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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Those people in Hispanola don't need another system as some are still recovering from the earthquake.Flooding would be terrible.
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Quoting prweatherwatcher:
.

I think Levy forrescast is reasonble this will not be a caribbean cruise.

I think it very well could be and GFS has been banking on that for a while

and yes Levis forecast seem reasionable but still I am not going to put 100% faith on it and make that the first forecast I'll look at his forecast and other's and I'll say ok then I look at the Sattelite and the data and say ok and I see this which is going on right now and then I take what they say and the data says and what I say then put that together and make sense out of it thats how it goes
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Quoting bappit:
Is Levi promoting his web site on this blog?


I post my Wunderground blog on this thread. My personal blog then also links to my website, which is a common practice amongst many bloggers here.

Back later.
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Sorry for the double post, but I intend this to be read, and it's at the bottom of the previous page.


200. RTSplayer 4:04 PM GMT on August 19, 2012 0


For 94L, revise my timing for TD/TS classification down 6 hours, so 18 to 24 hours from the 8a.m.

Mid level conditions has improved since I woke up this morning, and it should make better upper level conditions tomorrow morning, rather than tomorrow noon or afternoon as I thought earlier.


Heather Tesch on TWC pointed out the "I" storm anomaly during the Tropical Update, so I think they are in line with the notion that it will "probably" become a strong storm, based on above average statistics in the past few decades.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1494
Could be Jamaica bound:

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Quoting floridaboy14:
Levi You discounting the gfs ensembles that take this into the gulf? shows it weak and once it gets into the gulf it ramps up. Also, what caused Irene to weaken rapidly before the north carolina landfall? it was forecasted to be a 3 but weakened to an 85mph 1.
I am not levi but I think it was dry air and an eyewall replacement.
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Quoting floridaboy14:
Levi You discounting the gfs ensembles that take this into the gulf? shows it weak and once it gets into the gulf it ramps up. Also, what caused Irene to weaken rapidly before the north carolina landfall? it was forecasted to be a 3 but weakened to an 85mph 1.


Irene weakened because of dry air that ripped out the core, making the winds weak despite the Cat 3-like pressure.
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Quoting allancalderini:
At least you have power most of the time when they are not tropical cyclones I lost power on Mondays and Wednesdays for six hours all weeks because the government say we need to save energy.

Well that's an efficient way to save power.The general public won't mind at all! /sarcasm
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205. 7544
Quoting Tazmanian:
94L is really geting his act together at this hr


agree we might see a td latter on today and imo it going to be close call for fl .
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Next trough over the Great Plains coming into the picture, and leaving the door open into the GOM.
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taking a whack at 108 hrs
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Quoting AllStar17:
Irene developed on August 20th. 94L would have to develop tomorrow to match Irene.

That's completely possible, actually...
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While some models don't want to develop 94L much at all, remember these large African waves often start out dry and large but acquire convection later close to the islands. Remember last year Irene at the same location as 94L is at now was an even emptier-looking system, but came through Puerto Rico as a hurricane several days later.

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For 94L, revise my timing for TD/TS classification down 6 hours, so 18 to 24 hours from the 8a.m.

Mid level conditions has improved since I woke up this morning, and it should make better upper level conditions tomorrow morning, rather than tomorrow noon or afternoon as I thought earlier.


Heather Tesch on TWC pointed out the "I" storm anomaly during the Tropical Update, so I think they are in line with the notion that it will "probably" become a strong storm, based on above average statistics in the past few decades.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1494
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
The GFS may go along with what I said earlier today about taking 94L to the Gulf.

Will never make it.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

I think you forgot to say IRENE.
Wasn't there a "One Hit Wonder" years ago by that name? ..Come On Irene" Rings a bell
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
It's gonna run over Hispaniola.




It could, but it also very well could stay south.
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The GFS may go along with what I said earlier today about taking 94L to the Gulf.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

I remember when the first band of Irene hit. We lost power for a while because PR has the most pathetic power grid in the Caribbean. It came back 30 minutes later only for the storm's main rain bands to hit us later that evening and knock out power for 4 days.
At least you have power most of the time when they are not tropical cyclones I lost power on Mondays and Wednesdays for six hours all weeks because the government say we need to save energy.
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Quoting Levi32:


The track prior to 60W is largely determined by 94L's intensity. The recent GFS runs have been a touch too weak in my opinion.
Levi You discounting the gfs ensembles that take this into the gulf? shows it weak and once it gets into the gulf it ramps up. Also, what caused Irene to weaken rapidly before the north carolina landfall? it was forecasted to be a 3 but weakened to an 85mph 1.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Not intensity.But track could be similar.


ok...
but im not sold....look back at the steering maps in my post....lot more likely for this to enter the caribbean than irene was....even if i think it will recurve....
Heck, gordon is where the high was in 2011
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9451
96 hours




On the Caribbean Cruise!!! Make your reservations!

East coast trough gone for now at this hour.
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102 hrs out
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Quoting JLPR2:


So you're saying it could be similar to Irene? :P
Quoting washingtonian115:
Not intensity.But track could be similar.
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Quoting bappit:
Is Levi promoting his web site on this blog?
No, not directly. He posts his blog entry like everybody else.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Looks like 94L will develop near the Antillies(Irene) will probably make a hook to the north around PR(Irene) take a track through the Bahamas(Irene).Slam the east coast(Irene),and run up the coast(Irene).Levi's track looked similar to Irene's last year as well.

I think you forgot to say IRENE.
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Quoting bigeasystormcaster:
I think 94L will continue west like many of the storms that have developed in this area and eventually impact the Yucatan or Central America. Since it appears that it will not recurve out to sea this westward moving pattern is well-established this year and it should continue.
Why do you say that Easy? Every storm is different
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Looks like 94L will develop near the Antillies(Irene) will probably make a hook to the north around PR(Irene) take a track through the Bahamas(Irene).Slam the east coast(Irene),and run up the coast(Irene).Levi's track looked similar to Irene's last year as well.


Irene's track over PR.

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94L is really geting his act together at this hr
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It's gonna run over Hispaniola.

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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


So today's topic of conversation is

94L = Irene.....in track, intensity, date.....

But i still dont see how? lol
Not intensity.But track could be similar.
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182. JLPR2
Quoting washingtonian115:
Looks like 94L will develop near the Antillies(Irene) will probably make a hook to the north around PR(Irene) take a track through the Bahamas(Irene).Slam the east coast(Irene),and run up the coast(Irene).Levi's track looked similar to Irene's last year as well.


So you're saying it could be similar to Irene? :P
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I think 94L will continue west like many of the storms that have developed in this area and eventually impact the Yucatan or Central America. Since it appears that it will not recurve out to sea this westward moving pattern is well-established this year and it should continue.
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GFS isn't following East Coast track...
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Quoting Levi32:


The track prior to 60W is largely determined by 94L's intensity. The recent GFS runs have been a touch too weak in my opinion.


Thanks!!
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Harvey formed a year ago today.
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Is Levi promoting his web site on this blog?
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Quoting prweatherwatcher:
.

I think Levy forrescast is reasonble this will not be a caribbean cruise.
LOL...... Spell check
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
It hits a dead zone when it gets into the Caribbean:




at 90 hrs it starts to streghten again
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Quoting cat6band:
Levi....Great blog, but I have a question for you. The GFS has obviously been really good on tracking sytems this year. I'm just wondering why it is much more south on it's model run than yours...what are you seeing that it may not be?


The track prior to 60W is largely determined by 94L's intensity. The recent GFS runs have been a touch too weak in my opinion.
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Getting it back together:

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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Look at the beginning of this loop of Irene. looks mighty familiar...

that illustrates what i've been thinking about how 94L could expand it's moisture field over time. there had been to the west, and remains available to the southwest, plenty of moisture to draw in as it takes on the SAL to the north. over time while cycling dry air through, the moisture field could expand enough to develop without hindrance.
thanks for posting the vid!
insomuch as my thoughts on the moisture environment.. ;)
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


well not sure how correct that is with 94L curently moving WSW
.

I think Levy forrescast is reasonble this will not be a caribbean cruise.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Looks like 94L will develop near the Antillies(Irene) will probably make a hook to the north around PR(Irene) take a track through the Bahamas(Irene).Slam the east coast(Irene),and run up the coast(Irene).Levi's track looked similar to Irene's last year as well.


So today's topic of conversation is

94L = Irene.....in track, intensity, date.....

But i still dont see how? lol

Irene steering:


Now:


a tad change in intensity in this situation and it may not even be a recurve to the east coast..these are similiar but not even close to calling exact anything....or even a similiar track
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9451
Irene developed on August 20th. 94L would have to develop tomorrow to match Irene.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Look at the beginning of this loop of Irene. looks mighty familiar...


I remember when the first band of Irene hit. We lost power for a while because PR has the most pathetic power grid in the Caribbean. It came back 30 minutes later only for the storm's main rain bands to hit us later that evening and knock out power for 4 days.
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Quoting yonzabam:
@ 116

Nice weather for the mosquitoes. That'll get them in a breeding frenzy.

I read in the news today that Dallas has had its first aerial insecticide spraying for half a century, due to an outbreak of West Nile fever.

Personally, I'd prefer to take my chances with the mosquitoes.

West Nile virus (WNV) activity reported to ArboNET, by state, United States, 2012 (as of August 14, 2012)
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Levi....Great blog, but I have a question for you. The GFS has obviously been really good on tracking sytems this year. I'm just wondering why it is much more south on it's model run than yours...what are you seeing that it may not be?
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Looks like 94L will develop near the Antillies(Irene) will probably make a hook to the north around PR(Irene) take a track through the Bahamas(Irene).Slam the east coast(Irene),and run up the coast(Irene).Levi's track looked similar to Irene's last year as well.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
94L is Hurricane Irene all over again.
track wise yes. lots of uncertainty
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http://weather.unisys.com/upper_air/ua_cont.php?plo t=cap&inv=0&t=cur



big storms for gulf today
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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.