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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Quoting GetReal:


Of a more immediate minor concern, Helene circulation center has re-emerged over the SW GOM just NE of Tampico slowly moving NE.... IMO


I did say it earler
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11004
Quoting allancalderini:
Joyce and Kirk probably fish but they could still affect Bermuda.

Way too far out to say where they're going or if they'll even develop. Can't say the same for Isaac though.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Very good point. There's still a real chance very little at all comes of this.

There is no reason to suggest that 94L won't slowly develop. As Levi mentioned in his blog entry, the models are not enthusiastic because they have a hard time resolving 94L's large low pressure gyre. Once this consolidates, I think we'll see them become more bullish.

But StormChaser2007, you're right. I shouldn't have been so absolute.
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HFIP models




Tropical storm into the Caribbean



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Quoting Patrap:
This could get outta hand, this potential developing alone, along the Gulf coastal regions has the potential in areas with Training for Flooding,

Be advised from your Local NWS before traveling east or west on I-10.

yes..outside of a high wind..we have a tropical storm on the gulf coast already
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36866
Quoting allancalderini:
That would be terrible for you if it verifies.


Yeah hopefully not. If it's weak enough and goes north of us they'll be happy for the rain. Still a long way out though.
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Also, please, please remember that the model is showing something over 10 days out. I fail to see the point in focusing on a run that far out when just yesterday it was showing a major hurricane in the Eastern Caribbean. The GFS is just showing a possibility not a guarantee.
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Quoting Felix2007:
Choo Choo
Joyce and Kirk probably fish but they could still affect Bermuda.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4004
Ok what to take from this run, it's just one run, and so we have to now look for consistency, but what constitutes consistency? Because early on when this system was over Africa the GFS was showing this recurve out to sea for a couple runs, then the idea changed to an east coast hit for a couple runs, and then up until yesterday and the 06z runs dissipating the system in the GOM.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!
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Where is the it never developes scenario?
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Quoting Felix2007:
Choo Choo
Cmon ride the train and ride it. If you feel like dancin then its up to you.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36866
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
RTS......... I was hoping I deleted that before it was quoted.....
BTW.......I am Melissa, not Melvin
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I wish that they would move the floater a little east to get a better look... "Helene" system is still maintaining a very small compact core that could quickly spin up. Interesting to watch since it is close to home.
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This could get outta hand, this potential developing alone, along the Gulf coastal regions has the potential in areas with Training for Flooding,

Be advised from your Local NWS before traveling east or west on I-10.

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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Wanna bet Easy???
THERE'S A BETTER CHANCE HELENE COMES BACK TO LIFE THAN ISAAC HITTING TEXAS AS A STRONG STORM!
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Quoting Thrawst:


Don't you mean it's too far north? :3


You know what I mean.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


I don't think he was celibrating.

I think he was just stating the obvious.

It's good to know now.

We'd have fewer deaths, injury, and loss of life if everyone in this country watched this blog or TWC tropical info at least once every two or three days during storm season. Then people could start preparing 7 to 10 days out, at least look around and do little things during the 3 to 10 day period so all you have to do is board up and leave if you actually get in a warning zone.

Unfortunately, that just doesn't seem to be the case, as many people appear to watch the weather less than once per week...
RTS......... I was hoping I deleted that before it was quoted.....
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Afternoon all.

Live mobile stream
of Severe Weather in the Charleston, SC area.
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Forget a possible something 8 days out..we have real BAD weather here along the Gulf Coast today..simply amazing the rainfall totals these last few days and LOOK at today..massive flooding in days to come if this keeps up
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36866
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
You people are ****ed up.....You have no idea...... Grow up or get lost


I don't think he was celibrating.

I think he was just stating the obvious.

It's good to know now.

We'd have fewer deaths, injury, and loss of life if everyone in this country watched this blog or TWC tropical info at least once every two or three days during storm season. Then people could start preparing 7 to 10 days out, at least look around and do little things during the 3 to 10 day period so all you have to do is board up and leave if you actually get in a warning zone.

Unfortunately, that just doesn't seem to be the case, as many people appear to watch the weather less than once per week...
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Just remember, this is one run. Don't get sold on this solution, it will continue to change every run.

Out for a while, be back later.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
The latest GFS run puts another option on the table that we have to consider - if this can get south enough to avoid the islands but not so far south like Ernesto did that it doesn't truck into the Yucatan it could very well become a major problem, the TCHP levels are very high in 94L's path in the Western Caribbean - areas that haven't been touched by a tropical cyclone during peak season in 4 years. That's just one option though, if it stays weak it goes west, but it's too far south already to take a path like Ernesto did.


Don't you mean it's too far north? :3
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Choo Choo
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Quoting will40:



yes sweety i send the shield


Thank you dear. Lol
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3 Scenarios
1. 94L rapidly develops and curves out to sea
2. 94L slowly develops and hits the East coast as a very strong hurricane
3. 94L stays a moderate tropical storm and once it reaches the W carribean/Gulf it explodes into a strong hurricane and rams the Gulf coast.

Percentage Wise im leaning 15% of a recurve west of bermuda, 55% it hits the East Coast, and 30% it hits the Gulf Coast. Remember, the trend is your friend and in that case for the US, its an ENEMY 0___0
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Quoting juise15:


pardon my ignorance, what exactly is that stemming from?
You must be a youngster
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


This really isn't the time to be trowing out absolutes like that.

Only the statistical guidance shows anything other than a tropical storm, and they performed horribly during Ernesto.

GFDL, HWRF, and even the HFIP experimental models pretty much kill this.

Very good point. There's still a real chance very little at all comes of this.
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Quoting mcluvincane:
Well, all I can take from this is that someone in the U.S. will be making evacuation plans


maybe....this could change drastically in the next run...we don know...ensembles still favor northerly tracks....but its up in the air right now
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381. TXCWC
ONLY REAL THING WE CAN TAKE FROM MODELS RIGHT NOW IS THAT A RECURVE IS BECOMING LESS LIKELY WITH THE PASSING OF EACH RUN...and we do not want to see what could happen IF this gets in the Gulf...very large storm depicted on the 12Z GFS
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Well look on the bright side..at least Texas can get some beneficial rains...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16407
Quoting Felix2007:
And Kirk too???


pardon my ignorance, what exactly is that stemming from?
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Of a more immediate minor concern, Helene circulation center has re-emerged over the SW GOM just NE of Tampico slowly moving NE.... IMO
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The latest GFS run puts another option on the table that we have to consider - if this can get south enough to avoid the islands but not so far south like Ernesto did that it doesn't truck into the Yucatan it could very well become a problem, the TCHP levels are very high in 94L's path in the Western Caribbean - areas that haven't been touched by a tropical cyclone during peak season in 4 years. That's just one option though, if it stays weak it goes west, but it's too far north already to take a path like Ernesto did.
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Joyce fish storm
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36866
ok landfall in boarder Tx/LA it looks like right so Gustav track in the Caribbean and GOM except further W bringing Tx in the pic

and Hurricane in the Caribbean more so NW Caribbean Majors out in the extreme NW caribbean and into the GOM yep that sound like Gustav for real

Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11004
Next it will be hitting Alaska!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
So either 94L slowly develops and eventually hits the United States as a hurricane or we have a disorganized invest until the West Caribbean and get a hurricane to hit somewhere on the Gulf Coast.

It's a lose-lose situation unless this strengthens rapidly over the coming days and curves out to sea.


This really isn't the time to be trowing out absolutes like that.

Only the statistical guidance shows anything other than a tropical storm, and they performed horribly during Ernesto.

GFDL, HWRF, and even the HFIP experimental models pretty much kill this. Globals aren't exited either.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
The 12z GFS solution is very much on the table, not unrealistic at all to see this get in the Gulf and intensify a lot.
NOT GONNA HAPPEN!
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Quoting mcluvincane:
Well, all I can take from this is that someone in the U.S. will be making evacuation plans
deleted it
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There is high TCHP in the gulf with sst in the upper 80's to 90's....
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16407
That Ridge out in the Atlantic is really going to be doing some work over the next week and a half.
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(click to enlarge)
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Sigh...
That would be terrible for you if it verifies.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4004
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a magician
LMAO
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36866
Quoting Felix2007:
Isaac is stalling over Texas!




looks too be going up the E cost too me
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114717
Quoting LargoFl:
Im still waiting for the spock storm
Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a magician
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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.

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