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 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.
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Quoting Chicklit:


Is that 999 near Tampa?



Yes, intensity 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
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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.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


I don't go there...are you...what?
No I'm really confused?.I don't understand.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17798
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Thanks for your thoughts Jeff, but don't you think it's a little too early to be speculating about that? It could undergo several center reformations between now and the time it reaches the islands.


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..
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Quoting Tropicalupdate:
Can the US still get hit though?


Yes Just a different area
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2057. JeffMasters (Admin)
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Thanks for your thoughts Jeff, but don't you think it's a little too early to be speculating about that? It could undergo several center reformations between now and the time it reaches the islands.


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
Quoting TXHuRRicanE:


why you think its going to Tx?

Oh idk if it is or not, but the possibility is there. I have to wait and see a few days from now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well it looks as if someone is going to be impacted by either 94l,95l or the soon to be 96l. Because of Ernesto and and TD7 lots of people wrote off this season. They may have jumped the gun a little!!
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


hey Doc thank good your here

hmm interesting please Doc explain more


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
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2053. Patrap
It pretty straight forward thinking when the COC deviate's from the earlier Modeling, it will and often does change the end line points or solutions.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129795
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
Can the US still get hit though?
Member Since: June 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 93
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..
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17798
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.
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2049. Patrap

94L RainbowTop Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129795
Dr. Masters is right; a Caribbean tracking tropical cyclone continues to appear more likely.
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2047. Dakster
Thanks Dr. Masters...

That makes sense and may quiet the blog down alittle. (I doubt it though)
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Explain.Just interested.


I don't go there...are you...what?
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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


hey Doc thank good your here

hmm interesting please Doc explain more
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Quoting Tropicalupdate:
K thanks Iwonder y it didnt get orange circle?


It has NO convection
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:



Link


Is that 999 near Tampa?

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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




ugh not other Yucatan land fall


Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
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


Thanks Doc...Looks like the GFS is spot on again...
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2040. Patrap
RECON info can be found on the left side of the NHC Home Page in da Menu..

Just below the Gumbo and apps

Aircraft Recon
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129795
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


Thanks Dr. Noticed that GFS now passes it S of PR and Rd and into Cuba....
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Not until Tuesday.
K thanks Iwonder y it didnt get orange circle?
Member Since: June 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 93
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


disturbing
Explain.Just interested.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17798
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

Thanks for your thoughts Jeff, but don't you think it's a little too early to be speculating about that? It could undergo several center reformations between now and the time it reaches the islands.
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2034. tkdaime
What date will future Isaac be near s florida and how strong could it get
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Be nice Taz. No-one wants to read back over 100's of comments for a simple answer.



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
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
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
Thanks for this information Dr. Masters but from where I am sitting this is bad news.
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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


Cue jaws music
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2030. Patrap
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


Well thats gonna toss a new Die on da table.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129795
Quoting clwstmchasr:


He said it was moving WSW. Not just south if due west. That causes a big difference in track.
I hate to tell you guys, that u r basically arguing about what amounts to a wobble right now. If we still see WSW or WNW instead of W in 12 hours, stop the presses... storms do the wobble thing all the time.
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Quoting weatherh98:


A storm can be anal?



that's why I said disturbing...
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18z GFS was reminiscent of Fay.
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.

Fighting dry air but feeding from ITCZ
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Quoting muddertracker:


95l's spin, name, origin, etc., has been discussed multiple times today...you shouldn't take anything personal on this blog...lol....it's just a blog. If you think it's bad now...wait until there's a major tracking towards Florida :) Once you get to know all the bloggers a bit better, I'm pretty sure you'll understand that no one is usually rude on purpose...(most of the time.) I'm glad you are here. It's informational, educational and fun!
+1
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2023. JeffMasters (Admin)
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
Quoting HoustonTxGal:


We here in the Houston area may get some rain afterall!!
over 3in since yesterday
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Automated satellite algorithm thinks.....


AL, 94, 201208200000, 70, ANAL, P, , 1470N, 4020W


A storm can be anal?
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Quoting Tazmanian:




plzs loook back in the commets it been said 100s of time now


Be nice Taz. No-one wants to read back over 100's of comments for a simple answer.
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Quoting Stormchaser121:

yep!


why you think its going to Tx?
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Quoting Tropicalupdate:
What time Tonight or tommorrow does HH going into 95L?

000
NOUS42 KNHC 191821
REPRPD
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
0215 PM EDT SUN 19 AUGUST 2012
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 20/1100Z TO 21/1100Z AUGUST 2012
TCPOD NUMBER.....12-092 AMENDMENT

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.
4. SUSPECT AREA --GULF OF MEXICO -- ADDED --
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70 --
A. 20/1900Z
B. AFXXX 01BBA INVEST
C. 20/1630Z
D. 23.0N 96.5W
E. 20/1830Z TO 21/0000Z
F. SFC TO 10,000FT
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Quoting BahaHurican:


Historical marks.


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.
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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",





We're they covered in pee?
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Quoting ncstorm:
so basically..everyone..264 hours..good luck on cyphering those model runs from the GFS..Im just going to wait it out over here eating my popcorn and reading the blog comments..

Good night guys..see ya tomorrow

GFS says the future storm will be coming to pay a visit to the U.S no matter what track it takes.I'm personally hoping the one where it's in between Bermuda and the U.S.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17798
Quoting HoustonTxGal:
Is it me or do there seem to be some "touchy" folks here today?

you may be more knowledgeable than others on the blog and perhaps people not as knowledgeable as you are just looking to learn more.

I don't see the need to be rude.


95l's spin, name, origin, etc., has been discussed multiple times today...you shouldn't take anything personal on this blog...lol....it's just a blog. If you think it's bad now...wait until there's a major tracking towards Florida :) Once you get to know all the bloggers a bit better, I'm pretty sure you'll understand that no one is usually rude on purpose...(most of the time.) I'm glad you are here. It's informational, educational and fun!

EDIT: You've been here since 2007...you should already know this stuff...sorry...didn't mean to sound condescending :)
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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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