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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1413. gugi182
You guys want to know where 94L will go? You guys heaved been doing it all wrong it's so easy. If you want to know where he will go, why don't you just ask him for yourself. Anybody has 94L cell number or Facebook so we could personally tell us where he wants to go. Only he knows and he's keeping it a secret. LOL
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Quoting StormJunkie:


I thought so too. Not very often you see the GFS outside of the ensemble envelope. Hell, I didn't even think it was possible for that to happen.


Something rotten in Denmark?
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94/5L, DO NOT form til' Jim Cantore is Ready!
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Quoting GPTGUY:


Another invest heading west...another prediction of a major hurricane hitting or affecting the Cayman Islands by wunderkidcayman. here we go again.
Ahaha you know the routine, but at least he called the regeneration of TD 7. We win some and we lose some, as the old saying goes.
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1409. Levi32
Quoting Hurricanes101:


check out the steering and several models the last few days I do believe showed the WSW movement before the islands


I see the high is pressing pretty far south right now, but 94L would have to make up a bit of ground before being forced WSW by that steering flow. Let's look at what happens during that time. The high is pressing south at 0 hours, but remember we have a front advancing eastward over the SE United States, and the effect of advancing fronts on the ridges to their east is usually to amplify them and move them more poleward. The GFS shows that this will happen within the next 48-60 hours and result in the pressure from the high easing as 94L nears the Caribbean, thereby allowing a west or WNW movement.

0 hours 700mb:



60 hours 700mb:

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Quoting louisianaboy444:


So another model in line with the others...A Caribbean storm is looking more likely
the trend so far has been south and west today
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Quoting Patrap:




A short term response from the Overall tightening in the South and Se Quads with the inflow.

Also the forward quick pace tends to increase that as well,when they occur together.




LOL, so much easier when you can cut and paste eh Patrap? Maybe third times a charm...
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Quoting ILikeIke:
is it starting to spin?

hmm kinda does but yet kida doesn't kinda looks mid level to me
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12165
what u think will happen @ 8 pm with 95 L

A: 30%
B: 40%
C: 50%
D: 60%
Member Since: June 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 93
Quoting StormJunkie:
And as a reminder...What they really look like. Just to make sure level heads prevail.





Here is Hermine's whiptail full of 15" in one day for centex:


AND



As you can see, TX was dry overall at the time. So if LA would quit hogging all the precip, this could be another miracle. Of course that-invest-which-has-nothing-to-do-with-Helene isn't as large.
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Will Houston get any rain with 95L ?
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Quoting GPTGUY:


Another invest heading west...another prediction of a major hurricane hitting or affecting the Cayman Islands by wunderkidcayman. here we go again.


LOL back off hes just a kid he wants a storm
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Quoting Altestic2012:

Current TVCN model is the path I wish it would take


Please,do tell.
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1400. Patrap
Quoting sar2401:


Pat, would you label those blobettes inside a larger blob? :)


Blob-a-tite's ?

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128764
1399. bappit
Looks like 95L has more convection than 94L.



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1398. GPTGUY
Quoting wunderkidcayman:


no its not over the cayman islands at all its south of there and interms of intensity is due to the SHIPS


Another invest heading west...another prediction of a major hurricane hitting or affecting the Cayman Islands by wunderkidcayman. here we go again.
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Quoting Levi32:
12z JMA has 94L in the NE lesser Antilles in 4 days:



So another model in line with the others...A Caribbean storm is looking more likely
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Quoting Hurricanes101:




Wouldn't this indicate steering that would move the system WSW?

yes it would
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12165
Quoting Levi32:


What do you think. The answer should always be both. Always.
haha ok. are you buying this southwest trend we are getting? the pattern favors an east coast hit yet the two best models have it going into the western carribean
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Quoting j2008:
Are we seriously talking about wheither an invest with a 20% chance will beat out the invest with a 70% chance? I will bet my rediculous portion of crow that 94L will by far easily make it to TD and TS before 95L. 94L has way better organization, all it needs is a little more convection and we have TD 9. JMO though.
Yes.These gulf system are known to spin up fast.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17097
1392. sar2401
Quoting Patrap:
EZ as cake, er, pie.

Crow like?




Pat, would you label those blobettes inside a larger blob? :)
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Whose talking about us Floridian's.
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Quoting louisianaboy444:


Yeah everyone is so preoccupied with an invest out in the Atlantic we could have a developing system right on our doorstep


True. I would love to see some predictions from the regulars here on what and where 95 will be in two days.

I've already thrown my guess out...Mexico bound. Strictly a guess.
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Quoting Levi32:


I like how you say "well documented" before it has happened lol. Not a single model shows a movement south of due west prior to the islands.



except for mine I show a bit of a WSW-S of due W movement for the first 24-48hours on mine go back a page or two and you will is it
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12165
1388. Levi32
12z JMA has 94L in the NE lesser Antilles in 4 days:

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1387. isuxn2
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Quoting java162:



its going back to its disorganized state.. convecction collapsing

Structure is far better than earlier today though. If it gets the convection back then it will be a TD.
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Quoting java162:



its going back to its disorganized state.. convecction collapsing


Dmin, 94L is doing fine
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1384. yoboi
Quoting Tazmanian:



yep


95L will be the I storm 1st


Dr. M stated something last week how storms in that area can spin up fast due to the contour of the land mass there.....
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Quoting Patrap:
Folks as a rule kinda tend to focus on the nearest threat to their Locale's.

Well save for one State maybe. ; )



Well La is out of the woods on these two, so no worries for you.

I still think we've got Mexico 1 and Mexico 2 out there. But I'm being a bit optimistic if you live in the US, or a bit pessimistic if you live in Mexico.
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1382. Patrap
We could get a get new entry if Dr. Masters isn't traveling.


Him traveling in August makes me mo nervous than aLong Port-a-let line at Jazz fest.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128764
1381. sar2401
Quoting louisianaweatherguy:
95L has quite a little circulation going with it...


As does all the current convection along the Gulf Coast caused by all the shortwave troughs being spun off by the stalled front to the north. If you look at the latest IR, the Gulf convection is almost far enough south to begin merging with 95L.
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1380. Levi32
Quoting floridaboy14:
Levi, how do you come out with your projected path? do you use model gudiance or do you look at the upcoming pattern?


What do you think. The answer should always be both. Always.
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1379. java162
Quoting Patrap:
EZ as cake, er, pie.

Crow like?





its going back to its disorganized state.. convecction collapsing
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Quoting SLU:
Very strong agreement from most of the models even 5 days out which is rare. Add the EURO to the mix and it too ends up south of Jamaica in 5 days. The UKMET is the only one of the respectable models that goes north of the Caribbean ... only just.


the fact that the two top best models are showing a Caribbean track (GFS and EURO)is also a reason for my model showing what it does

Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12165
Quoting Hurricanes101:


check out the steering and several models the last few days I do believe showed the WSW movement before the islands




Wouldn't this indicate steering that would move the system WSW?
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Quoting Tropicalupdate:
sorry what u think though?

It's a tough call. I'm in the Caribbean camp at this point though. I'm thinking a weak storm short term and then maybe it eventually gets into the Gulf or crosses the islands and heads for the SE.
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Quoting louisianaweatherguy:
hmmm... the race for Isaac... lol in my opinion I think 95L will get it because of how close it is to land and looking at the spin it's gained over the last several frames....

kinda has me worried a lil


Yeah everyone is so preoccupied with an invest out in the Atlantic we could have a developing system right on our doorstep
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Quoting yoboi:


95 is getting some good spin going this eve...
No not another Fredrick.I remember him well was 13 at the time and was scared to death.I pray wherever one goes that everyone will be prepared this year.As the saying goes it only takes one to make for a bad season.
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1373. Gearsts
Quoting Levi32:


It's a pretty large system so it's definitely possible, but given how far north it is already you are likely to miss the bulk of the storm.
Levi do you belive you will need to change your track to go with the models with the trend south and west? Or do you see a stronger system north of the islands? Im from PR :(
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1372. Patrap
Folks as a rule kinda tend to focus on the nearest threat to their Locale's.

Well save for one State maybe. ; )

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128764
Quoting Levi32:


I like how you say "well documented" before it has happened lol. Not a single model shows a movement south of due west prior to the islands.



check out the steering and several models the last few days I do believe showed the WSW movement before the islands
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1370. gator23
Quoting Stormchaser121:

Im telling you this is so similar to Ike. They said it would go to the east coast but it didnt. One of the GFS runs points to GOMEX and has it hitting Texas.

Ike was already a hurricane at that point not an invest big difference
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1369. bappit
azores web cam
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1368. Patrap
EZ as cake, er, pie.

Crow like?


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128764
1367. j2008
Are we seriously talking about wheither an invest with a 20% chance will beat out the invest with a 70% chance? I will bet my rediculous portion of crow that 94L will by far easily make it to TD and TS before 95L. 94L has way better organization, all it needs is a little more convection and we have TD 9. JMO though.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

You should know by now that Pat doesn't forecast :)
sorry what u think though?
Member Since: June 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 93
Quoting Levi32:


It's a pretty large system so it's definitely possible, but given how far north it is already you are likely to miss the bulk of the storm.
Levi, how do you come out with your projected path? do you use model gudiance or do you look at the upcoming pattern?
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1364. Levi32
Quoting Hurricanes101:


but it has been well documented that the ridge is strong enough that it could force 94L to move WSW for a time, therefore negating how far north it is now


I like how you say "well documented" before it has happened lol. Not a single model shows a movement south of due west prior to the islands.

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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Its possible one of those things happen, but not both. If this goes to the Caribbean, it will be weak, at least until it gets to the Gulf/far west Caribbean. If it is to become a major quickly like he suggests it has to go north.


I was think maybe you are right track I was following on the lines of the GFS and the TVCN and I only put the intensity that high due to what the SHIPS was showing that is all there is no bias to it
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Im to the point where Im ignoring anyone that doesn't have something "Decent" to say...
basically, wunderkid is about to meet my ignore list...


dude look this is decent I am curently thinking that I am wrong with my model but I am not being bias with it track was just due to the GFS and TVCN and intensity was due to the SHIPS I don't think this will play out exactly like this and I don't think intensity will be this high ok
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12165

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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.