivguy:


But Levi, the models are spread that far apart.. what would you have the Doc say if not the truth.

He just wants to have the last say.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6156
2160. trey33
Quoting Patrap:
A very self-important college freshman took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen ...
... sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his generation.

"You grew up in a different world, actually almost a primitive one", he said in a voice loud enough for many nearby to hear. "We, the young people of today, grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, men walking on the moon, our spaceships have visited mars, we have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers with light-speed processing, and…" he paused to take another swig of beer…

Which the senior citizen took advantage of to say,

"You know, son, you're right. We didn't have those things when we were young… so we invented them. Now, you arrogant little fart, what are YOU doing for the next generation?"

The applause was resounding.

I love senior citizens.

Submitted by Lindsay, Melbourne, Australia



Love this!
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Quoting Levi32:


Either the 12z EnKF changed drastically from the 06z, or those are different models than these, which were half or more in the Caribbean:



The plot I showed was from a multi-model ensemble, 1/2 FIM the other 1/2 GFS.


Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11341
Levi, how are the Caribbean trade winds this time if 94L tracks that way?
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Quoting floridaboy14:
GFS has it getting stronger in the E.carribean. shows the trade winds slower than with ernesto and td7 thats 3 days out though

true but the fact that right now it is lower than what Ernesto and TD7 had endured then 94L will survive better


but anyway if I am right then...
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Quoting bamagirl1964:
I know it is is extremely early and very uncertain, but I could JUST CRY and could use some of your very valuable input. My husband and I are 48 years old and are taking our very first cruise next weekend. We will leave from Miami to the Bahamas from next Friday, August 24th to Monday, August 27th. What are your thoughts on our cruise and if the worst case scenario occurs and 94L comes to the Bahamas, what would the cruise line do? I did take out the vacation protection package, but I am hoping for the best as I have been waiting for this for a very long time! Thank you so much for any input you can give me!
I seriously doubt you will need to cancel or will have bad wx. IF and that is a big IF - 94L heads our way, you should be back in port in the US by the time it approaches the area... Best place to check for news, of course, is your cruise line.

If you are going to be here on Friday / Saturday, enjoy the Goombay summer!
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2155. Levi32
Quoting WoodyFL:


Just a little sarcastic there don't you think


Wasn't supposed to be.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Treasure Island Radiation More Widespread than Reported By Matt Smith / Bay Citizen
| Friday, Aug 17, 2012

Shear leaving away from our area...



Radioactive contamination at the Treasure Island Naval Station, where San Francisco plans to build a high-rise community for 20,000 residents, is more widespread than previously disclosed.....
---The draft report, dated Aug. 6, marks the first time the Navy has fully acknowledged that the island, created from landfill in 1937, was used as a repair and salvage operation for a Pacific fleet exposed to atomic blasts during the Cold War.
---state public health official Peter Sapunor said Navy contractors had dug up and hauled off 16,000 cubic yards of contaminated dirt, some with radiation levels 400 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s human exposure limits for topsoil. Sapunor said he believed extensive radioactive material remained in the soil surrounding those excavation............


Link

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It's almost as if you're acting surprised that long-range track prognostications are inconsistent. ;)


The only thing that is consistent, no matter the model runs, is that it is going to affect said blogger. (Yes, there are exceptions)
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Quoting floridaboy14:
GFS has it getting stronger in the E.carribean. shows the trade winds slower than with ernesto and td7 thats 3 days out though
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

no dude it just you


Just look at the buoys...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
As Dr. Masters has just stated the odds of a Yucatan landfall are increasing. Here we go!! Gulf Storm on the way??
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1149
2150. Patrap
A very self-important college freshman took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen ...
... sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his generation.

"You grew up in a different world, actually almost a primitive one", he said in a voice loud enough for many nearby to hear. "We, the young people of today, grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, men walking on the moon, our spaceships have visited mars, we have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers with light-speed processing, and…" he paused to take another swig of beer…

Which the senior citizen took advantage of to say,

"You know, son, you're right. We didn't have those things when we were young… so we invented them. Now, you arrogant little fart, what are YOU doing for the next generation?"

The applause was resounding.

I love senior citizens.

Submitted by Lindsay, Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129770
2149. Grothar
Quoting Dakster:
Gro - Never stop doing that... As you can see sometimes they turn out correct, even when conventional thinking at the time does not agree.

When I listened to Max Mayfield speak the other day, he mentioned that there is a good reason for the models - they can take so much data into consideration that it is impossible for a human to do it fast enough. However, you (or the human) has to analyze WHAT the models are telling you and why, sometimes they are able 'see' and interpolate, what we cannot. In this case, they could be seeing something that we are not... The future will tell us for sure.

Just my un-scientific .02.



You're right, as usual.
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Link ShortWave Loop

Blue Light Special.
Goodnight all.
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2147. palmpt
Quoting indianrivguy:


But Levi, the models are spread that far apart.. what would you have the Doc say if not the truth.


Doc should be doing a Levi... Giving us a feel for what the atmospheric conditions suggest a week or more out. Got to hand to Levi. He lays it on the line. He is right and he has missed big, but he puts it out there. So, Levi, I am with you.... I want to see Doc do more... Say more...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

They're moving at the same 15-20 knots pace that they were with Ernesto and TD 7...

Do we really need to go through this with every storm that passes through the Caribbean?

no dude it just you

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

They're moving at the same 15-20 knots pace that they were with Ernesto and TD 7...

Do we really need to go through this with every storm that passes through the Caribbean?
GFS has it getting stronger in the E.carribean. shows the trade winds slower than with ernesto and td7 thats 3 days out though
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
2144. Levi32
Quoting indianrivguy:


But Levi, the models are spread that far apart.. what would you have the Doc say if not the truth.


No, no. That's the thing to say about a 7+ day forecast to the public sometimes, but I was just saying that it would be wonderful to get his long-range expert opinion in the personal blog comments from time to time as he just did. That was the first time I've ever seen that from him. It would be nice to see it more often.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Quoting Dakster:


Being in Miami... The cruise ships will pick a different spot to go to IF (and a big IF) the storm were to be in the way.

FWIW, cruise ships rarely have to cancel a cruise - and they know all about Hurricanes and Tropical Storms and how to avoid them. They have pretty sophisticated weather instruments on board.

Bottom lime, I wouldn't worry about it. Especially, because if the remote chance it were to be cancelled you are covered.
They generally just re-route the ship to somewhere else.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Ernesto did.
Can you post it?.Because I don't remember.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17794
2141. bappit
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Operational GFS centered better with the ensembles from the latest cycle, 18Z




And the GFS trends sllllliiiigggghhhttttlllly south of west on that chart.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6156
So the odds for East Coast storm is slowly decreasing... may have to make a slight southward adjustment to my forecast. Not that my forecast was SE USA, but it was going toward NE Puerto Rico which meant East Coast storm most of time.
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2139. WoodyFL
Quoting Levi32:


In that case, it would be nice to see you "speculate" more often in the blog comments. "Yucatan to Canada" is not our favorite thing to hear from our Director of Meteorology.


Just a little sarcastic there don't you think
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Gor done
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2137. Levi32
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Ya, ellipses for 7 day forecasts are large, imagine for 10 and 16 days.....






Either the 12z EnKF changed drastically from the 06z, or those are different models than these, which were half or more in the Caribbean with 94L's track at Day 7:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Quoting washingtonian115:
94L should do better in the caribbean than ex T.D 7 and Ernesto.They never had well established anti cyclones like that over them.

Ernesto did.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
2135. Dakster
Quoting Charliesgirl:



My granny in NOLA started my fascination with tropical weather. She sat me down with all her paper plotted maps. She particularly loved Hurricane Betsy because it meant you could never take your eyes off them, they still could come get you. Love those paper maps.


I remember when Publix used to put them on their paper grocery bags.
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2134. Relix
I'll stop tracking this thing for now. Giving me headaches XD! Ill check late tomorrow to see if there's any surprise, but Ill probably receive some gusty winds and rain here in PR.
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Quoting Patrap:
Most Cruise Lines have a webpage or your travel Agent can get the updates for you by e-mail I'm sure.


They Have very good com with reservations. Check yours .


Already told a co-worker that today, did not want him to be in any type of surprise.
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Quoting Patrap:

..corrected,

Ooofh,

GFS 00Z




Umm no sir that's not acceptable.
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Quoting Chicklit:
TX13 I quoted you because I was going to look up Trade Winds in the Caribbean and then saw that. That's the explanation!
94L should do better in the caribbean than ex T.D 7 and Ernesto.They never had well established anti cyclones like that over them.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17794
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

hmm well in intensity maybe cause less interaction with land could cause better development


yep



well TA13. you are forgetting that, right now it is way lower than what Ernesto and TD 7 had to deal with. if you compair it, it is nearly nearly dead air compaired to what Ernesto and TD7 had to endure.

They're moving at the same 15-20 knots pace that they were with Ernesto and TD 7...

Do we really need to go through this with every storm that passes through the Caribbean?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
2129. palmpt
Quoting Tazmanian:
this blog is about too get vary busy


I think you are right, Taz. The next week will be interesting. If this thing gets in the GOM, it will explode. Levi is playing the odds on the analogs. If this thing gets in the Gulf, it will be going against the analogs. We'll see. Interesting set up...
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It's almost as if you're acting surprised that long-range track prognostications are inconsistent. ;)


Ya, ellipses for 7 day forecasts are large, imagine for 10 and 16 days.....




Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11341
Quoting wunderkidcayman:


I did say WSW-S of due W so I did cover that
That's a lot of west and not much south.
I'd contend that the center(if there was one) has been jogging jusst a wee bit WWWWSW of due west. let's give it 24 hours to see what happens. Perhaps the Dr. is right and this L forms south and smashes into the Yucatan.
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Quoting Levi32:


In that case, it would be nice to see you "speculate" more often in the blog comments. "Yucatan to Canada" is not our favorite thing to hear from our Director of Meteorology.


But Levi, the models are spread that far apart.. what would you have the Doc say if not the truth.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Woah.That's one of the nicest anti-cyclones I have seen on top of a system in a while.

It has been gradually adding circles all day.
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Quoting Chicklit:
TX13 I quoted you because I was going to look up Trade Winds in the Caribbean and then saw that. That's the explanation!

Oh, lol.

Yeah, it's one of the best anticyclones I've ever seen. Beats Ernesto's.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
maybe a Dean 2007...not so intense though...

hmm well in intensity maybe cause less interaction with land could cause better development

Quoting Patrap:


Copy that.

Well warranted with the trends downstream now.

That shows the NHC is using all their available Tools for a System with Travel Plans.



Flight pattern for a supplemental high-level aircraft.
aoml.noaa.gov

yep

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think some of you are forgetting the Caribbean is still very much a dead zone with fast trade winds.

And no, they're not going to magically lower WKC.


well TA13. you are forgetting that, right now it is way lower than what Ernesto and TD 7 had to deal with. if you compair it, it is nearly nearly dead air compaired to what Ernesto and TD7 had to endure.
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Quoting HurrikanEB:


I love paper hand written track maps. I haven't really had the time to do one in a while, but I did one for every storm between 2004 and 2009. Maybe I'll start making them again when Isaac arrives.
This one is Andrew... quite dreadful the reality of those rathe innocuous marks...
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2121. Gearsts
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
TX13 I quoted you because I was going to look up Trade Winds in the Caribbean and then saw that. That's the explanation!
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Quoting HurrikanEB:


I love paper hand written track maps. I haven't really had the time to do one in a while, but I did one for every storm between 2004 and 2009. Maybe I'll start making them again when Isaac arrives.



My granny in NOLA started my fascination with tropical weather. She sat me down with all her paper plotted maps. She particularly loved Hurricane Betsy because it meant you could never take your eyes off them, they still could come get you. Love those paper maps.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2118. Dakster
Quoting bamagirl1964:
I know it is is extremely early and very uncertain, but I could JUST CRY and could use some of your very valuable input. My husband and I are 48 years old and are taking our very first cruise next weekend. We will leave from Miami to the Bahamas from next Friday, August 24th to Monday, August 27th. What are your thoughts on our cruise and if the worst case scenario occurs and 94L comes to the Bahamas, what would the cruise line do? I did take out the vacation protection package, but I am hoping for the best as I have been waiting for this for a very long time! Thank you so much for any input you can give me!


Being in Miami... The cruise ships will pick a different spot to go to IF (and a big IF) the storm were to be in the way.

FWIW, cruise ships rarely have to cancel a cruise - and they know all about Hurricanes and Tropical Storms and how to avoid them. They have pretty sophisticated weather instruments on board.

Bottom lime, I wouldn't worry about it. Especially, because if the remote chance it were to be cancelled you are covered.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
So in three days, the GFS has shifted from a major hurricane scraping the entire East Coast to a weak tropical storm passing south of the Greater Antilles and becoming a strong hurricane in the Gulf and hitting Texas to a minimal tropical storm hitting the West Coast of Florida.
It's almost as if you're acting surprised that long-range track prognostications are inconsistent. ;)
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hey levi, if 94L is a carribean cruiser, how are conditions looking there? will the trade winds be unfavorable like it was for ernesto and td7 because GFS has showed it getting stronger in the eastern carribean.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
Notice the big ammount of WV 94L will bring to the Antilles area... the only dry air area with SAL is that blue bubble NW of it....

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Quoting Chicklit:

Look at the anticyclone wrapping up over 94L!
Woah.That's one of the nicest anti-cyclones I have seen on top of a system in a while.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17794
Quoting Chicklit:

Look at the anticyclone wrapping up over 94L!


Doesn't mean squat with the trade winds.

The trades winds are a surface feature so an upper level anticyclone won't do anything
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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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