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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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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Quoting Tazmanian:



this has been said overe and overe Helene is not 95L



95L is a new storm

I can't tell the difference.
Which one is 95L and which one is Helene?
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94L has great structure, just no convection. I'll say 80% for 8PM but 70% wouldn't be a big surprise.

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Quoting gustavcane:




yes stormpetrol you are right sometimes it's not necessarily the rule if the  bermuda high pressure area to the north is super stromg to keep the storms moving west shielding the United States from some strikes like it was in  2007.
this year the bermuda high pressure area is not that strong.


We'll have to wait and see, it's really all about timing, with the troughs and the BH.
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Zoom in at 162 hrs. and look at the map ProgressivePulse posted at 1597. You will see that there is one mountain that is about 1000 meters, maybe higher. Link
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
1658. sar2401
Quoting Felix2007:
Going North


Or maybe west...possibly south....but doubtful east. :) I'd go blind if I looked at every model.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16055
Quoting Bobbyweather:

Helene?
Is 95L what you're talking about? It's mentioned in the NHC as a 20% chance of development.



this has been said overe and overe Helene is not 95L



95L is a new storm
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Quoting StormJunkie:
192 hours and in the channel...


Looks like an Andrew run in the channel to me.
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this runs says the shorterm track once again shows a carribean cruiser but anyone from texas to bermuda should watch it
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Levi, does that run seem more plausible ?
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Quoting redwagon:

Hermine's environment 2 yrs ago:



Helene's (so sue me!) environment now:




Helene?
Is 95L what you're talking about? It's mentioned in the NHC as a 20% chance of development.
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Good morning Tembin.

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1651. scott39
Silly people (Rabbit) maps(trix) are for entertainment(kids)!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6860
Quoting RussianWinter:
Will the next one go out to sea?

Will 94L go to Tampa?

The second question is not allowed for er sensitive reasons.

Thanks for that satellite photo RedWagon. Explains why it's been raining like heck over here in East Central Florida this afternoon. I'm sorry ! Wishin and hopin you west Texans get something to bust the drought.
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Hermine's environment 2 yrs ago:



Helene's (so sue me!) environment now:



Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3276
"The Carolinas", huh??
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Quoting Chicklit:
Storm Junkie, 194 hrs. is 8 days and that is 8/28 as Isacc is rounding the curve in the Florida Straits ...Shouldn't you be banned for that?!


Lol chicklit :) Maybe I should. It is a long, long way out. And even though I've ranted about there is no way this hits Louisiana because it's gonna hit the Yucatan Pen...Well in all seriousness, we still have a lot of wait and see to do on this storm.
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IMO everything beyond one week is suspect in that GFS run (even more than usual stuff beyond one week) due to the bizarre strengthening over Cuba which would never happen... Who knows where it would've gone had it weakened the storm over Cuba like it should have.
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Going North
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1643. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
full 18z run gfs

Link
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Quoting chevycanes:
looks like strength of the storm and a weakness will determine if it goes NW towards FL or thru the caribbean.

bingo
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It weakens
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1638. JLPR2
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


Just like Ernesto was.


Yes, but not so drastically, that link should break soon.
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Quoting Felix2007:
993 MB already




and i dont like the looks where it is heading
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Quoting Patrap:
Gordon is no Longer a threat to the CONUS, would be my guess.


And lest we forget about your comedic talents also.
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Will the next one go out to sea?

Will 94L go to Tampa?
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GFS now has included everyone into it's model runs. The west coast of Fla this time.
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Evening everybody... hope your day has been as great as mine so far...

Quoting louisianaboy444:


LOL back off hes just a kid he wants a storm
You know, it's getting old, these ad hominem attacks by people who didn't even look at the Doc's blog post... which CLEARLY illustrates that even the GFS operational is bringing 94L over / near the Caymans within a week. There's nothing even slightly resembling wishcasting with this particular scenario. Implying that kid wants a storm is actually as bad as the blogger gptguy who posted the original attack. This is beyond the realm of "joking" and "joshing".

It's annoying that this is the second thing I meet when I finally get on the blog this afternoon. Sorry pple, but I can see I shall have to be a bit more conscientious with my [-] button when it comes to future comments of this ilk.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
993 MB already
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Quoting Felix2007:
Wow very slow mover


It's in a COL area between the Plains high and the Atlantic high.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5449
...
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looks like strength of the storm and a weakness will determine if it goes NW towards FL or thru the caribbean.
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Gets all stretched out, lol.

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Wow
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Here comes the next one
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New storm gaining strength:

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Storm Junkie, 192 hrs. is 8 days and that is 8/28 as Isaac is rounding the curve in the Florida Straits ...Shouldn't you be banned for that?!
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TAMPA NNNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
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Quoting JLPR2:
New 850mb vort map, 94L looking better, though it is hard for me to believe that the vort of the TW ahead of it is in fact stronger than it was last update.
Seems like they are not hurting each other.



Also... it seems 94L is sort of linked to the ITCZ.


Just like Ernesto was.
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1619. GetReal
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
This would make the Republican National Convention interesting...




That's IT!!! The GFS has been hacked by ANONYMOUS!!!
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Wow very slow mover
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It's doing a Charley
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Doing the crossover:

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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Looks like it could be Gulf bound this run.


The models will shift right and left for a while. Let's wait and see what happens (like how Levi always ends his comments)
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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.

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628

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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.