Azores Islands brace for Gordon; Helene not a threat

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:12 PM GMT on September 19, 2006

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The Azores Islands are bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Gordon, which is expected to rip through the islands tonight as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Gordon is under about 20 knots of shear, and will be moving over cool waters of 22-23 C this afternoon, so a decrease in intensity from its current 85 mph winds is likely before the storm moves through the Azores. Hurricane force winds extend out 40 miles from the center, and the islands of the Azores are widely scattered enough that Gordon may not bring hurricane force winds to any of the islands. The first place to feel Gordon's effects will be the northwesternmost islands of Corvo and Flores. The link for today's weather conditions on Flores can be found here. About 4,000 people live on these two islands, about 2% of the total population of the Azores. Gordon now appears to be moving slightly south of due east, which may mean the more southern islands will feel the worst of Gordon.

Gordon's rapid forward speed near 30 mph may allow the storm to make it all the way to Spain or Portugal on Wednesday night as a tropical storm, making it only the second tropical cyclone ever to hit the Iberian Peninsula (Tropical Depression Vince of 2005 was the first). It it more likely, though, that Gordon will arrive as a powerful extratropical storm with 50 mph winds.

Hurricane Helene
Hurricane Helene remains a powerful Category 3 hurricane, but we are now confident that this storm presents no threat to land. Beginning with yesterday morning's computer model runs, all of the reliable models have been consistently been predicting that the next trough of low pressure moving over the Atlantic will be strong enough to turn Helene northwards, then recurve her out to sea. My confidence in this forecast is high, because the NOAA P-3 and Gulfstream IV jet have been probing Helene for the past two days as part of a research mission into how dry Saharan air affects hurricane intensification (the SALEX project). The computer models have had the advantage of having this high-quality data available for their runs. Given this factor, plus the high degree of unanimity of the models in turning Helene northeast over multiple runs, we can be confident that Helene poses no threat to the U.S., Bermuda, or Canada.


Figure 1. Current satellite image of Helene, updated every 1/2 hour.

Helene is over warm waters of about 28C, and under about 5-10 knots of wind shear. These conditions favor intensification for another two days, and Helene could be the first Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic this year.

The rest of the tropical Atlantic
A non-tropical area of low pressure a few hundred miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, has a slight chance of development as it drifts slowly east. Most of the computer models are forecasting that a tropical storm will develop later this week in the region between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands.

I'll have an update Wednesday morning.
Jeff Masters

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1724. WX90210
2:39 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
96L == fishstorm.
1723. Patrap
2:29 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
..now outside they bouncing the streets again..FEMA contractors picking up gutted debris..the laggers in the neighorhood..are gutting real quick..to beat the free demolition debris pick-up deadline..Friday.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
1722. Patrap
2:26 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
..No..thats a fact..John Hope was a forecaster at the NHC in 69..and they copiled the list in spring..so his daughter was named CAmille ..so he tossed in her ..for the C storm..and ..by chance..History was made..its in his bio....
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
1721. ricderr
2:24 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
named after John Hopes daughter..camille
ok....you joshin or serious pat?..serius...syrius radio.......has all the good programs..even weather channels..local..national..not sure if tropical...tropical...tropical smoothies...excellent chocolate bannana...bannanna republic..womans shop..of which i know nothing..nothink!!!..hogans heroes.....heroes...a new nbc tv show...show me the money...tom cruise...tom cruise..scientology...scientology...craziology...ok..i'm there
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 670 Comments: 21391
1720. jake436
2:24 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
No problem, SWFLBoy, NEW BLOG
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271
1719. Patrap
2:24 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
..ya gotta get on the left side of the front Rand...LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
1718. FLKEYSRADIO
2:23 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Hey Patrap... wanna come do my back lawn? Beginning to look a bit like a jungle.... could use a good mow. Although, the commute might be a bit long to get here.
1716. Randrewl
2:22 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Thanks Pat...it's 89 here and heading for 94 again today!
Member Since: June 8, 2006 Posts: 114 Comments: 31581
1714. Patrap
2:20 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
..been outside..enjoying the weather so much..I cut my neighbors front lawn too.....Man..its 73 at this hour
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
1713. Gatorx
2:20 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
FLKEYSRADIO-

I don't know that for sure....but I think Camille made a surprise landing off by like 600 miles....however someone with more knowledge of hurricane history will probably know the truth. Gator girl
1712. FLKEYSRADIO
2:20 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
It's all good... no need to answer in form of a question... I'm hardly Alex Trebek. I've got better hair.
1711. jake436
2:19 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
where ya' at, Patrap
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271
1710. Patrap
2:19 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
..er..What is..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
1709. Patrap
2:18 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
..Camille..the Great Mississippi Coast Cat 5..August 69..named after John Hopes daughter..camille
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
1708. Patrap
2:18 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
..Camille..the Great Mississippi Coast Cat 5..August 69..named after John Hopes daughter..camille
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
1707. eyecycle
2:16 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Someone is getting all minuses for being a sarcastic d1
1706. FLKEYSRADIO
2:16 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Johnny!!! Tell him what he's won!!


I'm assuming he's correct...
1704. Gatorx
2:15 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
FLKEYSRADIO-

For fifty points and the daily double...

What is Camille?
1703. jake436
2:14 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Which one are you talking about SWFLBoy?
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271
1701. Gatorx
2:13 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Stop picking on Taz ..Gulf...he's the one of the best.
1699. Randrewl
2:12 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
You're getting minused for continuing the ridiculous, redundant XTRP comments.
We all know it is NOT a model!
Member Since: June 8, 2006 Posts: 114 Comments: 31581
1698. HCW
2:12 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
I love it when some troll gives you a minus for a post that is 100% correct

Google it if you don't believe me


XTRAP is a line indicating the current direction of the storm, it is not a model

Link
Member Since: August 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1406
1697. FLKEYSRADIO
2:12 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Okay... here's a History question and 50 bonus points for anyone who can answer it:

Has there ever been a storm that COMPLETELY blew off all the models and marched to the beat of it's own drum? Even whe ALL the models were in agreement having a storm go elsewhere?

Just curious...
1696. Gatorx
2:11 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Nash-

Its just alot of sarcasm....
1694. Randrewl
2:10 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Someone tell me who said the XTRP was a model?
Member Since: June 8, 2006 Posts: 114 Comments: 31581
1693. weathermanwannabe
2:10 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
The Ridging factor may be exactly what the early models are looking at in terms of the possible track of 96L, but, too far out to tell...with all of the ongoing Trofs in action, this will not be a "player" unless it stays to the south; if it does show initial motion towards the North, it's going to get swatted away like Gordon and Helene
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8785
1692. jake436
2:09 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Actually, sandcrab, those two could have been Verde storms, but the archive only plots from depression to hurricane. They may have been waves from the Verde region before they became depressions in the Carribbean.
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271
1691. HCW
2:08 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Explain to me how Xtrap is a model Mr Great one .


Member Since: August 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1406
1690. Gatorx
2:08 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
greenman-

sorry for forgetting you..of course Ireland would still be interested in Gordon. I am just amazed that it is still a hurricane...compact size- that has to be the ticket.
1689. jake436
2:07 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Posted By: sandcrab39565 at 1:54 PM GMT on September 20, 2006.

Jake, I did some reasearch yesterday and in the month of OCT. the last year a storm hit the se USA was 1964 that was a Verde storm, I did not dig real deep but as a quick search that was what I found.


I archived 1964 on this site and did not find a Verde storm that impacted the US in October that year, however, two Carribbean storms did. They probably formed off cold fronts, but alas, I was not around to watch until 5 years later, the year of Camille.
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271
1687. nash28
2:06 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Ok Gulf, what did I miss?? I must not have been around when people were using the Xtrap as a model.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
1686. livinwcanes
2:05 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Good morning all,

I'm not a "West wisher" by any means, but does it seem that most of the models are predicting sometype of ridge to be across the Atlantic after Helene goes by? Wouldn't that force 96L (if it survives) to head toward the US? Just trying to staty informed.
1685. K8eCane
2:04 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
with models available that are as accurate as they are, why do we need forecasters?
Member Since: April 26, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 3075
1683. HCW
2:03 PM GMT on September 20, 2006


96LINVEST.20kts-1010mb-85N-275WLink

Once again Xtrap is not model
Member Since: August 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1406
1680. Gatorx
2:01 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Randrewl at 1:58 PM GMT on September 20, 2006.

Pressurized at 1010mb and 20kts


FYI Rand..until this storm is named I will refer to it as "May West"...96L seems too impersonal
1679. Randrewl
1:58 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Pressurized at 1010mb and 20kts!
Member Since: June 8, 2006 Posts: 114 Comments: 31581
1678. Zaphod
1:58 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
I like to think the XTRP comments are all sarcastic. As often as that gets covered here I can't imagine anyone other than a newbie doesn't understand by now.

Zap
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 3239
1677. Randrewl
1:57 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
swFLboy...Not to worry. I agreed with you!
Who cares....she is pretty haggard looking.

But we still have this:

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.0 / 947.3mb/115.0kt
Member Since: June 8, 2006 Posts: 114 Comments: 31581
1675. Zaphod
1:55 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Anybody have any thoughts on the little spin S of Cuba? Doesn't seem to have much convection, but just a little popcorn starting up. So far this season the spin-down attempts have all failed.....will this one too?
Zap
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 3239
1674. Gatorx
1:55 PM GMT on September 20, 2006
Rand-

When you are finished stuffing your face with waffles, could you please let me know the pressure on 96L. pleaaase

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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.