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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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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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
no offence Levi
I take your word but I am not putting 100% faith on yours or anyone else on here


And never should you.
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161. JLPR2
I still find strange the way it has some leftover energy from 94L merge with the remains of the spin ahead of it, but somehow it ends up behind our invest. :\

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It hits a dead zone when it gets into the Caribbean:

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Quoting WxGeekVA:


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



YOU even see JOSE at the end of that video :') such a small little bugger
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Nice job Levi, very good analysis of the systems involved. My only caveat which you did touch on is the wave to the west of 94L it appears to want to develop to me.Will it, probably won't it may keep 94l from getting it's act together to be drawn more north. I would think in the next 24hrs. this situation should resolve itself.
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72



Some minor strengthening of system, but more important blocking ridge still in place.... East coast trough lifting out?
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Almost the exactly the same date for Irene and 94L
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When is Joyce coming?any potential candidate for 95L?
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Quoting chrisdscane:
yo levi my B-day is 27th I live in maimi am I ok?
chris.........You are putting Levi on the spot... The NHC and Dr. Masters don't have a handle on this yet.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


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




not really...the steering isnt quite the same..
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no offence Levi
I take your word but I am not putting 100% faith on yours or anyone else on here
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11844
yo levi my B-day is 27th I live in maimi am I ok?
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
94L has become a bit better organized I think. Could be 70% at 2PM:



I'd agree.

Even though total convection in the area has come down, what does exist is more centralized now.

This morning it had like a 2 degree tall gap of shear and dry air between the convection masses, so it's doing much better now.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Getting going a little at 66 hours:

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Quoting AAPLTrader:
Wunderkid: In Levi's video, the main area of convection is competing with another large area of low pressure and convection to its SW. Eventually the main area of convection around 15N37W will prevail and generally move west for the next couple of days with a gradual turn to the WNW as it approaches the NE Carribean.


ok I understand that but if I were you I would not take his word as Holy Bible here yes take it in account and take in account of what other people say (except for the trolls) cause you know that what they say is like near or is out of the qusetion also look at the data your self and make up your own mind on what is going on I do that hey I don't even tak Doc word 100% but I listen and observe and then say what I see
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11844
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
94L is Hurricane Irene all over again.


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

Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3470
i like how the E PAC and are storms are tide right now
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54 hours



Ditto previous comment.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
94L is Hurricane Irene all over again.


how so?
It seems quite different to me in several ways
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54 hours. A little strengthening, but not much:

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94L is Hurricane Irene all over again.
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Quoting Levi32:


What problem do you seem to be having?


I had the same problem of the graphics not changing, but I refreshed and it worked fine. Good blog Levi, always appreciate hearing your thoughts on the tropics.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3470
I just posted a blog entry:

Link
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36 hours



Repeat of the last runs so far. Strengthening Azore/Bermuda Highs with strong ridging over Bahamas and Florida.
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@ 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.
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Quoting Levi32:


It sounds like your flash player may be having a problem. The video works fine for me and several other people that have commented on my post. Try using a different web browser and then try viewing it.
Ok now Levi, thanks........... Spent 2 years at Eielson AFB way back with my ex.... Actually we lived very close to Santa's house in North Pole... Beautiful area.... Quite a change, Now in Palm Beach county Fl.
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Quoting canehater1:
THE BROAD CYCLONIC WIND
FIELD RELATED TO FORMER TROPICAL STORM HELENE CONTINUES TO
GENERATE SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE WRN BAY OF
CAMPECHE AND COASTAL WATERS OF TAMPICO S OF 25N W OF 92W. WINDS
WILL REMAIN GENTLE TO MODERATE IN THIS REGION DURING THE NEXT 24
HOURS. LIGHT TO GENTLE SE SURFACE FLOW IS ACROSS THE REMAINDER
OF THE GULF UNDER STABLE CONDITIONS.

From 8 am TW disc....

I am at 27.7 N and 91.9 W winds related to approaching front are at 20-25 kts and seas to 6 ft


Thanks for the info Cane. Hope it doesn't get too rocky for you out there.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 67
Irene looked like a ugly duckling when she moved off the coast of Africa(naked swirl).We all know the rest of the story..She to had problems with dry air.I also think a Irene track is likely.Don't write off a system in the tropics until they have officially dissipated.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
94L has become a bit better organized I think. Could be 70% at 2PM:


agreed

Quoting mcluvincane:


Mobileshadow


is that who he taiking about
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11844
Wunderkid: In Levi's video, the main area of convection is competing with another large area of low pressure and convection to its SW. Eventually the main area of convection around 15N37W will prevail and generally move west for the next couple of days with a gradual turn to the WNW as it approaches the NE Carribean.
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Thanks for the update, Jeff.

Agree, at this point anywhere from Mexico to Canada and several GFS runs indicate why - from the period once it reaches the Lesser Antilles, and perhaps into Caribbean toward / over Hispaniola late next week (which truly could get ugly regardless of it's strength), the 500 mb charts show there's a high probability troughing over far E US / W Atl will erode the ridge, enough that it'll fall under weak steering... Much as GFS has shown it slowing to a crawl / stall somewhere near Hispaniola / Cuba... Until the models can hash out the scenarios to better resolution as week goes on, it's a very low confidence track forecast beyond it reaching the Windwards / Leewards... LOL, of course beyond 5-7 days always is.
;)
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Levi, I hear your voice but the graphics are not changing


It sounds like your flash player may be having a problem. The video works fine for me and several other people that have commented on my post. Try using a different web browser and then try viewing it.
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Quoting bappit:

Really? Vancouver???

Too much attention is being paid to 94L, too many breathless announcements. I like SLU's observation in post 13. Lots of stable air out there.


Warning... Sarcasm: On.

Vancouver would be interesting... Isn't that on the west coast of Canada or there a Vancouver I am not aware of somewhere else. Wouldn't it have to hit and pass thru Central America first? I don't profess to be a geography expert.

I would say, anywhere between Southern Argentina and Bermuda should cover it.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Levi, I hear your voice but the graphics are not changing
It's on my side Levi. Working now
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
94L has become a bit better organized I think. Could be 70% at 2PM:



That baby is huge
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127. yoboi
Quoting Tazmanian:
When could we see 95L?



Send from iPad



prob this week...
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Quoting LargoFl:


I think with this system moving WSW we could see a model shift to the S
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11844
94L has become a bit better organized I think. Could be 70% at 2PM:

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Quoting mobileshadow:
\

And how many times has that model been correct this season ?


No idea. I just found it. Will be interesting to see later how it does this season. :)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 67
Quoting WxGeekVA:
I don't see this nuthead/troll you all are speaking of... Maybe I already have them on ignore already...



most have but when he is quoted ignore is useless
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Quoting will40:
please dont quote the nuthead guys


Quoting WxGeekVA:
I don't see this nuthead/troll you all are speaking of... Maybe I already have them on ignore already...


who in the world is he talking about
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11844
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38225
I don't see this nuthead/troll you all are speaking of... Maybe I already have them on ignore already...
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3470
12z GFS is running. 24 hours:

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Quoting AAPLTrader:
Levi's opinion: 94L begins a WNW track approaching the NE Carribean as a TS, crossing around the PR area on Wed and afterwards begins a gradual NW movement around 70-75W to the East of the Florida peninsula as a developing hurricane.


well not sure how correct that is with 94L curently moving WSW
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11844
The BIG weather story today is............Flooding in the South from texas all the way around the gulf and up the eastern seaboard states..too many warnings to post them all...BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RALEIGH NC
1122 AM EDT SUN AUG 19 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RALEIGH HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
HALIFAX COUNTY IN CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA
WARREN COUNTY IN CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA

* UNTIL 215 PM EDT

* AT 1112 AM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED
THAT THUNDERSTORMS HAVE MOMENTARILY MOVED OUT OF THE WARNING AREA.
HOWEVER...ANOTHER BAND OF HEAVY RAIN PRODUCING THUNDERSTORMS
WILL MOVE INTO THE AREA FROM THE SOUTH-SOUTHWEST WITHIN THE NEXT
HALF HOUR. DOPPLER RADAR ESTIMATED THAT 2 TO 4 INCHES OF RAIN HAS
ALREADY FALLEN OVER EXTREME EASTERN WARREN COUNTY AND NORTHWEST
HALIFAX COUNTY...WITH THE HEAVIEST RAINFALL NEAR
LITTLETON...WARRENTON...AND ALONG INTERSTATE 95.

* LOCATIONS THREATENED WITH FLOODING INCLUDE WARRENTON...ROANOKE
RAPIDS AND LITTLETON.

AN ADDITIONAL 1 TO 2 INCHES OF RAINFALL ARE STILL POSSIBLE RESULTING
IN ADDITIONAL FLOODING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

EXCESSIVE RUNOFF FROM THE HEAVY RAIN WILL CAUSE FLASH FLOODING OF
CREEKS AND STREAMS...ROADS...LOW LYING AND POOR DRAINAGE AREAS. DO
NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE WATER COVERS THE ROAD. MANY
ROADS AND INTERSECTIONS IN THE AREA WILL QUICKLY FLOOD. WHEN
ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN.

PLEASE REPORT FLOODING TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BY CALLING...
1...8 7 7...6 3 3...6 7 7 2 OR NOTIFY YOUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGENCY.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38225
Quoting Levi32:


What problem do you seem to be having?
Levi, I hear your voice but the graphics are not changing
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Felix, Why do you say it is not likely? Just would like to know what made you say that?


Well if the general path is that it's going through the Caribbean to around Florida then I don't see how it could suddenly recurve sharply to the northeast to Canada. But it's not out of the question so I think I can see why Dr. Masters mentioned it. I guess it must be a possibility if a couple of the ensembles are saying that it's recurving.
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Quoting will40:
please dont quote the nuthead guys
Counting the "nutheads" .I'm up to 37 now
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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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