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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1763. Patrap



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


A similar path, Not that strong, maybe a TS doing the same thing
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Dude. You really need to work on punctuation.

I know, sorry I was speed writing.

Quoting Relix:


He is just begging to get a storm. There is no WSW movement whatsoever.


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.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12509
1760. NJ2S
Quoting BahaHurican:
I've just been laughing about the long range forecasts, because so far they have targeted:

Nova Scotia
Boston
NY / NJ
NC OBX
Savannah
East coast of FL
and now
Tampa

[not to mention the Caribbean countries which have been in the mid to long range, from Barbados all the way around to Cuba...]



Lol good point! Anywhere from greenland to Tierra del Fuego should keep a close watch lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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


Breathe!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser121:

Yes it was. But this 94L looks very similar. 1st they will say east coast and then as days go by the more west it will go.


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Yeah the track seems to be favoring the Lesser Antilles through the Eastern Caribbean and then just south of Haiti, after that is where we get the divide, does it continue on that general westward heading or is the weakness and strength of the storm enough to pull it north out of the Caribbean. Basically from the Yucatan towards the Bahamas and East Coast is fair game.

I don't know if I'm buying the track north of the Antilles like the Canadian and NOGAPS are showing, they have been performing terrible this year, but they do have the right idea for a stronger storm that would lift north and potentially miss the islands entirely.

I just think the flow this year has been generally east to west into the Caribbean with the exception of Gordon which came off at such a high latitude to begin with.
Agree with most of this. I think if any of these systems would just slow down some as they approach the Antilles, we'd have ourselves a doozy on our hands. Even the dry air entrainment problems that some have had would have been less damaging if the systems had been able to organize. But I gotta say, like it or not, 94L looks to be having an impact on some of us sooner or later.

This would have been great as a cat 3 right up the middle of the ATL...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22583
1756. scott39
Are the trade winds still strong in the Caribbean?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6890
1755. trey33
Quoting LargoFl:


Largo,
That huge line is sinking south, correct?

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1754. Patrap
94L ShortWave IR



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
1753. Grothar
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1752. Patrap
1748. Grothar

Oh noes.....!
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting Altestic2012:

Dude, what ever happened to you? Haven't seen you in forever man.

I been in here just reading the posts mostly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting redwagon:

'Envelope' of low pressure?





'I am not a number'.


:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1749. sar2401
Quoting clwstmchasr:


94L is almost 5 degrees N of where Ivan was. That is a huge difference. A similar track would be very difficult.


That was my feeling also but, until 94L gets its act together and we start getting some dependable model runs, almost anything is on the table. I'll take just about anything but another Ivan. We didn't have power for almost two weeks after that bad boy went through.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16324
1748. Grothar
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting luvtogolf:


Where are you getting a WSW movement from? Even if there is a slight lowering in latitude, it would be a minor shift in a center relocation as the system consolidates. In the long run, I don't see any model support for a WSW movement.


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.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12509


Over lake Michigan yesterday!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CybrTeddy:


I saw one Andrew post, just one - yet you're going to generalize an entire community by one post? Of course this isn't going to be another Andrew, no one in their right mind would say that and mean it.
Are you trying to talk since into a troll?.Mobilshow has made claims so far with absolutely no proof to back them up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gordydunnot:

One large system.


I dunno, convection looks pretty small.
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Great pic of very large water spout!

As for the 18z GFS, it looks nothing like an Andrew run. It has it South of Cuba, crossing Cuba then heading NNE over Fla
Lots of other storms in the record with similar tracks, though I think they're mostly pre-naming era...

Quoting TXHuRRicanE:



Tx was already Featured in it doom forcast..
Wait... I missed the TX episode... Aw, man!

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22583
1742. sar2401
Quoting lottotexas:
why not east ? gordon went east


LOL. I guess, if 94L could get pulled almost straight north and then get picked up by the Atlantic westerlies, it could go east...but, if frogs had wings, they could fly too. :)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16324
Quoting TXHuRRicanE:



...I hope not.... pretty bad storm huh

Yes it was. But this 94L looks very similar. 1st they will say east coast and then as days go by the more west it will go.
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1148
1740. Patrap
Quoting GTcooliebai:
What is the X Factor if you don't mind me asking?


This is not the same Atmo from my Youth, nor 10 years ago.


This atmo has more WV, more Latent heat, deeper SST's, more TCHP areal coverage and more.


A 1F increase in Global Temps, create a 10% increase in Global WV.

The rest gives me Physic's flashbacs and a really bad headache, but the Data is easily found.



: )

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Dude. You really need to work in punctuation.
lol so many scenarios for this storms cody. been a while since ive seen like 5 different tracks
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102

One large system.
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1735. Relix
Quoting luvtogolf:


Where are you getting a WSW movement from? Even if there is a slight lowering in latitude, it would be a minor shift in a center relocation as the system consolidates. In the long run, I don't see any model support for a WSW movement.


He is just begging to get a storm. There is no WSW movement whatsoever.
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Quoting Stormchaser121:
Im telling you we have another Ike on our hands...



...I hope not.... pretty bad storm huh
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


No,but me and Uncle Joe got drunk last night and raised a ruckus.



So that's why Uncle Joe is amovin kinda slow at the junction......
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I saw one Andrew post, just one - yet you're going to generalize an entire community by one post? Of course this isn't going to be another Andrew, no one in their right mind would say that and mean it.

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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
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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

Dude. You really need to work on punctuation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12509
Im telling you we have another Ike on our hands...
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1148
Yea Ernesto was not that well organized when it hit the Caribbean
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
How about Johnny Cash I here the train/94L a coming.
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1721. Patrap
Quoting BahaHurican:
Like Katrina... the remnants of one system contributed to the formation of another.


The ol X Factor was in play.


Plus, this is The Mayan 2012 Atlantic Swirl-a-palooza too.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
94L currently located near 14.3N 39.9W moving WSW


Where are you getting a WSW movement from? Even if there is a slight lowering in latitude, it would be a minor shift in a center relocation as the system consolidates. In the long run, I don't see any model support for a WSW movement.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting mobileshadow:
94L poses no threat to the CONUS yet we have people trying to compare the current track to August 1992 and saying it's going to take an Andrew like track when conditions are not even close to being the same. It's almost as bad as people predicting/wishcasting that Ernesto was going to hit FL and we know how well that worked out. Stick a fork in this season cause the only chance for the US landfall is for a system forming off a cold front. Everything else will struggle with shear and dry air and make hard right turns away from the CONUS


I saw one Andrew post, just one - yet you're going to generalize an entire community by one post? Of course this isn't going to be another Andrew, no one in their right mind would say that and mean it.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24484
Quoting Patrap:
Watching the loops over dinner from the Chair,

if she trend Sw a tad longer,,those solutions are gonna ,well..take some toggles and boggles downstream.


Remember,the X Factor is in play as well.



What is the X Factor if you don't mind me asking?
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
1717. sar2401
Is any one else thinking that 94L may follow a similar path to 2004 Hurricane Ivan? I hope not, since it was the first and, so far, only cat 1 hurricane to hit Montgomery AL. Did an amazing amount of damage here.

Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16324
Quoting BahaHurican:
Like Katrina... the remnants of one system contributed to the formation of another.

What was the other system??
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1715. Patrap
Watching the loops over dinner from the Chair,

if she trends Sw a tad longer,,those solutions are gonna ,well..take some toggles and boggles downstream.


Remember,the X Factor is in play as well.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting BahaHurican:
Wonder if we're going to see AL, LA, and TX feature in future runs before the HHers get in there? It's been like the GFS Fantasy Hurricane Horror Theatre almost every run...
Tx was in the 12Z run
Member Since: December 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 54
1713. SLU
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Don't pay much attention to the GFS past 144 hours. 120 is stretching it even. If it gets into the Caribbean, I'm certain almost that the LLC would barely be closed due to fast trade winds.


If it's a well developed system by then it will survive once it avoids land. It's mostly T-waves and disjointed T-storms which meet their demise in the Caribbean due to fast trade winds
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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.