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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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.

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This would make the Republican National Convention interesting...

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7639
A straight N track over central Cuba would not do much to inhibit the storm.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5043
a west coast florida creeper eh? this is thr 18z GFS so lets discount it lol
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:




you better hid that from JFV
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114779
1608. LargoFl
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Nite nite 94L, maybe when you wake up in the morning you will be a TD or a Tropical Storm.
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1606. HarryMc
Quoting Levi32:


I'm refreshing each frame of the GFS just like the rest of you lol.


My index finger is sore from hitting F5
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Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7639
Quoting StormJunkie:


Isn't it the southern tip of Cuba that has the highest mountains?

Link
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192 hours and in the channel...

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Quoting presslord:


I don't know if that's true ;-)

I know what I know, if you know what I mean?
Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3190
94L's anticyclone is better organized...
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1600. VR46L
Quoting spathy:


Too funny. That would be par for the season.


Lol Spathy !



Anyways see 95L is getting interesting

Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6842
Quoting Levi32:


I'm refreshing each frame of the GFS just like the rest of you lol.
why is it moving back west again? first it feels the weakness now its going back west over cuba? this run is bizzare
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1598. Levi32
Haiti and western DR have the highest mountains.

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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hmm this run look a bit further N passing N of Jamaica rather than S or on Jamaica but the thing that is odd is it strengthens it on top of high area of Cuba which makes no sense


Cuba is relatively flat in most areas.

Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5043
1594. LargoFl
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON OH
628 PM EDT SUN AUG 19 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN WILMINGTON HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN DELAWARE COUNTY IN CENTRAL OHIO...

* UNTIL 700 PM EDT.

* AT 624 PM EDT...RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF
PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
DELAWARE...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 10 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
DELAWARE...

IN ADDITION...RADNOR...DELAWARE STATE PARK AND LEONARDSBURG ARE NEAR
THE PATH OF THIS SEVERE THUNDERSTORM.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

STAY INDOORS AND AWAY FROM WINDOWS UNTIL THE STORM HAS PASSED.

PLEASE REPORT HAIL OR STRONG WINDS TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BY
CALLING TOLL FREE...877-633-6772...WHEN YOU CAN DO SO SAFELY.
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Quoting presslord:


I don't know if that's true ;-)


Exactly!
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1592. Levi32
Quoting GetReal:


Maybe??? (Popcorn in hand) Or will something else unexpected unfold....


I'm refreshing each frame of the GFS just like the rest of you lol.
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1591. HarryMc
This GFS run so far looks pretty much like Levi's earlier graphic. East Coast run?
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1590. LargoFl
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BROWNSVILLE TX
500 PM CDT SUN AUG 19 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BROWNSVILLE HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL WILLACY COUNTY IN DEEP SOUTH TEXAS.

* UNTIL 530 PM CDT

* AT 500 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM...CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING 60 MPH WINDS...
OVER RAYMONDVILLE...MOVING EAST AT 5 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
YTURRIA.
RAYMONDVILLE.
LYFORD.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

WIND GUSTS TO 60 MPH OR MORE WILL CAUSE SOME STRUCTURAL DAMAGE...
MAINLY TO TREES AND POWER LINES. POORLY ANCHORED ROOFS...MOBILE
HOMES...AND SHEDS ARE ALSO AT RISK.

PLEASE REPORT TORNADOES OR FUNNEL CLOUDS...WINDS OF 58 MPH OR
HIGHER...HAIL THE SIZE OF PENNIES OR LARGER...AND ANY WIND DAMAGE TO
YOUR NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BROWNSVILLE BY CALLING 956-504-1432.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hmm this run look a bit further N passing N of Jamaica rather than S or on Jamaica but the thing that is odd is it strengthens it on top of high area of Cuba which makes no sense


Isn't it the southern tip of Cuba that has the highest mountains?
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1588. Patrap
..for continuity.



Quoting HarryMc:


HMX-1, met the equipment but not the guy.


Cool.

Was with VMFA 312 then.

I believe.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127673
So how is our 94L doin? Is it still all gloom and doom we feared a few days ago or are we safe from that?
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1586. GetReal
Quoting Levi32:
Well at least the GFS finally finds the weakness east of Florida.


Maybe??? (Popcorn in hand) Or will something else unexpected unfold....
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Quoting GetReal:
HOLD THE PRESSES! 94L slows and possibly begins a slow NNW track towards the "F" ....


I really don't see this as a "F" storm. Could be a Carolina storm though.
Member Since: June 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 940
Quoting StormJunkie:
It's ok to not know something. The hardest part is being able to admit to yourself you don't know.


I don't know if that's true ;-)
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The strength of the Subtropical Ridge will be the key to this forecast, any weakness that the GFS is showing is quite weak, and not as strong as the one we are seeing now. Also if it goes over Haiti and Eastern Cuba, those mountains are enough to break this system up. I think that is what happened to the 2000 form of Debby.
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1582. Gearsts
Can someone put the FIM model?
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hmm this run look a bit further N passing N of Jamaica rather than S or on Jamaica but the thing that is odd is it strengthens it on top of high area of Cuba which makes no sense
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11216
It seems to be organizing as it tracks over Cuba... Pretty unrealistic there, but the overall run has made good sense so far.

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7639
Quoting Levi32:
Well at least the GFS finally finds the weakness east of Florida.
turns back west though lol
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


maybe it sees something that we all don't


If the GFS wants to strengthen it, the runs will begin to shift north. 94L is already at 14.6N and only 38.6W.
Member Since: June 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 940
1576. Levi32
Well at least the GFS finally finds the weakness east of Florida.
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Strengthening, this will hit the US:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7639
It's ok to not know something. The hardest part is being able to admit to yourself you don't know.
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1573. VR46L
Quoting GetReal:
HOLD THE PRESSES! 94L slows and possibly begins a slow NNW track towards the "F" ....


Shocker its the only solution that has not been offered so far ...
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6842
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Yes, but Haiti's mountains would interfere with the circulation.

I always Thought The Dominican Republic was the country with 8000+ feet mountains.
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1571. HarryMc
Quoting Patrap:


Met him once at MCAS,Cherry Point..in Late 83

The Day we brought Home those Marines lost in Beirut.

They were laid out in the Big Hanger..in rows..


All 241 of them.


HMX-1, met the equipment but not the guy.
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1570. Patrap
1565. lottotexas OOOH RAHHH

Semper Fi


..later.

been fun though.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127673
1569. sar2401
Quoting Patrap:
Also, according to Mayan Prophecy, when you see this in the Geo Field.

They coming Back.





LOL. Since I'm an Amateur Extra ham radio operator, they did teach us something about solar flares. An M5.5 is right in the mid-range of a medium size solar flare. It's also moving away from earth, so it should have no impact on us. An X class flare is a big one and range in size up to X20. We had an X20 flare on Monday 2 April 2001, but it was luckily also headed away from earth. This is thought to be the largest solar flare ever recorded. The 1989 X18 class flare was the one that knocked out the power grid in Canada. The famous Carrington flare of 1859 may also have been an X20 but there weren't enough instruments around back then to be sure. If you see a report of a X class flare, especially an X10 or above that's headed for earth, then it's time to pay attention.
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Quoting Levi32:


Well what really sticks out to me is the enormous amount of blocking over Canada in the pattern during the next 10 days. That's kind of like a west-based negative NAO, and suggests that there should be relatively lower heights to the south of that blocking, keeping the sub-tropical ridge rather soft between 90W and 60W during the time when 94L should be within those longitudes.

ECMWF ensemble mean 6-10 day 500mb height anomaly:



I'm tending to be in your school of thought...plus doesn't the GFS want to "hang back" the trof?
From the e-wall (mid layer steering):

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Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5043
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Really tangled up with Jamaica:


not really Jamaica is W of that
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11216
Quoting Patrap:
Marines never have to recover as we never pay for the same ground twice.

Hills, Beaches or Lowlands.....makes no matta.


Fresca?


OOOH RAHHH
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1564. HarryMc
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The GFS shows it as an intensifying tropical storm. That is strong enough to go north.


Even through 160 hours at 80 West it's still a rather mild tropical storm on this GFS run. Actually makes sense that it would head mostly due west that far.
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1563. GetReal
HOLD THE PRESSES! 94L slows and possibly begins a slow NNW track towards the "F" ....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.