Gordon hits the Azores; new Invest 96L; Helene heads out to sea

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:15 PM GMT on September 20, 2006

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A strong tropical wave with plenty of heavy thunderstorm activity and some low-level spin has developed near 9N 29W, about 450 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. This wave has been officially designated as "Invest 96L" by the Hurricane Center this morning. The storm is under about 10 knots of vertical wind shear and is over warm ocean waters of about 28C, so some slow development is possible over the next few days as it moves west-northwest over the open Atlantic. Most of the models predict slow development will occur, but none develop it into a hurricane. The long range GFS model predicts that this system will pass north of the Lesser Antilles Islands and possibly threaten Bermuda before recurving out to sea.


Figure 1. Preliminary model tracks for Invest 96L.

Hurricane Helene headed out to sea
Hurricane Helene has begun her expected turn towards the northwest, and is on track to recurve harmlessly out to sea. Helene has weakened some since yesterday--wind shear from the trough to her west has eroded the cloud pattern on that side, and the storm now has a distinctly lopsided appearance on satellite imagery. Helen is still over relatively warm water and under light wind shear, so may be able to reintensify into a Category 3 hurricane later today or tomorrow.


Figure 2. This morning's line-up of storms. Image credit: Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey.

Gordon pounds the Azores
Hurricane Gordon whipped through the Azores islands this morning as a Category 1 hurricane, but preliminary reports indicate no deaths or injuries occurred, and little damage was reported. Animations of satellite microwave imagery from CIMSS show that the center of Gordon passed over the southeastern-most island of Santa Maria, where power outages and fallen trees blocking roads created some minor problems. Winds on Santa Maria Island at 8am local time peaked at 56 mph, gusting to 82 mph. Gordon is rapidly weakening over cold waters, and is expected to become a powerful extratropical storm this afternoon. Gordon may cause trouble for golf's Ryder Cup in Ireland, due to begin Friday. Gordon is expected to move over or just offshore Ireland as a powerful extratropical storm on Friday and stall there, bringing high winds and intermittent heavy rain to Ireland for several days.

Hurricane history of the Azores
The Portuguese-owned Azores Islands, located about 1,500 km (930 miles) off the western coast of Europe, does not have a long and storied hurricane history. The ocean waters surrounding the islands are typically 22-23 C during hurricane season, which is 4-5 C below what is needed to sustain a hurricane. Occasionally, a fast-moving hurricane caught in the jet stream can make it all the way to the islands before decaying to a tropical storm; Gordon is the ninth hurricane since 1900 that managed to affect the Azores. All of these were Category 1 storms except for a Category 2 storm in 1926. I could find no mention anywhere of any deaths or damage having occurred as the result of these hurricanes.

The last time a hurricane hit the Azores was in 1998, when the not-so-terrible version of Hurricane Ivan passed through as a Category 1 storm. Ivan missed hitting any populated islands directly, and did little damage. Hurricane Emmy passed through the Azores in 1976 as a Category 1 storm. Emmy also did little damage, but tragically, a Venezuelan Air Force airplane carrying a school choir to Europe tried to land in the Azores at the height of the hurricane and crashed, killing all 68 people on board. The other major hurricane related tragedy to affect the islands occurred on On September 21, 1957, when the German sailing ship Pamir, with 86 crewmen aboard, was caught in Category 1 Hurricane Carrie. The ship sank, and only six survivors were found after a massive rescue effort. The shipwreck received enormous international media attention as a result and was perceived as a worldwide tragedy.

My next update will be Friday morning.
Jeff Masters

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1398. ihave27windows
2:22 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
See, what all of you don't realize is at the beginning of this season I put a hex on the Atlantic Basin. So I am directly responsible for the very slow hurricane season....Not Pres. Bush, like everyone thinks, it was me.

Now, you can all relax knowing that I am in complete control of the tropics....AND THAT IS WRITTEN IN STONE!
Member Since: July 19, 2005 Posts: 108 Comments: 14927
1397. jake436
2:19 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Hey 27, visited your photos. Nice yard...love the sago palms. You really do have 27 windows...
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271
1396. Dr. Jeff Masters , Director of Meteorology (Admin)
2:18 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
There's a new blog.

Jeff Masters
1395. WPBHurricane05
2:18 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
i wanna westcast...

i see 96L is now going west, should be near Jamaica next Friday
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
1394. jake436
2:16 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Posted By: ihave27windows at 2:15 PM GMT on September 21, 2006.

Hi Doug.....I would give it several more days for Y'all. The front is in N. Texas....it will probably take a couple of days to get here.....but what do I know?

Sorry, I can't forecast, wishcast, or westcast....lol


So now we're "eastcasting"?
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271
1393. snowboy
2:16 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
So it looks like a quiet day, with Helene stirring up the fish and 96L trying to coalesce around a center. Amazing that there's nothing doing in the GOM or Caribbean. Be thankful.
Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2547
1392. StormJunkie
2:16 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Morning again y'all.

Just on a quick break. Keeping an eye on 96, but looks as if it should recurve at some point even if not right now...

Looking for some of the best weather sites on the web? Forecast models, imagery, marine data, wind data, preparedness info, and much more-StormJunkie.com

Back to work. See y'all later
SJ
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16821
1390. ihave27windows
2:15 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Hi Doug.....I would give it several more days for Y'all. The front is in N. Texas....it will probably take a couple of days to get here.....but what do I know?

Sorry, I can't forecast, wishcast, or westcast....lol
Member Since: July 19, 2005 Posts: 108 Comments: 14927
1388. Stormin27
2:14 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Jake yeah I was kinda worried about saying I did mold and restoration. I hear the scam artists were out in full force in the gulf after Katrina. We had been asked by a company that is in florida to come to the gulf and help. We declined and they are in a worl of trouble now due to unscrupulous activity. I have a good amount of friends in MS, and contimplated heading down but just never did it.
1385. jake436
2:12 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Posted By: PensacolaDoug at 2:09 PM GMT on September 21, 2006.

"Bold" is admitting you're an insurance adjuster on the Gulf coast. Or is that "foolish"?


While we're in bold, I'll say again, INDEPENDENT!!!!! The more you get, the more I get paid!!!!!




I'm so confused....
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271
1384. PensacolaDoug
2:11 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Mornin' IH27W.

Rain again in our neighborhood? When?
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 568
1383. WPBHurricane05
2:11 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
1382. aghman
2:10 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
So, whats up with the tropical cyclone in the Arabian Sea? I know that its not an unprecidented occurance, but I was wondering how often a cyclone forms there?
1381. WPBHurricane05
2:10 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
stop it!!


Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
1380. PensacolaDoug
2:09 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
"Bold" is admitting you're an insurance adjuster on the Gulf coast. Or is that "foolish"?






I'm so confused....
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 568
1379. ihave27windows
2:09 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Good Morning all

Rain rolling in from the GOM.....then another front. Autumn is upon us.

Hooray!
Member Since: July 19, 2005 Posts: 108 Comments: 14927
1378. kmanislander
2:08 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
TD06

I see you are controlling "bold" lol
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
1377. armadillosam
2:08 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Is anything developing in the gulf?
1375. kmanislander
2:07 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
off to work
bb later
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
1373. PensacolaDoug
2:06 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Not tropics but it is weather.

Check out the central Colorado rockies forecast.
It's not unusual to get a dusting on the peaks in Sept but the high country has been getting pounded since last nite and is forecasted to to get lots more 'tween now and Sat. Hope this is a good sign for the upcomming ski season!
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 568
1372. jake436
2:05 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Posted By: Stormin27 at 2:01 PM GMT on September 21, 2006.

Jake: No i dont mind at all. We own two companies one is a real estate appraisal firm and the other is a restoration companie (water, fire, mold). Needless to say the wife and I keep pretty busy.


My father used to own ServiceMaster Greater New Orleans in the 70's and 80's. Now I do something kinda like appraisal work as an INDEPENDENT insurance adjuster. (brave to admit adjuster while near Gulf Coast)...
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271
1371. kmanislander
2:04 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
whats bold ?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
1367. Stormin27
2:01 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Jake: No i dont mind at all. We own two companies one is a real estate appraisal firm and the other is a restoration companie (water, fire, mold). Needless to say the wife and I keep pretty busy.
1365. jake436
1:59 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Posted By: kmanislander at 1:54 PM GMT on September 21, 2006.

good morning all

96L has still not consolidated a center. The Navy position of 12N is tracking an area of spin that is void of convection. It seems to be moving to the NW.
However, there is a blob of convection to its S on the 10N lat line that appears to be developing as a low center. Depending on which one wins will determine where 96L goes

The area near 12 with no convection is easy to see on the loop in the zoom setting
Link


See my post at 1:41...I agree
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271
1362. WPBHurricane05
1:55 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
TD06 please stop that

Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
1361. kmanislander
1:54 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
good morning all

96L has still not consolidated a center. The Navy position of 12N is tracking an area of spin that is void of convection. It seems to be moving to the NW.
However, there is a blob of convection to its S on the 10N lat line that appears to be developing as a low center. Depending on which one wins will determine where 96L goes

The area near 12 with no convection is easy to see on the loop in the zoom setting
Link
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
1356. WPBHurricane05
1:49 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
no update today :(

My next update will be Friday morning.
Jeff Masters
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
1352. Stormin27
1:44 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Patrap: I havent been in your neck of the woods since a year before Katrina. I want to take the wife down and show her around. I used to get in there about once a month in a past life
1349. jake436
1:42 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Posted By: ricderr at 1:41 PM GMT on September 21, 2006.

morning boys and girls...just a quick peek in...before i hit that road...you folks....enjoy your day..and pat..if you're still around.....what say those saints get their first loss monday?



That's just ugly...
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271
1348. jake436
1:41 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Posted By: StormW at 1:34 PM GMT on September 21, 2006.

Greetings gang!

Looks at AVN loop...sees 96L getting better organized...sees ULL to NW moving away, ventilating 96L...sees ridge building in north of 96L...discounts nothward motion at this time




If the blob at 10N 34W decides to be 96L's center, than I would agree with you Storm W.
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271

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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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