94L still disorganized; Hurricane Gordon bearing down on the Azores

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:44 PM GMT on August 19, 2012

Share this Blog
48
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1563 - 1513

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69Blog Index

1563. GetReal
HOLD THE PRESSES! 94L slows and possibly begins a slow NNW track towards the "F" ....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1562. Patrap
Quoting Dakster:


Some people go through their life wondering whether they made a difference, the Marines do not have that problem - Ronald Reagan.


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.

Most of the 1,500-man Marine expeditionary force was bunked in a four-story concrete building.

241 died: 220 Marine Corps, 18 Navy, three Army.

It was the largest single-day loss of life for Marines since the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.

A nearly simultaneous explosion nearby killed 58 French soldiers.

One of two alleged plotters, Imad Mugniyah, was killed by a car bomb in Syria on February 12, 2008.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127362
Should this play out, it will have a hard time handling the Cuban mountains.



While Levi makes all the sense in the world, and is basing his theory on far more knowledge than I am...I still would not be surprised at all to see 94 head straight for the Yucatan Pen (not the channel).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1560. Levi32
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Levi ,you think GFS is not correct as it continues to show a Caribbean cruiser?


Not convinced enough yet to shift my track away from the Bermuda Triangle. I won't be updating my track until tomorrow morning anyway.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFS takes it over cuba now. dont forget 18z version isnt that good. 0z shud be interesting
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
Going north now, the Caribbean islands really kill these things:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7566
1557. bappit
Quoting Phoenix30:
Will Houston get any rain with 95L ?

4 PM forecast discussion doesn't mention any. Drier air coming in tomorrow. They don't mention 95L for now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Yes, but Haiti's mountains would interfere with the circulation.

The strength of the storm and the strength of the weakness should be strong enough for it avoid the DR altogether.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31323
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS contradicts itself. It shows a stronger storm but still takes it south.


Yes exactly. And shows troughiness moving off the E coast in 48 hrs to weaken the subtropical ridge...thats why I wait till these things are organized well enough to be classified when the models can better analyze its circulation.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
1554. Dakster
Quoting Patrap:
Marines never have to recover as we never pay for the same ground twice.

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


Fresca?




Some people go through their life wondering whether they made a difference, the Marines do not have that problem - Ronald Reagan.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gustavcane:
Hello everyone I have been reading the post here about the models and would like to say what I think about the models IMO. What we are seeing in the models for 94L & 95L is where these storms will go if they stay weak, because weak storms tend to not feel the northward pull from the upper Atmosphere because of low cloud tops. strong Tropical Storms or Hurricanes have high cloud tops feel and get caught up in the Ridge in the upper Atmosphere and are pulled northward. So long story short, these models are way off right now if 94L gets to Hurricane force before reaching the Antilles islands IMO. what do you guys think, Am I right or wrong about this.


You are correct in stating that a weaker storm would not be as likely to be picked up by the trough and/or go poleward.
Right now we are still looking at a weaker system.

However, the models are not way off because the concensus is generally a Westerly or WNW path at least from 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. But if you stick around or come back after 8 p.m. you may get better information.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1552. GetReal
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Really tangled up with Jamaica:




Jamaica no problem man!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The GFS shows it as an intensifying tropical storm. That is strong enough to go north.
Yes, but Haiti's mountains would interfere with the circulation.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting rmbjoe1954:


Pray tell.....why?

Looks like it could be Gulf bound this run.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7566
I'm tired with these boring west track!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1547. GetReal
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
144hr final




Just about the same spot again this run...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Land interaction hurting it:




The storm on the 18z is still weak enough to go to the Caribbean.

The GFS shows it as an intensifying tropical storm. That is strong enough to go north.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31323
1545. Patrap
Marines never have to recover as we never pay for the same ground twice.

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


Fresca?


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127362
Really tangled up with Jamaica:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7566
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
This could be interesting...



Pray tell.....why?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1542. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
144hr final

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1020 mb. High centered over PA and 1021 mb High over Maine, weakness shifting out into the Atlantic:

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
1540. Patrap
Quoting StormJunkie:
Good recovery Pat...


Feel free to go back any event the last Year and you will see the Post here or elsewhere. maybe.

LOL

I know you can least find the archives and a Tripod and well,,you know, Burgers and such.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127362
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS contradicts itself. It shows a stronger storm but still takes it south.


maybe it sees something that we all don't
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
1538. ackee
THE GFS wants to track 94L similar to hurricane Dean in 2007 guess only time will tell
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Felix2007:

99, 00, 01, and 02 also 4 years in a row with no cat 5's
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bappit:

That's what Dr. M said.


Dr. Masters...

At longer ranges, the storm is capable of going anywhere from Canada to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula; it's too early to tell.

Unless he chimed in during the afternoon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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:

Which means ????
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1534. Patrap

AL942012 - INVEST

Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (1km Mercator, MODIS/AVHRR)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127362
Quoting wunderkidcayman:


If I can remember correctly yes no cat5 sinse 07 hmm kinda odd

99, 00, 01, and 02 also no cat 5's
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Levi ,you think GFS is not correct as it continues to show a Caribbean cruiser?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Land interaction hurting it:



Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS contradicts itself. It shows a stronger storm but still takes it south.

The storm on the 18z is still weak enough to go to the Caribbean.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7566
1530. Patrap
The Last Low Sun Angle Viz of 94L from 20:15 UTC

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127362
Good recovery Pat...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The GFS contradicts itself. It shows a stronger storm but still takes it south.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31323
Quoting ILikeIke:
There hasnt been a Cat 5 since 07 right?


If I can remember correctly yes no cat5 sinse 07 hmm kinda odd
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
1524. Patrap
Quoting StormJunkie:
No worries Pat, it's a far side flare...as depicted in the image you posted. So no impact to us.


I know.

Meez was yanking ya a tad there SJ.

;)

The WSA-Enlil Solar Wind Prediction animations usually update after a event.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127362
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1522. bappit
Quoting mossyhead:
. 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

That's what Dr. M said.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1521. Dakster
Sure Patrap...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ILikeIke:
There hasnt been a Cat 5 since 07 right?

Correct, last Cat 5 was ^


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1519. Patrap
Anyone up for the Theme from "Petticoat Junction?"
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127362
1518. Levi32
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


ECMWF has indicated the weakest storm of the global models, despite the higher resolution.




Nice table there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
No worries Pat, it's a far side flare...as depicted in the image you posted. So no impact to us.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hits a speedbump at 126 hours:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7566
Quoting Levi32:
I'm still having a hard time believing that 94L would continue nearly due west right into the heart of the Caribbean, unless it never becomes a tropical cyclone. The ECMWF and GFS ensembles (using ECMWF here for example) show the deep-layer subtropical ridge centered directly north of the storm along 55W in 2 days, which would support westerly movement, but by Day 5 the deep-layer ridge has shifted quite far to the east along 30-40W, and the ridging between 80W and 60W is much softer, which would suggest that any kind of a strengthening tropical cyclone near the Antilles would start to gain some significant latitude.

ECMWF Ensemble mean 500mb Height and MSLP 48 hours:



ECMWF Ensemble mean 500mb Height and MSLP 120 hours:




Wouldn't the NE ridging in 5 days pick up where the B/A high left off? I mean there is probably a weak trough between but maybe not enough to really turn it? I agree the west is a little bit of a stretch but more of a blend of steering from the NE high and a trough more towards the NW.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5020
1513. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1563 - 1513

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69Blog Index

Top of Page

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.