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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The onion just did a skit on TV mets. Its hilarious but be warned there is some fowl language.

Link
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Quoting Patrap:
Picture of the waterspout near a campground in Rodanthe NC in Dare County Outer Banks. VIA WAVY TV 10. Amazing Photo!




man thats scary..one time i saw two waterspouts right off clearwater beach..side by side..i ran inside lol
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Quoting Thewatchcontinues:
is florida safe from all these storms?



FL is not out of the woods


any one from TX too FL needs too watch 94L overe the next few days
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Quoting Patrap:



Helene is das Poof..and the Energy,er, Blob that remained just inland on the BOC side is now 95L

The other is a non player.



Well, I'd called dibs on ex-7 ex-Helene but lost on the 95 call, looks like it's coming to YOU. Maybe it'll circle back to us afterwards. I'll take used rain, not a choosy beggar. Maybe 95 will absorb that naked swirl.
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Quoting LargoFl:
post the alerts when they come out ok

no problems

Quoting RTSplayer:



The forecast already implies 90kts/104mph category 2, at the islands...

edit:

The red dots on GFS represent 12 hour increments.

Look where it is at 72 hours(6th line segment,) and what the SHIP says for intensity...



dam if that make NW caribbean we could be talking about a big Major

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That would make ya pray that doesn't come ashore. Scary campground.
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Quoting gordydunnot:

Every frame a little better.
Huge circulation with 94 l will take extra time to develop.also extra time to wind down.Ike Like
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Quoting Tazmanian:
the gulf coast needs too watch 94L vary closey
Taz..send it up the east coast ok LOL..we surely dont need it here
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Kinda old,but shows the 2 Lows by each other and I think they are still 2 seperate entities.
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Quoting reedzone:
I don't buy the Caribbean track.. A trough off the East Coast should influence a northerly track towards the Conus. GFS brings 94L into the GOM, while the ensembles take the storm up the East Coast. I have to go with the ensembles at this time. We have a strong enough ridge to push it west past 60W, then should encounter a trough and move more northwest. Just my opinion.


This sounds plausible. I don't think anything is really off the table at this point.

Anyone else think that 94L is going to absorb its 'attendant' to the west and slightly south of it?
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Quoting Jedkins01:


It seems like Bay News 9 is the only forecast that has the courage to actually show the high rain chances we deserve for the next few days. I don't know why because it's August and significant wet patterns are common this time of year. It's hard to time when the heavier rains will move through but I believe the 40% to 50% that most forecasters are showing into next week is underdone as many of us could potentially 4 to 5 inches with some places getting more will be possible between now and Thursday.

I know it's because there isn't much model agreement, but still. It's quite obvious a wetter solution is evolving instead of drier one.
gee your so right there, this is going to be a very interesting week ahead alright...went to my local park yesterday..Just with that rain we had..the lake went up about 2 feet...over time this is going to be bad all around the gulf coast
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I think 94L's analogs are Hugo, Andrew, Frances, and Earl.
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the gulf coast needs too watch 94L vary closey
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Quoting victoria780:
I dont know why the Hurricane Center does not listen to this Blog.You would think 94l would hit New Orleans instead of the east coast.


Not sure I know what you mean by that?? I don't think anyone on here as even mentioned the state of La. as it pertains to 94L.
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Picture of the waterspout near a campground in Rodanthe NC in Dare County Outer Banks. VIA WAVY TV 10. Amazing Photo!




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125503
.
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945. JLPR2
Quoting gordydunnot:

Every frame a little better.


With a structure like that it shouldn't have any problems developing nice convection tonight.
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Quoting LargoFl:
great perhaps it has moved on from your area..so much BAD weather in the states today and everyone is going banannas over a storm maybe 5 days away OR more..me im sticking to the bad weather here right now in the states..so much rain is falling gee


It seems like Bay News 9 is the only forecast that has the courage to actually show the high rain chances we deserve for the next few days. I don't know why because it's August and significant wet patterns are common this time of year. It's hard to time when the heavier rains will move through but I believe the 40% to 50% that most forecasters are showing into next week is underdone as many of us could potentially 4 to 5 inches with some places getting more will be possible between now and Thursday.

I know it's because there isn't much model agreement, but still. It's quite obvious a wetter solution is evolving instead of drier one.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
StormChaser2007 has access to all the sweet models I could only dream of getting my hands on.

Anyways, latest floater loop of 94L. Increase in structure, decrease in convection. Note the clouds on the west side how puffy they look, means a lot of dry air. 94L's worst days are today and tomorrow, after such an increase in organization is possible.


it is also DMIN there
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I remember Irene was forecast to pass south of PR just 24 hours before it hit and it actually did more of a Hugo than a Georges.
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Quoting victoria780:
I dont know why the Hurricane Center does not listen to this Blog.You would think 94l would hit New Orleans instead of the east coast.



But 94L poses no threat to the Conus at this time but the wishcasting never stops on here . I actually agree with the Reedzone model with this one but I expect 94L to have to fight if it wants to survive as most CV systems have had to do this season
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Quoting Doppler22:
This may be doomcasting or wishcasting or whatever but does anyone for see 94L becoming an Isabel or Irene?


Only limiting factor is going to be shear and land interaction.

It will not turn north as fast as Isabel, because the ridge is too strong, and it would have to be a category 5 right away to do so.

This is the max potential intensity predictor for today. I think this gets updated every 12 hours, but I'm not 100% sure.

Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1496
Quoting CybrTeddy:
StormChaser2007 has access to all the sweet models I could only dream of getting my hands on.

Anyways, latest floater loop of 94L. Increase in structure, decrease in convection. Note the clouds on the west side how puffy they look, means a lot of dry air. 94L's worst days are today and tomorrow, after such an increase in organization is possible.




i say 94L is a TD at this hr we could see 80 or 90% with the next two with TD 9 may be at 11pm
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Every frame a little better.
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Even though the models are not out yet for 95L, I will give you a little preview of what they will be. Two of the models will have the system moving back over Mexico. Three of the models have it moving into the Gulf. As the days go back, you should see a shift more towards the Gulf.
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we along the gulf coast sure dont need anything tropical IN the gulf right now..we have enough worries already huh
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125503
Quoting Hurricanes101:


I think he is messing with you, TA13 is one of the ones that has been on with us posting and looking at the forecast models


yeah I know..
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Quoting Doppler22:
This may be doomcasting or wishcasting or whatever but does anyone for see 94L becoming an Isabel or Irene?

Those are two fairly good analogues for the storm, yes.
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StormChaser2007 has access to all the sweet models I could only dream of getting my hands on.

Anyways, latest floater loop of 94L. Increase in structure, decrease in convection. Note the clouds on the west side how puffy they look, means a lot of dry air. 94L's worst days are today and tomorrow, after such an increase in organization is possible.
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Quoting mobileshadow:

Old info ...8am
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The AEMI is my horse for now with 94L.

: )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125503
AGAIN...AS STATED IN PREVIOUS FORECAST DISCUSSIONS THE MAIN
FOCUS FOR UPCOMING FEATURES TO AFFECT THE FORECAST WATERS
WILL BE LOW PRES IN THE FAR EASTERN ATLC AREA NEAR 15N38W MOVING
W AT 18 KT WITH AN ATTENDANT TROPICAL WAVE. THIS LOW CONTINUES
TO HAVE A CHANCE OF DEVELOPING INTO A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING
THE NEXT 48 HOURS AND THE LATEST RUNS OF GFS AND ECMWF STILL
TAKE THE LOW ACROSS THE TROPICAL N ATLC AND E CARIBBEAN THE
THROUGH FRI...WHILE THE OTHER GLOBAL MODELS TURN TO CURVE IT
MORE TO THE NW AS IT APPROACHES THE ERN TROPICAL N ATLC MID TUE
AND WED. THE 12 UTC GFS RUN FROM THIS MORNING APPEARS FASTER
THAN THE PREVIOUS RUNS. THIS MIGHT SEEM PLAUSIBLE IF THE
SYSTEM REMAINS SHALLOW WILL LIMITED DEEP CONVECTION...HOWEVER
LATEST SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS THAT THIS SYSTEM HAS BECOME
SOMEWHAT MORE CONSOLIDATED WITH RESPECT TO ITS CLOUD PATTERN
STRUCTURE. THE GFS STILL LIKES TO DEEPEN THIS SYSTEM THIS
LOW A LITTLE MORE THAN THE ECMWF. SO WILL MAINTAIN CONTINUITY
WITH PREVIOUS FORECAST THINKING AND FOLLOW THE MEDIUM RANGE
POINTS AS COORDINATED BETWEEN NHC/HPC FOR FOR DAYS 3-5.

INTERESTS IN THE E CARIBBEAN SHOULD CONTINUE TO MONITOR ANY
DEVELOPMENTS OF THIS LOW THROUGH THE WEEK.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 459
Quoting Thewatchcontinues:
is florida gonna get any of these tropical storms?
I dont know why the Hurricane Center does not listen to this Blog.You would think 94l would hit New Orleans instead of the east coast.
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This may be doomcasting or wishcasting or whatever but does anyone for see 94L becoming an Isabel or Irene?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
ECMWF having troubles getting a handle on the massive circulation of 94L. Showing 4 vortmax instead of only one.


I believe Levi mentioned something to that effect in his Tropical Tidbits.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
I wonder if 94L will eventually have a pinhole like this:




oh boy this blog would go nuts
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Quoting Patrap:


Georges 98 is a good one as well..
I agree -- I was using Jeanne as a rough analog yesterday, but the dynamic plots have trended equatorward this afternoon. We'll just have to wait and see what evolves as the system transitions into a cyclone; still a guessing game at this point when looking in the long-run.
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18z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest94

Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Early Model Wind Forecasts

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125503
Quoting MAweatherboy1:


Pretty impressive intensification. Watch how little it moves this whole time:



Bath water. I've lost count of how many Typhoons i've seen undergo RI in the same area. Anyone remember Muifa? Possibly the most impressive Tropical Cyclone I have tracked.



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I wonder if 94L will eventually have a pinhole like this:

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Quoting LargoFl:
5 inches means almost 7 feet of water on the ground and in rivers etc
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The dynamical models plots seem to be prognosticating a track that is somewhat reminiscent of 2004's "I" storm -- Hurricane Ivan. A lengthy Caribbean cruiser, with a poleward turn in the northwestern Caribbean. 

Obviously I'm just making a track analogy, and even then, we'll still so far out that any forecast in the long-range should be taken with a grain of salt. 94L could cause many headaches down the road.


I was about to say that when I saw the GFS.
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Da boyz are busy re-configuring the Floater page and the Floaters themselves for 95L.

www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters.html

Tropical Cyclone Imagery - Storm Floaters
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125503
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Thanks everyone. We will keep a weather-eye to our southwest and west. Again, thanx
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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.