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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1713. SLU
11:07 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
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
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5367
1712. BahaHurican
11:06 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Quoting spathy:


Its like Bobby and Robert. It depends on if you want to use your legal name or the name we all know you by.
Like Katrina... the remnants of one system contributed to the formation of another.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22728
1711. Tropicsweatherpr
11:05 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Quoting CybrTeddy:


I do - as Ernesto also did, it should have no trouble being a moderate TS by the time it reaches the Antilles that being said the trade winds will probably rip apart the LLC in the Eastern Caribbean as they did Ernesto. The only way it can avoid that is by, obviously, avoiding the Eastern and Central Caribbean.

The absolute worst case scenario, and this isn't my forecast at all so don't consider it my opinion, is if 94L continues to organize at a somewhat faster rate than expected and is a 65-70mph Tropical Storm by the time it reaches the Antilles latitude, causing it to feel the weakness and begin to move WNW as it approaches the islands, not even entering or only just barely entering the Caribbean as it begins to do so. By then, the WNW motion should continue as it begins to intensify into a Category 1-2 hurricane as it reaches north of Haiti and begins to approach the US.


Good analysis as always.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14894
1710. Patrap
11:05 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
1709. lottotexas
11:05 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
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...]

and the upper gulf coast of Texas
Member Since: December 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 54
1708. mobileshadow
11:04 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
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
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 183
1707. GTcooliebai
11:04 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
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...]

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.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
1706. Felix2007
11:04 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Member Since: July 12, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 383
1705. wxmobilejim
11:04 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
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...]


Don't forget Houston.
Member Since: May 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 231
1704. TXHuRRicanE
11:02 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
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 already Featured in it doom forcast..
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 51
1703. lottotexas
11:02 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Quoting sar2401:


Or maybe west...possibly south....but doubtful east. :) I'd go blind if I looked at every model.
why not east ? gordon went east
Member Since: December 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 54
1702. RussianWinter
11:02 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Whuts the euro model of 94L?
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
1701. CybrTeddy
11:02 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


You dont see 94L developing before it reaches the Lesser Antilles?


I do - as Ernesto also did, it should have no trouble being a moderate TS by the time it reaches the Antilles that being said the trade winds will probably rip apart the LLC in the Eastern Caribbean as they did Ernesto. The only way it can avoid that is by, obviously, avoiding the Eastern and Central Caribbean.

The absolute worst case scenario, and this isn't my forecast at all so don't consider it my opinion, is if 94L continues to organize at a somewhat faster rate than expected and is a 65-70mph Tropical Storm by the time it reaches the Antilles latitude, causing it to feel the weakness and begin to move WNW as it approaches the islands, not even entering or only just barely entering the Caribbean as it begins to do so. By then, the WNW motion should continue as it begins to intensify into a Category 1-2 hurricane as it reaches north of Haiti and begins to approach the US.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24575
AL, 94, 2012081906, 144N, 348W, 30, 1010, DB
AL, 94, 2012081912, 145N, 366W, 25, 1011, DB
AL, 94, 2012081918, 146N, 384W, 25, 1010, DB
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18Z GFS more in agreement with GFS ensembles
Member Since: December 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 54
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.


I usually agree with you, but here I do not. I think 94L will be strong enough by the time it reaches the Caribbean that the trade winds will not cause the system to deteriorate that much
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
1697. 7544
ill have to stick 94l being a fl storm may get weak whoile going over the mountains but could regroup just before reaching the state imo
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Quoting Patrap:
Anyone up for the Theme from "Petticoat Junction?"


No,but me and Uncle Joe got drunk last night and raised a ruckus.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
94L currently located near 14.3N 39.9W moving WSW


Agree.

We'll see what official says though...
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Category 2 or 3 hurricane affecting Texas/Louisiana on August 31st!
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1693. Patrap
Dats a Bad un in a Bad spot Keep.

M6.2 - 104km SSE of Angoram, Papua New Guinea
2012-08-19 22:41:50 UTC

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
Quoting lottotexas:
GFS now has included everyone into it's model runs. The west coast of Fla this time.
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...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22728
Quoting presslord:


may be able to arrange for a bottle of rum to be onboard to help you and the crew dry out...


Captain, my captain - wink, wink.
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94L currently located near 14.3N 39.9W moving WSW
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
1688. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting Tazmanian:




Helene die overe MX



95L is a new storm
Quoting spathy:


Its like Bobby and Robert. It depends on if you want to use your legal name or the name we all know you by.


Umm... I can't make up a decision.
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The envelope of low pressure that was Helene , is 95L. I don't need the NHC to tell me whether or not there is a relationship, there is..
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1685. Patrap


I sent this one to the RNC Hqtrs just in case.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
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.


You dont see 94L developing before it reaches the Lesser Antilles?
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14894
1683. Patrap
Quoting Walshy:
Rodanthe, NC earlier today.

Link


Maybe the same from another angle,

Severe Weather Eastern NC
3 hours ago

Picture of the waterspout near a campground in Rodanthe NC in Dare County Outer Banks. VIA WAVY TV 10. Amazing Photo!




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Cancel the RNC if this pans out. But on a side of caution 228 hrs. is still a long ways out and the GFS inconsistencies continue during the long range forecast of this storm.

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...]

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22728
Quoting Walshy:
Rodanthe, NC earlier today.

Link


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
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1680. 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 — 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 “Great Gale of 1848,” and it pushed 15 feet of water from Tampa Bay across what was then a military outpost called Fort Brooke. It’s 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’s history, Masters puts the odds of a storm forcing an evacuation that would disrupt the convention at 0.2 percent.
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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.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24575
Quoting gustavcane:

Looks like an Hurricane  Andrew run in the making here.


not even close, Andrew went well north of the islands and went south of due west for hundreds of miles and then went into the gulf

this would go into the Caribbean and turn north
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Quoting Chucktown:


Well there's no reason to be rude Press. I'm just a messenger. LOL !!


may be able to arrange for a bottle of rum to be onboard to help you and the crew dry out...
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Quoting Chicklit:

That question is not allowed.

Thanks for that satellite photo RedWagon. Explains why it's been raining like heck over here in Florida this afternoon.

Hermine's and Helene's environments are remarkably similar for being almost exactly two years apart. But the striking difference is 11E (EPAC) crossed over and became Hermine I think Sept 3, ex-7, 'ex-hermine' 'crossed' over and became 96 into the EPAC.

Interesting, huh?
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Quoting StormJunkie:
192 hours and in the channel...

Looks like an Hurricane  Andrew run in the making here.
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Quoting presslord:


If it comes here and you don't do a live shot from the fore deck of my boat...I'm gonna have to replace you with that Fowler guy as my weather dude of record!!!!!


Well there's no reason to be rude Press. I'm just a messenger. LOL !!
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1673. NYCvort
Quoting RussianWinter:
Will the next one go out to sea?

Will 94L go to Tampa?

These questions—and many others—will be answered in the next episode of...Soap
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1672. Walshy
Rodanthe, NC earlier today.

Link
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What are yalls thoughts on 95L and could 94L be Gulf bound??
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1149
.
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Quoting Chucktown:
Gonna be an interesting week Press and SJ here in the Lowcountry. May have to pull out the old spaghetti model plot for the big 11 PM broadcast.


Evening CT, good to see you. Stormy couple of days ahead for us too huh?

Spaghetti plots - That should get everyone's eyes open. Make sure you use the ensemble members too.
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Quoting Chucktown:
Gonna be an interesting week Press and SJ here in the Lowcountry. May have to pull out the old spaghetti model plot for the big 11 PM broadcast.


If it comes here and you don't do a live shot from the fore deck of my boat...I'm gonna have to replace you with that Fowler guy as my weather dude of record!!!!!
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1666. Levi32
Quoting lottotexas:
Levi, does that run seem more plausible ?


It just illustrates the waffly steering west of 60W due to the weakness in the ridge. It makes sense that a developed system should find a way north eventually.
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Quoting Bobbyweather:

I can't tell the difference.
Which one is 95L and which one is Helene?




Helene die overe MX



95L is a new storm
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Gonna be an interesting week Press and SJ here in the Lowcountry. May have to pull out the old spaghetti model plot for the big 11 PM broadcast.
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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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