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 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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Quoting JeffMasters:


Yes, this sort of speculation is something I won't put in a blog post. When one considers the average error in a 5-day forecast is over 300 miles, and the storm hasn't even formed yet, any predictions of where it might go 7 days from now are speculation, not a forecast.

Jeff Masters


Dr.Masters,
Are you thinking High Pressure will be too strong North of Invest94 to cause it to move further poleward? A few bloggers were discussing a weakness off the East Coast, are you seeing any possibility of this?
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2111. 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 .

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128871
Quoting Chicklit:

Look at the anticyclone wrapping up over 94L!

What about it? lol.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32338
2109. JLPR2
Vort is a tad stronger at 00z and as we can see here its spin is now nicely defined, though on the large side, all it needs is a good D-max to push it to TD status.

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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.


And I'm sure it will shift more.....It's not even a depression yet...everything is "Speculation" right now...you know this!
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2107. Thrawst
Quoting weatherh98:
The cone of doom shall now go from nova scotia the bay of compeche. I should be right with this track


I'd laugh SO hard if it was a fish storm, unfortunately I don't think I'll be laughing :P
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94l will have another status-quo day tomorrow (dry air), imo...structure is improving, tho. I just wish we could get a good scan. It should be a fun week on the blog!

Andrew luck not lookin' so good against the Steeler D tonight...

When is DMAX?
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Quoting CothranRoss:
I can still see this system taking a number of different tracks, from a Dean track to an Ivan track to a Charley track to even a Hazel-ish track if it gets strong enough.
Fredrick, Ivan
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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.

Look at the anticyclone wrapping up over 94L!
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I can still see this system taking a number of different tracks, from a Dean track to an Ivan track to a Charley track to even a Hazel-ish track if it gets strong enough.
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The cone of doom shall now go from nova scotia the bay of compeche. I should be right with this track

Did I miss anyone?
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Quoting BahaHurican:
This happened before, with Jeanne... the LLC went W, up the Old Bahama Channel... the MLC went N across the SE Bahamas and later became Jeanne again. If that LLC had also reformed, they would have had to call it something else.

Yes, it is semantics, but it is their call what that semantics is. And it seems their precedent says LLCs get new names, while MLCs get to keep them. UNLESS it's a basin cross.

Wonder what else we have out there in terms of precedents for this kinda thing...


I would hate playing Scrabble with the NHC... and those are good, rigid rules, but what 95 does has a lot to do with its history, which, blah blah blah what's this about Dr. Jeff sending TX 94L instead? :)
Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3276
2100. 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.
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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!
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the atcf is this now starting too update

the G storm is down too 70KT


AL, 08, 2012082000, , BEST, 0, 364N, 263W, 70, 980, HU,
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115252
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.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32338
2096. Patrap
..corrected,



GFS

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128871
2095. skook
Quoting Tazmanian:



well am geting sick of him all ways asking the same ? where he can look back in the commets too find the answer it olny takes a little looking back too find the answer




Not everyone has time to reread 2000 comments, people have busy lives outside of the blog.


Pay it forward!
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Okay well if your going to be a smart a** about it screw you.All I saw was a bunch of numbers in your post and I thought they were related to one of the AOI's.Boy bye..


?? anyway....moving on with the blog..bye
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


that isn't the atcf coordinates, that is the gfs forecast model coordinates out 240 hours
It taks awhile for atcf huh.
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Quoting txjourney:
weather forecasts for late next week in houston over the last few days....Sunny, then 20% chance rain, now 40% chance rain. Computers seem to at least be picking up on the rain from 95L making it up this way by thur-Fri.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy early in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the evening. Lows in the lower 70s. South winds around 5 mph in the evening becoming north after midnight.

Monday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 90s. North winds around 5 mph.

Monday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 70s. East winds around 5 mph.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 90s. East winds 5 to 10 mph.

Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the evening. Lows in the mid 70s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 90s.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 70s.

Thursday Through Friday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 90s. Lows in the upper 70s.

Friday Night: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 70s.

Saturday Through Sunday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 90s. Lows in the upper 70s.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


ok. which means that less of interaction with Hispaniola, Cuba, and Jamaica meaning stronger storm. which mean Higher chances for a Major hurricane to form from this in the NW caribbean



Which means it begins poleward
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Quoting aspectre:
1422 gordydunnot: Answer me this anyone. How come the NHC post floaters of every tropical system in the world but drops Gordon when he is close to running over land.

H.Gordon's very north, and probably falling out of the equatorial satellites' orbital range. Can't take pictures over the horizon, or even usefully flat ones of a storm near the view-horizon
Should show up pretty well on EuMetSat by now...

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Quoting Tropicalupdate:
look that pressure 999 it doesent say TD or Db humm


that isn't the atcf coordinates, that is the gfs forecast model coordinates out 240 hours
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7831
2086. Grothar
Thanks, Doc. You made me feel a lot better. I was getting worried about posting all those models going more South and West.
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Joyce in GOM
Kirk following Isaac

or the other way around...
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Very predictable southern jog there, between steering and the "blob sucks up the CoC" phenomenon...

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Funny how one paragraph can change the analogs from Fay or Georges to dean
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Quoting weatherh98:


Farther south it forms=lessened trough effect
Weeker=lessened trough effect

It's week and moving further south. Could mean it wont feel the trough so much


ok. which means that less of interaction with Hispaniola, Cuba, and Jamaica meaning stronger storm. which mean Higher chances for a Major hurricane to form from this in the NW caribbean
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12180
2081. Levi32
Quoting JeffMasters:


Yes, this sort of speculation is something I won't put in a blog post. When one considers the average error in a 5-day forecast is over 300 miles, and the storm hasn't even formed yet, any predictions of where it might go 7 days from now are speculation, not a forecast.

Jeff Masters


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.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Yes, intensisty 34 knots. That is from the GFS which does not have the resolution to accurately determine intensity.


AL, 94L, 2012081918_F000_146N_0384W_94L, 2012081918, 03, GFSO, 240, 280N, 828W, 34, 999
look that pressure 999 it doesent say TD or Db humm
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Quoting Patrap:
I wrote a song for you,
And all the things you do,
And it was called "Yellow".
So then I took my turn,
Oh what a thing to have done,
And it was all "Yellow."
Your skin,
Oh yeah your skin and bones,
Turn into something beautiful,
You know, you know I love you so,
You know I love you so.
I swam across,
I jumped across for you,
Oh what a thing to do.
Cos you were all "Yellow",



Everybody bickering... are u looking at this thing? it's gettting better w/ practically every frame...
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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.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32338
2077. Dakster
Quoting cat6band:


No I don't think so at all...I'm pretty sure he has given his statement a lot of thought before he wrote it. It's not like he's on the blog all day making comments. I would tend to trust him a little more than alot of folks on here..


I would like to add:

And not just because he has a Doctorate in Meteorology, it is his blog, and he has been doing this successfully for a very long time.
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2076. hydrus
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2075. Matt74
Quoting JeffMasters:
Looks like the center of 94L might try to form towards the deep convection to the south; this will require a southwards adjustment to the forecast track. The odds of a Yucatan landfall are increasing.

Jeff Masters
BLOG MELTDOWN in 3.... 2.... 1
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Quoting Stormchaser121:

Oh idk if it is or not, but the possibility is there. I have to wait and see a few days from now.



might be able to bring some nice rain to central tx where they NEED it..
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Quoting redwagon:

There was a new llc from Helene, and - surprise! - it's exactly where they announced 95. Unless you can point to another entity that caused a swirl up out of nothing (positing Helene's complete death), 95 is a remnant of Helene.

Semantics, I understand. It can clog up post-season when you have to reference ex-this and ex-that when discussing a persistent cyclone, which x-7/x-Helene/95 is. But the reality is a cyclone split and formed two distinct entities.
This happened before, with Jeanne... the LLC went W, up the Old Bahama Channel... the MLC went N across the SE Bahamas and later became Jeanne again. If that LLC had also reformed, they would have had to call it something else.

Yes, it is semantics, but it is their call what that semantics is. And it seems their precedent says LLCs get new names, while MLCs get to keep them. UNLESS it's a basin cross.

Wonder what else we have out there in terms of precedents for this kinda thing...

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Quoting Chicklit:


Is that 999 near Tampa?



Yes.

I checked the raw data.

The GFS does some weird stuff with the intensity, but even though it doesn't LOOK like a hurricane on the map, it actually is a strong TS or weak hurricane on much of the track points after the Lesser Antilles.
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2071. Patrap
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS -- AMENDED --
SUSPECT AREA EAST OF ISLANDS.
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: LOW LEVEL INVEST FOR
21/1800Z NEAR 15.5N AND 53.0W IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS.
3. REMARKS: ADDITIONAL DAY OUTLOOK: BEGIN 6 HRLY FIXES
22/0600Z. A NOAA GIV FLIGHT FOR 22/0000Z.

Seems the pants are going all out for 94L. Glad to see a GIV flight scheduled.


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
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128871
Quoting washingtonian115:
No I'm really confused?.I don't understand.


you're not so smart...lol..
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I've always been the most wary of Caribbean Cruisers. Many of the most infamous hurricanes have been of this variety. If they encounter favorable conditions, I always feel like the sky is the limit with them. If 94L is indeed destined to pass through the Caribbean, you better believe that I will be watching it very closely.
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Quoting JeffMasters:


Yes, this sort of speculation is something I won't put in a blog post. When one considers the average error in a 5-day forecast is over 300 miles, and the storm hasn't even formed yet, any predictions of where it might go 7 days from now are speculation, not a forecast.

Jeff Masters
What do you think of 95L?.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17151
Quoting washingtonian115:
If 94L eventually goes into the Yucatan that wouldn't be all to surprising considering that has been one of the favored tracks of storms this year..


This year? It's been favored track for storms for like the past 3 years lol
Member Since: July 12, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 383
maybe a Dean 2007...not so intense though...
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Quoting Chicklit:


Is that 999 near Tampa?




Yes
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2064. SLU
Quoting JeffMasters:
Looks like the center of 94L might try to form towards the deep convection to the south; this will require a southwards adjustment to the forecast track. The odds of a Yucatan landfall are increasing.

Jeff Masters


Big development. If you look at the loops you can actually see the center being drawn towards the thunderstorms to the south. This increases the threat to the islands and puts the center over warmer water too ....
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Quoting JeffMasters:


Yes, this sort of speculation is something I won't put in a blog post. When one considers the average error in a 5-day forecast is over 300 miles, and the storm hasn't even formed yet, any predictions of where it might go 7 days from now are speculation, not a forecast.

Jeff Masters

Thanks.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32338

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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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