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 Hurricanes101:


not enough persistent convection


Tell that to Helene
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It lacks deep and organized convection.


gotcha
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1811. VR46L
Quoting washingtonian115:
It does?.Doesn't seem really closed to me.


Looks a mess to me

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1810. Patrap
94L


95L



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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


the fact its been doing that all day today, I have been watching it all day.there is no COC relocation it the same one from this morning. the steering agrees with it too and I think that is the problem, models did not pick that up. plus earler someone else said the same I think it was Levi.
Was it kmanislander yesterday saying some thing about a SW movement in the midATL due to the shape of the high?

Current analysis seems to support such a movement as well...

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
Very dry the area ahead of 94L, until it reaches the islands...

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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

I know, sorry I was speed writing.



NO I AM NOT. and DUDE YOU ARE BLIND. GO and SEE an EYE DOCTOR.


I AM PUTTING IT IN CAP, SO YOU CAN SEE WHAT I AM SAYING.


you are right
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Quoting weatherh98:


why hasntit been declard


not enough persistent convection
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Quoting HoustonTxGal:
WOW, looks like we have 95 now




Your late. We had 95L for a few hrs now
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115235
Quoting PRweathercenter:


A similar path, Not that strong, maybe a TS doing the same thing


Yes i´m thinking the same but not so much interact with hispanola, european is little south but i think is because is predicting a weaker system.. again we need a TD or TS for a best forecast track and everything is pointing the system will strengthens in the next 24-48 hours so lets see what happens
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Quoting weatherh98:


why hasntit been declard

Lack of organized, strong, persistent convection I think. But that will change and we should get Isaac out of 94L.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

One thing though...94L already has a closed low.
It does?.Doesn't seem really closed to me.
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WOW, looks like we have 95 now
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Quoting weatherh98:


why hasntit been declard

It lacks deep and organized convection.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

One thing though...94L already has a closed low.


why hasntit been declard
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Quoting StormJunkie:
It's ok to not know something. The hardest part is being able to admit to yourself you don't know.


There is a principal which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance --

--that principle is contempt prior to investigation.

Herbert Spencer
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1797. scott39
Quoting Patrap:


I'm mo a Bermuda shorts type myself.
Comfort is a must when tracking TCs.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6860
Noooooooo!!!! Take it back, take it back!!
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Quoting ackee:
I think we should take each model run with caution until we HAVE A CLOSED low, each MODEL run will change in time. I am sure the 0z GFS run and other models will continue to be all over the place; when 94L or if it becomes a TD or TS then I will begin to take the models more serious

One thing though...94L already has a closed low.
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1794. Patrap
Quoting redwagon:

What's that front going to do to Helene when it taps her on her nose? Man I wish I was paying closer attention to Hermine two years ago...


We shall see.. Hopefully it will Miss and slide into the Rio Grande or someplace that could use it.
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94L Short Floater - RGB Color Imagery Loop make sure to check LatLon and you will see what wunderkid and hurricanes101 are saying.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting sporteguy03:

Not only that the long range models do show 94L as a possible threat to the U.S. I like the optimism though that the U.S. has nothing to worry about but it is way too early to say the all clear.
I gotta say, I think there's been one, maybe two long range runs that did not impact the US in some way.....

Levi's fond of reminding us of the importance of recognising the TREND within the longrange GFS, and the one consistency is that if 94L develops, it's very likely to hit the CONUS... somewhere.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
Quoting ackee:
I think we should take each model run with caution until we HAVE A CLOSED low, each MODEL run will change in time. I am sure the 0z GFS run and other models will continue to be all over the place; when 94L or if it becomes a TD or TS then I will begin to take the models more serious


Thank you :) +1000000
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1790. Patrap
Quoting scott39:
I took those back because they didnt fit!


I'm mo a Bermuda shorts type myself.
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Quoting Stormchaser121:

What do you think will happen?



Honestly I don't know... But ask me in about 3-4 days lol
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Quoting Patrap:




What's that front going to do to Helene when it taps her on her nose? Man I wish I was paying closer attention to Hermine two years ago...
Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3275
1787. Patrap
Quoting scott39:
I remember driving into downtown Mobile to check on one of my stores, and it was under water.


Was a wild one fer sure scott..

Could see it Parked over Miss Coast from Here Easily as the Towers Left Side covered the Horizon from N to south here.



Georges also caused the first ever evacuation Of NOLA Proper...in Sept 98.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
I actually agree with wundercayman, looking at the loops it does appear that the COC of 94L has moved WSW or just south of due west over the last few hours



Thank you. BTW you and I are not the only ones who say it.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
GFS presents one of the many long term possibilities. A similar COL pattern was in place a few weeks ago over the peninsula. COL areas can be rather favorable for strengthening and likely why the GFS is is showing a slow N movement and a strengthening cyclone. No more credible than any at this point but, patterns sometimes do repeat themselves. May not be so far fetched.
Didn't we have some Col thing while Debby was around?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
1784. scott39
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
72hr thoughts from the people with the authoritative pants.

I took those back because they didnt fit!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6860
1782. scott39
Quoting Patrap:


Georges 98.

ooofh.
I remember driving into downtown Mobile to check on one of my stores, and it was under water.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6860
1781. pcola57
<
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I actually agree with wundercayman, looking at the loops it does appear that the COC of 94L has moved WSW or just south of due west over the last few hours

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The last time I saw a front go down that far south in August was 2009.
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Gor undone
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1777. trey33
Quoting etxwx:
We heard it on this "always fascinating" blog first, and now Dr. Masters is on McClatchy: Odds of hurricane during RNC Convention are slim

The worst hurricane ever to hit Tampa pretty much drowned the site of the Republican National Convention, which is scheduled for the end of the month %u2014 at the very height of hurricane season.

But the odds of history repeating are slim, according to Jeff Masters, who did the calculations for his always fascinating Weather Underground blog.

The storm in question was known as %u201CGreat Gale of 1848,%u201D and it pushed 15 feet of water from Tampa Bay across what was then a military outpost called Fort Brooke. It%u2019s now occupied by the Tampa Bay Convention Center in a low-lying area that would be evacuated in Category 1 storm.

But Masters noted that hurricanes rarely seem to hit Tampa. The last direct strike was in 1946, the last major storm in 1921. Large evacuations were ordered in 1985 for Hurricane Elena and 2004 for Charley, but the city avoided serious damage or flooding from both.

Looking at long-range forecasts for the tropics and Tampa%u2019s history, Masters puts the odds of a storm forcing an evacuation that would disrupt the convention at 0.2 percent.



yep
The Tampa Bay Times quoted him last weekend too.... 0.2 percent.
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Quoting TXHuRRicanE:


Yeah, I remember that,the cone on ike moved from the east coast to TX to north mexico... but not the same steering currents this time around.

What do you think will happen?
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Dude... chill out. Though I think Relix was being a little over-dramatic you do show some bias of tropical systems towards Grand Caymans. Lay off of that, just a little.


hey, well, guess what I am showing or having No bias to this system at all. I am just telling it the way it is
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1261 Methurricanes: Does Sao Miguel Island have a Radar?

At least minimum InternationalAirport-standard radar... but don't know if it's sophisticated enough to catch the details of weather, or if it's hooked into the weather Net.
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72hr thoughts from the people with the authoritative pants.

Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5449
1772. sar2401
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
18Z GFS makes no sense it strengthen while it track over cuba no sense at all plus as it strengthens it moves further N ok what will happen is either #1 strengthen and move S of jamaica then WNW-NW after #2 it moves over Jamaica and S Cuba and stay weak travels S of Cuba #3 moves inbetween Jamaica and Haiti and hit extreme SE tip of cuba strengthens and impact Bahamas islands as it recurves up the US E coast right now I am leaning on caribbean track that may change as time goes by but thats what I say for now


Umm...Ok...sure...huh?
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Quoting Stormchaser121:
Im telling you we have another Ike on our hands...
NOT...

BTW, I'm hoping most pple realize that the tracks being posted are for the TRACKS, not the intensity, right? Even the experts haven't got a handle on intensity as yet....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
1770. scott39
Quoting ackee:
I think we should take each model run with caution until we HAVE A CLOSED low, each MODEL run will change in time. I am sure the 0z GFS run and other models will continue to be all over the place; when 94L or if it becomes a TD or TS then I will begin to take the models more serious
Thats the only entertainment we have until it becomes a TD. If anyone is putting any weight on where 94L will exactly strike is wish casting.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6860
1769. Patrap


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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

I know, sorry I was speed writing.



NO I AM NOT and DUDE YOU ARE BLIND GO and SEE an EYE DOCTOR


I AM PUTTING IT IN CAP SO YOU CAN SEE WHAT I AM SAYING


Dude... chill out. Though I think Relix was being a little over-dramatic you do show some bias of tropical systems towards Grand Caymans. Lay off of that, just a little.
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1767. Patrap


Georges 98.

ooofh.
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1766. VR46L
So now over the last 3 days the almighty GFS has doomed , practically everyone or made it a fish and at one stage the storm was doom in the hurricane graveyard .guess one of the runs will be right but which one?
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1765. ackee
I think we should take each model run with caution until we HAVE A CLOSED low, each MODEL run will change in time. I am sure the 0z GFS run and other models will continue to be all over the place; when 94L or if it becomes a TD or TS then I will begin to take the models more serious
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Quoting Felix2007:

What was the other system??
Hurricane Katrina formed as Tropical Depression Twelve over the southeastern Bahamas on August 23, 2005 as the result of an interaction of a tropical wave and the remains of Tropical Depression Ten. Wikipedia.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
1763. Patrap



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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.