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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major florida on the gulf coast, over a foot of rain has fallen already and More to come newspaper reports say..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36907
Quoting FLWaterFront:
Is there a point to posting these computer runs, up to 15 days out, right as they get spit out of the computer? Beyond five days the forecast with each run is about as accurate as reading tea leaves, unless I am missing something?

But reading this blog, one would get the impression that each and every one of these computer model runs is as accurate as measuring the precise times of sunrise and sunset for each day of the forecast. I guess it is fun to fantasize but history tells us that the accuracy factor just isn't there at all. I'm just sayin'


The ignore feature is wonderful. lol
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Good afternoon everyone! I am offically OVER the rain! Pat, would you PLEASE keep it to yourself over there and STOP sending it my way? lol
Looks like ex-Helene will be keeping things wet in my area all week. I sure wish that it would move due north and help the midwest and western states rather than meander eastward across the GOM..
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510. VR46L
I guess the GFS will have it nailed what ever actually happens in the next 2 weeks. They have offered nearly every solution except the west coast of Florida .. guess we will see that next !!! Anyways wonder will the Euro find Isaac in the next run lol

94l at present in rainbow

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Quoting Patrap:


Somewhere a Mayan Stone Carver is chuckling heartily.


There are now 123 Days until the 2012 Winter Solstice.
yes and I am awaiting it, going to get worse and worse
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36907
Texas cannot get a break can they...

It's either extreme drought or flooding. And when the rain comes it takes buildings with it.
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Don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but there is a NOAA GIV flight scheduled for Tuesday evening.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31466
Quoting want2lrn:


The left overs from Helene seem to be firing up again. Do any of you foresee that area moving North up here into central South Texas (Corpus Christi) and giving us some desperately needed rain? Thank you for the responses.


That's got to be what the CMC is showing here. Doesn't look very organized but hopefully will give you some rain. :)

Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 677


Somewhere a Mayan Stone Carver is chuckling heartily.


There are now 123 Days until the 2012 Winter Solstice.
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502. SLU
94L looking better by the hour. We could see an increase in the chance of development together with some stronger language from the NHC soon.
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Quoting Patrap:
gee Pat your really getting it over there today huh

The potential for Flooding exist for a large swath along the Gulf coast.





Plus the synoptic pattern ain't going anywhere fast.

And toss in Helene's blossoming.

Concern is warranted downstream the next 72.







yea Pat, it looks bad and for my area (St Petersburg), that is still recovering from flooding from Debby, any extra rain is bad

even yesterdays' rain caused flooding
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I think 94L is being tugged a little to the south by the wave to it's west. Where this finally forms I believe will be the key to it's course. That is why the is so much model disagreement. I have noticed a sw appendage to almost all the systems this year. I think the NHC called these monsoonal troughs.
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Storms flood streets, collapse buildings in Dallas

Aug. 19, 2012, 8:48 a.m. CDT

The Dallas Morning News



DALLAS (AP) — Strong thunderstorms dumping as much as 4 inches of rain have flooded streets, trapped drivers and collapsed buildings in Dallas.

The storms rolled over the city on Saturday night. National Weather Service meteorologist Jesse Moore says some areas got as much as 4 inches of rain.

Authorities have not confirmed any deaths related to the storms, but people told WFAA-TV they saw a man fall into a creek and get swept away about 7 p.m.

The Dallas Morning News says two building collapses have been reported, including a partial cave-in at the Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas.

The newspaper also says Dallas Fire-Rescue rescued one driver trapped in high water near the city's downtown, and several were stranded in flooded streets near Baylor University Medical Center.

___

Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36907
#480... just say neaux
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gee Pat your really getting it over there today huh

The potential for Flooding exist for a large swath along the Gulf coast.





Plus the synoptic pattern ain't going anywhere fast.

And toss in Helene's blossoming.

Concern is warranted downstream the next 72.





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Quoting Dakster:


PM sent to explain. It isn't really funny when you have to explain it.


got it
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Quoting Tazmanian:




????


PM sent to explain. It isn't really funny when you have to explain it.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Looks like another tropical thunder storm developing off Mexico wonder if they'll name this one.


it would get the same name anyway and personally this has a better shot of being a stronger system now than it did when they first named it
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gee Pat your really getting it over there today huh
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36907
Quoting Dakster:


Why? Is Big Daddy's closed?




????
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Quoting Grothar:
Stop showing doom Grothar!.
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(click to enlarge)
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Quoting GetReal:


Hey Pat how about all these gumbeaux colors over us and into the SW GOM!!! You have any okra to throw in???


The left overs from Helene seem to be firing up again. Do any of you foresee that area moving North up here into central South Texas (Corpus Christi) and giving us some desperately needed rain? Thank you for the responses.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



i dont poll on the weekend


Why? Is Big Daddy's closed?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
There is also a very potent anti-cyclone associated with 94L. Common characteristic of developing major CV systems. This will aid in ventilation and help development along further.


Also of note

if you look at the latest loops, which will be easy now since VA just posted it below LOL

seems the circulation is; A) tightening and B) moving just south of due west

I would say NHC bumps the chances up to 70% at 2pm
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Rotation seems to tighten up over the past 3 hours

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lol
Quoting Tazmanian:



i dont poll on the weekend
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Taking into account to what TAWx13 and Levi have mentioned...

Here is the "higher-res" GFS from last night.

This could handle the area of broad vorticity better than the actual OP...

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There is also a very potent anti-cyclone associated with 94L. Common characteristic of developing major CV systems. This will aid in ventilation and help development along further.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Q. What will 94L be at 2PM
A. 60%
B. 70%
C. 80%
D. 90%
E. 100%
I will say C or B

B.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31466
Looks like another tropical thunder storm developing off Mexico wonder if they'll name this one.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Q. What will 94L be at 2PM
A. 60%
B. 70%
C. 80%
D. 90%
E. 100%
I will say C or B



i dont poll on the weekend
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Q. What will 94L be at 2PM
A. 60%
B. 70%
C. 80%
D. 90%
E. 100%
I will say C or B

C
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Q. What will 94L be at 2PM
A. 60%
B. 70%
C. 80%
D. 90%
E. 100%
I will say C or B
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None of the models, including the HWRF and GFDL should be taken seriously this far out regardless of any upgrades or track records. For example, the HWRF was showing when the system that became Ernesto was out by where 94L was that it would become a major hurricane in the Caribbean south of Jamaica, where as in the end Ernesto was a moderate Category 1 that hit the Yucatan. The ECMWF appears to be struggling to get a grip on the vortmax and - as previously mentioned by Levi - the fact that the area of pressure is absolutely massive. It's going to take a while to consolidate. Worth noting that the UKMET/CMC both show north of the islands with development, for what it is worth. Systems like 94L require one thing - patience.

We need to slow down and think for a second and take your eyes off the models. It's mid-August, there's a strong tropical wave tracking westward with somewhat favorable conditions. This tropical wave is massive, using the ITCZ to feed in convection and with a rather large moisture field. Dry air is intruding into the core, this is causing some disorganization. However, we all know we've seen far worse come out of far lesser conditions.



One only takes a quick glance the past 20 years to come to the conclusion that almost all year since has had a tropical wave develop from Africa and become a major hurricane, even in the most dead, pathetic and anemic of years have at least one (1997, 2009), and a lot of them happen in mid to late August. So every calm down, please exhibit some patience and don't call each other wischasters/downcasters or any form of caster. Sit tight, because a show is about to begin. Even if 94L doesn't become a hurricane, the waves behind it very well could.
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Quoting JLPR2:
It is uncommon to see an invest with a reflection at the 200mb level.


Well, with an anticyclone like this...

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31466
Quoting washingtonian115:
We know it's a possibility.Who takes these models serious anyway???


Want the long list or just the users in this blog entry? ;p

Until a tropical cyclone forms out of 94L, ex-Helene, or whatever other blob in the ocean, absolutely none of the all-knowing models are useful.

Gordon struggling today over cooler sea surface temperatures but will probably still bring hurricane conditions to the eastern Azores tonight and tomorrow.
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Hey Pat how about all these gumbeaux colors over us and into the SW GOM!!! You have any okra to throw in???
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Quoting LargoFl:
just about the same place the waves are coming out now, was wondering what storm This became

It never developed
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Interesting, the ensembles might still be spread out with the GOM being the main focus, anywhere from the East Coast over to TX.

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Most don't want to admit it, but the LATEST GFS makes much more sense then the last few runs... Just saying.
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467. JLPR2
It is uncommon to see an invest with a reflection at the 200mb level.

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Gordon beginning to transform into a extra-tropical cyclone

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Why are you posting an image of the East Atlantic from 5 years ago?
just about the same place the waves are coming out now, was wondering what storm This became
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36907
this reminds me of Irene all over again with the GFS model runs..it had everybody in the strike zone in every other run..
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463. JLPR2
Quoting LargoFl:


SSD EAtl image just went back in time 4 years. XD
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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.