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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1263. java162
Quoting stormpetrol:


does that mean wsw movement for a while?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The pattern this time around consists of a fairly nice trough over the East Coast at the same time 94L should be a strengthening tropical storm in the NE Caribbean. The invest is farther north than both TD 7 and Ernesto were, and should be stronger on entrance into the Caribbean as well.


Makes sense...I like an intelligent answer...LOL..not a fight.
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Does Sao Miguel Island have a Radar?
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
964MB in to NYC WOW WOW!! one of the 12Z!!


How about a Donna Track
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It's great that everybody is speculating where 94L will be headed and we don't even have a depression yet.
I will say looking at the models and looking down stream everybody is game from GOM to Canada.
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Presslord, maybe extrapolated vocabulary ? Me thinks.
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Quoting atmosweather:


They are using the last advisory point for Helene for some reason. Maybe when the 18z/00z suite comes out they'll have it initialized properly


They will. I don't think it was designated in time for a proper fix prior to the 12z runs. Just my guess though. Oops, sorry, I meant 18z runs. Should be corrected with the 00z runs though. And maybe the dynamic 18z's when they come out.

Exactly presslord, it's not just about being able to spell, OR post pretty pictures, or witty one liners.
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Despite what the models say, I have a hard time believing 94L will be a Caribbean tracker. The pattern supports a system that goes just north of the Caribbean or into the extreme NE Caribbean near the Northern islands and PR. I have looked at the predicted 500mb pattern from the GFS for 8 days out and came up with the top analogs for the dates mentioned. Almost every single analog was a system that recurved between Bermuda and the United States. Several of them impacted the East Coast from Florida all the way to the NE.

Predicted 500mb pattern for days 8-11:


Top Storm Analogs from this Pattern:





As you can see, the best analogs for the time frame do not even come close to entering the Gulf. Strength of the tropical cyclone will certainly make a difference and I'm just giving you analogs for developed systems. If for some reason 94L is not a tropical cyclone before reaching the islands, then it will probably be similar to Ernesto/Helene and not strengthen until further west. We have entered into a pattern with a cold PDO, warm AMO and El Nino all present at the same time. This was a pattern very common in the 1950s when the East Coast received several strikes from hurricanes. Does this mean the Gulf/W Caribbean should not pay attention? Of course it doesn't. However, I'm just giving you clues on what to expect, even if the models are not explicitly showing it right now.
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1254. Patrap
Quoting atmosweather:


She's growing her circulation by the hour too, nice little anticyclone on top of it which is going to be a factor going forward.


Indeed,..nothing spookier than a Large CV circ coming together with Travel Plans.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125418
1253. sar2401
Quoting Hurricanes101:


I understand him fine, do we really need to create something out of this? There is enough drama on here as it is.


I'm glad you do - I don't. Up to Taz if he wants to use the tools that are available. No drama intended. Last word on the subject.
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Quoting cat6band:


How do you say that??? Every storm this year has slammed into Mex or the Yucatan, with the exception of Gordon....Not the East Coast..So I don't get how the pattern favors an East Coast storm. I realize it's your opinion and I'm no expert at ALL..just wondering how you make that conclusion?

The pattern this time around consists of a fairly nice trough over the East Coast at the same time 94L should be a strengthening tropical storm in the NE Caribbean. The invest is farther north than both TD 7 and Ernesto were, and should be stronger on entrance into the Caribbean as well.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30237
Quoting Patrap:
94L on its way to being a Cyclone in 48, maybe a tad earlier seems.

She is trying to Build a Warm column now.


She's growing her circulation by the hour too, nice little anticyclone on top of it which is going to be a factor going forward.
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Quoting hurricane23:


Can you post link to these ensembles...


Sure. Here ya go.
Link
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1247. ncstorm
H23..if you still here..

Link to the ensembles
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Quoting canehater1:


There is a trough in SW Gulf and now an unusually
strong front is pushing South and will stall from
SE La. to Tx/Mx border. I am in Central Gulf at
27.7 N and 92 W We have had 20-30 kt S-SW winds
all day and now getting storms along the frontal
boundary..More like a Fall type event.... will be
interesting to see what happens with Helenes remnants
and the frontal boudary once it goes stationary.


Had some very nice and widespread rains here in central VA. Very unusual. Normally the rain we receive this time of year is hit or miss.
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Rotation evident on last few frames of 95L (north of cloudmass.)

Not sure if midlevel or low level. Still learning :P
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
This doesn't seem right to me. This is saying it's centered well inland over Mexico?



nop they are likey off
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
This doesn't seem right to me. This is saying it's centered well inland over Mexico?


They are using the last advisory point for Helene for some reason. Maybe when the 18z/00z suite comes out they'll have it initialized properly
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1242. Patrap
94L on its way to being a Cyclone in 48, maybe a tad earlier seems.

She is trying to Build a Warm column now.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125418
Link
Quoting ILikeIke:
what site do you get those pictures on?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
This doesn't seem right to me. This is saying it's centered well inland over Mexico?


according to the coordinates its right, but I think they will shift the focus offshore soon
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
1239. Patrap
Quoting stormpetrol:
94L appears to be making a little jog WSW for now! It is steadily organizing though, could be a TD by 11 pm tonight. Probably 80-90% at 8 pm.




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.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125418
1238. JLPR2
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
18Z may see a cat one by 120HR or a Cat 4 lol


All the way from TD to cat 3, we could say there is little agreement. xD
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
964MB in to NYC WOW WOW!! one of the 12Z!!
Learn some Geography, thats 100 miles East of NYC. NYC is practically behind New Jersey, it Wraps all the way over to Brooklyn at Sandy Hooks, leaving a 10-15 miles exit in the Outer Harbor southEAST of Manhattan, thats over Eastern Long Island
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
NOT good for S FL one of the 12Z



That is actually VERY good for South Florida. Here is my reasoning. ANY time a forecast model has a storm this far out hitting south Florida, it NEVER hits us. So when I see this, I know we will be ok. I think FL has it's force field up this year, we'll be ok, (note I have no scientific evidence, it's just a hunch) LOL
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Ok but the was one ensemble that go to Bahamas and NYC
Quoting Hurricanes101:


ok you do not need to be a drama queen and go and post every single ensemble member and claim its doom
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Quoting Dakster:
94L is looking more and more like a gulf storm than a east coast storm... Of course we need to see how this all plays out. It could obviously change several times before it gets remotely close to CONUS or the GOM.


Yes,we have plenty of time to watch and adjust. 94L is still 2800 or 2900 miles from the east coast of Florida,and like 1,600 miles from the Islands.
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This doesn't seem right to me. This is saying it's centered well inland over Mexico?
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Quoting Tazmanian:
one thing i cant stan is 14 year olds they nevere learn how too look up info on there own and they all ways ask the same ? overe and overe



not too be rude other 14 years olds on here be i no you are marh more smater then this 14 year is
you my friend, need some help with spelling..
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1231. Thrawst
Quoting Tazmanian:




no one spelling is %100 so why not we move on


I Egree.
No but forreal, just focus on the weather right now everybody. A potentially dangerous tropical cyclone could be impacting landmasses in the 4-12 day range.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

B.

The pattern does not favor a Gulf Coast track. All of the good analogue storms for this invest hit the East Coast or went out to sea between the USA and Bermuda.


How do you say that??? Every storm this year has slammed into Mex or the Yucatan, with the exception of Gordon....Not the East Coast..So I don't get how the pattern favors an East Coast storm. I realize it's your opinion and I'm no expert at ALL..just wondering how you make that conclusion?
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94L appears to be making a little jog WSW for now! It is steadily organizing though, could be a TD by 11 pm tonight. Probably 80-90% at 8 pm.
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18Z may see a cat one by 120HR or a Cat 4 lol
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Quoting sar2401:


Taz, it's not that hard to just answer a question or provide a link for a 14 year old that's trying to follow along. Not to be rude to you, but your spelling and grammar are atrocious. There are spell checkers available for most web browsers now. It would help if you used one.


I understand him fine, do we really need to create something out of this? There is enough drama on here as it is.
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
Quoting Hurricanes101:


ok you do not need to be a drama queen and go and post every single ensemble member and claim its doom



DOOM DOOM DOOM
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1223. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125418
Last comment for awhile, remembering what the doc said about stalled out fronts in the Gulf. It does appear to be getting very interesting nw of Tampa. As a matter of fact along all of the northern Gulf coast. Well there is enough weather out there for everyone, so if it's south and east of you keep two eyes on it. If it's ene of you all that is necessary is one eye.
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Quoting sar2401:


Taz, it's not that hard to just answer a question or provide a link for a 14 year old that's trying to follow along. Not to be rude to you, but your spelling and grammar are atrocious. There are spell checkers available for most web browsers now. It would help if you used one.




no one spelling is %100 so why not we move on
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1220. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125418
Quoting ILikeIke:
oh thanks Tarzan. Still don't know how to work this thing.



this follow the blog the next few days no one is out of the woods
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1218. sar2401
Quoting Tazmanian:



i guss i could give them a ch


Taz, it's not that hard to just answer a question or provide a link for a 14 year old that's trying to follow along. Not to be rude to you, but your spelling and grammar are atrocious. There are spell checkers available for most web browsers now. It would help if you used one.
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Quoting Patrap:

www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking



Yuc Pen...
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
964MB in to NYC WOW WOW!! one of the 12Z!!


ok you do not need to be a drama queen and go and post every single ensemble member and claim its doom
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
1215. Thrawst
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
NOT good for S FL one of the 12Z


... what about the Bahamas, where I live :P LOL it'd be calm by me cause I in the eye ;)
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648
964MB in to NYC WOW WOW!! one of the 12Z!!
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.