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 mobileshadow:


Are these the same model runs that caused you to make the following predictions this season Tazz ?

Debby into Texas
Ernesto Threat to the US
TD#8 Threat to the US

I look at the model runs and see something completely different than what you see and it's been that way for years. Often times the first model runs on a tropical system are the most accurate. You will not find me wishcasting doom and gloom cause I hate death and destruction. Have a great day

U dont know if 94L will be a fish storm or not... Just because the models maybe predicting it doesnt mean its gonna happen... Mother Nature will do whatever the heck she wants with 94L no matter what models say so really nobody knows 100% where its gonna go
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Quoting mobileshadow:


Are these the same model runs that caused you to make the following predictions this season Tazz ?

Debby into Texas
Ernesto Threat to the US
TD#8 Threat to the US

I look at the model runs and see something completely different than what you see and it's been that way for years. Often times the first model runs on a tropical system are the most accurate. You will not find me wishcasting doom and gloom cause I hate death and destruction. Have a great day




you are a fish caster and poof you go on too my igore list where fish caster be long
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


now to are starting to sound like Jason when he was on here couple years ago calling out "FISH STORM"



Please dont qoute the lonely troll
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Quoting Tazmanian:



94L is not a fish sorry you dont look at mode runs i see


Are these the same model runs that caused you to make the following predictions this season Tazz ?

Debby into Texas
Ernesto Threat to the US
TD#8 Threat to the US

I look at the model runs and see something completely different than what you see and it's been that way for years. Often times the first model runs on a tropical system are the most accurate. You will not find me wishcasting doom and gloom cause I hate death and destruction. Have a great day
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94L will most likely not be a fish storm...
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Interesting blow up of convection in the sw gom where Helene was.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




too early too say


the rain is training off the gom this morn here in la...have 5.2 inches and still going since yesterday morn...
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
wow! I just looked at the WV, and the Caribbean and GOM is wet as wet can be. wow! its "wet fest" in this area.
..yes our rainy season in full swing now for sure
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94L..
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Quoting mobileshadow:
94L is clearly a fish . So much for being an active rest of the season unless they start naming every tropical wave :) Ohh wait they already started when they called Helene that was nothing more than an afternoon thunderstorm a tropical storm
You must be kidding mobile.Please don't embarrass yourself
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wow! I just looked at the WV, and the Caribbean and GOM is wet as wet can be. wow! its "wet fest" in this area.
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Quoting mobileshadow:
94L is clearly a fish . So much for being an active rest of the season unless they start naming every tropical wave :) Ohh wait they already started when they called Helene that was nothing more than an afternoon thunderstorm a tropical storm

There is All of September to be active... after all September is usually very active and maybe even October
and yes Helene was a fail at a tropical storm :p
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Quoting scott39:
94L is a massive invest soon to be a TD. Im thinking a name could get retired out of this one.



Hey, not so fast bro....i think we all just need to wait and see on this one...
There are many possible solutions including weak TSs.

Gordon seems to be recovering nicely from its EWRC/Dry Air mess earlier:
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Quoting washingtonian115:
This is another season where conditions are favorable outside of the MDR region like it has been the past two seasons.
agree
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Quoting yoboi:
could we get issac this week in the gom??




too early too say
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The storms that do go to tx won't go poof like don did lol...there was a death ridge at the time and right now there isn't so it wouldn't go poof!
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Quoting Felix2007:
Thanks Dr. Masters, at this point it doesn't seem likely it's going all the way up to Canada though.
Felix..Dr. Masters said "Canada" to the Mexican Yucatan Penisula... I trust Dr. Masters prognosis more than yours, unless you have some secret we do not know... Please share
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could we get issac this week in the gom??
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94L looks better than TD-7 did.
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Morning all! Looks like Tues. we'll have good idea on 94L... buckle up!
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Quoting wxchaser97:
Thanks Dr Masters, speed has been a big factor in the past few storms.
Strong A/B High typical of El Nino. Question is what will conditions be like in the Carribean, dry air, wind shear, fast trades? Also have to take into account the rugged terrain of Haiti should it follow the operational GFS run.
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This is another season where conditions are favorable outside of the MDR region like it has been the past two seasons.
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Quoting mobileshadow:
94L is clearly a fish . So much for being an active rest of the season unless they start naming every tropical wave :) Have a great day


How is it a fish storm if it's going right through the islands, PR, and Haiti/DR?
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Well, if I were an invest I'd want to be 94L right now. Its future is looking promising.
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Quoting mobileshadow:
94L is clearly a fish . So much for being an active rest of the season unless they start naming every tropical wave :) Have a great day



94L is not a fish sorry you dont look at mode runs i see
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94L is a massive invest soon to be a TD. Im thinking a name could get retired out of this one.
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Quoting mobileshadow:
94L is clearly a fish . So much for being an active rest of the season unless they start naming every tropical wave :) Have a great day


now to are starting to sound like Jason when he was on here couple years ago calling out "FISH STORM"

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Quoting DocBen:
Please - let 94L develop and find its way to northeast Texas coast and north from there to Kansas. Our exceptional drought is taking a heavy toll.





any storm that tryings too make it too TX Will go POOF this like DON did that dry air and drouht is a killer to storms it seems now if TX had a more moist ground and evere thing it the strom may have a better ch too makeing it too TX and giveing TX some marh needed rain
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Thanks Jeff. The GFS ensembles spell doom for me.
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Thank you Dr. Masters
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Thanks Dr Masters, speed has been a big factor in the past few storms.
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there is something that I see that at this time no one else sees or that the models sees.

and that is 94L moving WSW. looking at steering and on sattelite 94L may be doing that.

at the moment, I see the LLCOC near 15.2N 37.8W, and before the the first vis image came out and at the first image, I had it at 15.9N 36.1W, and if you look at that. that is a WSW movement steering is agreeing with this movement with a slow down near 44W-50W.
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94L is clearly a fish . So much for being an active rest of the season unless they start naming every tropical wave :) Ohh wait they already started when they called Helene that was nothing more than an afternoon thunderstorm a tropical storm
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Please - let 94L develop and find its way to northeast Texas coast and north from there to Kansas. Our exceptional drought is taking a heavy toll.
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Thank DR Masters.
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Quoting Chicklit:
Dr. Masters thinks anywhere between Mexico and Canada for landfall this far out. lol
and funny thing is..that is a good call lol,no one knows where
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Dr. Masters thinks anywhere between Belize and Vancouver this far out. lol
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Once this gets over warmer water and less dry air, it should develop.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Thanks, Dr. M. Tropics are alive and kicking!





Convection looks to be coming together over the LLC. This well be a LARGE storm pulling moisture from the south thus it will take time to organize into a TC. Dry air should limit it from becoming stronger than Category 1. As long as there is no dry air interfering with the circulation it should strengthen gradually over the next 4 days.
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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. --Jeff Masters
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Thanx Dr Masters...
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Thanks DRM. :)
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Thanks Doc.A Earl track for 94L is still possible.Earl barely missed the islands.Right now the speed is the worst enemy along with dry air.
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13. SLU
The low at 48w and 94L have an almost identical cloud pattern.
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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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