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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3113. Grothar
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3111. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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3110. LargoFl
Quoting Greenizz:


True Largo.....and with the RNC in town what a nightmare evacuation would be. That said..anytime they start talking Tampa this far out we seem to skate by with nothing...fingers crossed.
yes always remember..hurricanes do NOT..come here lol..our shields work just fine
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39170
Patience really is absolutely key with this system. We all know that we've seen far uglier systems develop in far worse out there.
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Here's the deal people..

1. 94L develops and tracks north of the islands, becoming a Hurricane that threatens the East Coast

2. 94L stays weak, develops slower and heads west into the Caribbean, tracks over the islands and stays a Tropical Storm with a landfall in Florida.

3. 94L never develops and runs into Mexico.. (not likely)
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We’ve all heard of the popular geoTech book titled “How to Lie With Maps“… well, it seems there’s a real-life scenario playing out in B.C, Canada involving the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project and the effort of planners to manipulate and/or deceive the public by “Lying” with maps. Note, I discovered this via a Canadian academic discussion list accusing the company of this practice.

The project would send bitumen by pipeline from Alberta’s oilsands to Kitimat, where it would be loaded onto tankers for export to Asia.

Enbridge has developed a beautiful 3D fly-over video that shows some awesome 3D imagery along a proposed route for this mega project. The problem though is that in one particularly sensitive area of Douglas Channel (See Google map) along the coast the maps/imagery have conveniently been generalized and islands (about 1,000 square KM) that dot the coast have been removed – this makes the proposed route appear much safer that what is the reality. Check out the impressive video of the proposed pipeline route HERE. A graphic showing the actual coastline is shown below (Source: Eaves.ca). An amazing map story and a big plus for 3D visualization, however, this could be a PR nightmare for Enbridge!

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3105. LargoFl
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
meanwhile that lil wave below cuba right now looks like its firing up just a lil huh..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39170
Quoting txwcc:


Agreed. Track is what is important right now. Far more important than intensity.

GFS has been spot on so far.


What will be funny is that run after run will show 94L going near or over FL but then everyone will still bash the GFS. Other than the 12Z run of the GFS it has show a storm either crossing or riding up FL 4 out of the last 5 runs. Further more the Euro brings 94L NE across S FL similar to Fay in 08.
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Alright now I'm going to be stepping away from the blog for a bit.Be back in a few hrs! Have a great everyone!!
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Quoting LargoFl:
well there is a purple watch area up along the south east coastline.....boy that track up the west coast of florida is a bad one..a lil to the right near tampa and up the bay it comes....thats the worst case for a storm to come in here


True Largo.....and with the RNC in town what a nightmare evacuation would be. That said..anytime they start talking Tampa this far out we seem to skate by with nothing...fingers crossed.
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Quoting reedzone:


Nope, still won't recurve out to sea.. probably an East Coast runner if it gets really strong fast.
the ukmet has it just barely north of the islands. i like that track as of now. UKMET has been very consistent showing it just north of the islands. props to it. Euro has been horrible all season with intensity same with the GFS. im leaning towards an east coast landfall at the moment
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
My forecast now is continued slow improvement the remainder of the day. Increasing convection overnight into tomorrow should allow for TS Isaac to be named (skip TD as pressure gradient force between strong high to north and system will easily have winds 40mph ).

I see a path similar to BAMM to be reasonable, though a further south path through Puerto Rico and northern half of the Dominican Republic/Haiti also seems plausible.

Not confident at all in intensity beyond 2-3 days, but US interest from the Keys to the Northeast should keep an eye on the system, though east coast Florida seems most likely to me at this point.
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Quoting txwcc:


Never isn't an option in forecasting. You should know that.

At this stage of the game, anything can happen.

A 100 knot hurricane has less than a 1% chance of going through the Central Caribbean.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Quoting SLU:


Over the last 2 - 3 days the EURO showed little to no development while the GFS was showing as much as a strong hurricane south of PR at various stages.


No it wasn't. The GFS dropped it about 12 hours after the Euro did.
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Quoting floridaboy14:
unless it becomes strong hurricane right away like the NOGAPS and CMC are showing


Nope, still won't recurve out to sea.. probably an East Coast runner if it gets really strong fast.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
8AM now going up 100KT or 115MPH

A 100 knot hurricane is not going through the Caribbean.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
ya lol but i will not go a way lol
Quoting StormHype:
Ahhhh. Should be a lot more quiet here between 8 and 3pm with the FL kiddies back in school.
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Good Morning Everyone!

Positives:

Looks like 94L has an improved low level structure this morning to add to significant 850/700 mb vorticity.

Shear is quite low, as evidenced by no tilting of the convection that recently fired near the center.

CIMSS shows an anti-cyclone overhead and decreasing shear in the path of 94L.

There is some modest surface convergence, and the disturbance should see SSTs slowly rise over the next 36 hours, particularly west of the 55W.

Dust appears to be mixed out of inflow on the eastern/southern side of 94L as the brown coloring has been replaced with a bluer, moister color on the RGB loop.

Negatives:

Fast speed makes it tougher to close off circulation.

Still relatively stable environment, but should improve with increasing SSTs.

Could be island interaction down the road, and increased shear depending on track.
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3091. SLU
Quoting CybrTeddy:


The Euro doesn't get any praise either, it was also saying this would have been approaching cane status today. The GFS and Euro stopped showing that at the same time. They both failed with this system.


Over the last 2 - 3 days the EURO showed little to no development while the GFS was showing as much as a strong hurricane south of PR at various stages.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



94L is not going out too sea
unless it becomes strong hurricane right away like the NOGAPS and CMC are showing
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
Quoting Tazmanian:




so what mode run we ues now?


I would assume either dart and board, or the cerebellum one.

95L seems the dark horse in this, just my opinion.
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Ahhhh. Should be a lot more quiet here between 8 and 3pm with the FL kiddies back in school.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
8AM now going up 100KT or 115MPH


Well if it tracks north of the islands, that's a reasonable and good possibility.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


The Euro doesn't get any praise either, it was also saying this would have been approaching cane status today. The GFS and Euro stopped showing that at the same time. They both failed with this system.


I agree and then disagree. At the time it appeared 94L would be named already but both models have been consistant in bringing 94L into the Caribbean whether it's named or not the track has been nailed so far from the both the Euro and GFS.

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Quoting Tazmanian:




so what mode run we ues now?


I believe the UKMET/CMC/HWRF combo seem to have the better handle on this storm IMO.
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ok thx!:)
Quoting STXHurricanes2012:

Actually its 11:30 am Central time(12:30 pm east)
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Quoting Clearwater1:
If 94 does form and curves either near cuba or even a lot sooner, it will create a nice weak path for 95 to follow.



94L is not going out too sea
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
8AM now going up 100KT or 115MPH
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


The Euro doesn't get any praise either, it was also saying this would have been approaching cane status today. The GFS and Euro stopped showing that at the same time. They both failed with this system.




so what mode run we ues now?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
SO HH are going into 95L at 4:30 today

Actually its 11:30 am Central time(12:30 pm east)
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If 94 does form and curves either near cuba or even a lot sooner, it will create a nice weak path for 95 to follow.
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Quoting SLU:
20/1145 UTC 37.7N 23.9W T2.0/3.0 GORDON -- Atlantic
20/1145 UTC 10.4N 25.4W TOO WEAK 96L -- Atlantic
20/1145 UTC 15.7N 44.8W TOO WEAK 94L -- Atlantic

Qudos to the EURO. If the GFS solution over the last few days panned out, 94L should have been a strong TS by the end of today ....


The Euro doesn't get any praise either, it was also saying this would have been approaching cane status today. The GFS and Euro stopped showing that at the same time. They both failed with this system.
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Quoting allancalderini:
Imagine if 95L steal the name Isaac of 94L people in here would have a bad time...


Lol. Don't look Washi!! I'll be glad when they fly into it today.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 245
Quoting txwcc:


I meant Helene.

Oh lol yea but I got my eye on 95L now!
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AL, 94, 2012082012, , BEST, 0, 156N, 448W, 25, 1010, DB
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3072. hydrus
Quoting WxGeekVA:


94L looks... Terrible, to say the least.
Looks like it wuz hit with a fly swatter. We will still have to watch this guy, especially when it reaches of 65 west. This is the 4th run I have seen that takes it close or into Florida.
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Two Questions today:
1. Will Levi change his forecast with 94L crossing PR as a TS and turning NW at 70-75 west, bypassing the Florida peninsula and threatening the East Coast?
2. Where is KMAN when we need him --LOL.
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SO HH are going into 95L at 4:30 today
Quoting WxLogic:
SUSPECT AREA --GULF OF MEXICO -- ADDED --
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70 --
A. 20/1900Z
B. AFXXX 01BBA INVEST
C. 20/1630Z
D. 23.0N 96.5W
E. 20/1830Z TO 21/0000Z
F. SFC TO 10,000FT
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Quoting Matt74:
Man i see the florida casters are out this morning. Still don't even have a storm yet and the models have been all over the place and will continue to be untill we actually get a storm

As they well should be. Storm or no storm. If the models were trending towards TX, they would be out in forces as well. It's the nature of the blog.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



its 96L you said 95L two times



boy you are so mixed up this AM

fixed it lol
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Quoting txwcc:


Lemme guess, your from NY?


I'm originally from NY, but live in Florida... This storm is not going to recurve out to sea. Either the East Coast or Gulf Coast. Right now, i'm siding with Levi on this one and saying East Coast because the storm is further north and should get into a pattern that is known for curving storms up the coastline.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
good morning guys, I can clearly see the LLCOC moving N of due W-WNW, looking at steering it makes sense, there is a small weakness N of it. however we should see WSW track soon, as it stops getting the slight pull from the weakness.



Oh please... you said it last night.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
The thing that irks me is Levi32 comes on here and doesn't plus not one comment from any other blogger on this blog but then everybody is supposed to respect his forecast. I listen to all people's opinions and enjoy listening to them but this guy thinks he's head honcho so much that no one here gets plussed by a great post which there are many on here from many "Great" bloggers.

Hold and let me find some Cheese for your Wine!
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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.