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Bud the strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane so early in the year; 94L may develop

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:14 PM GMT on May 25, 2012

Category 2 Hurricane Bud is weakening, but still presents a formidable rainfall threat as it continues north-northeast towards an expected landfall between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico late Friday night. Thursday night at 11 pm EDT, Bud peaked at Category 3 status, with 115 mph winds, becoming the earliest Category 3 hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific. Recent Satellite loops show that Bud has weakened, though. The eye has disappeared, and the cloud pattern has shrunk and appears squashed, due to an increase in dry air, wind shear, and cooler sea surface temperatures affecting the storm. These hostile conditions should continue to weaken Bud to a Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm by the time of landfall. Bud is projected to cross the coast in a rugged, relatively unpopulated area, so wind and storm surge damage will probably be light to moderate. Heavy rain will cover a much wider area, and will be the main threat from Bud. The coast where Bud is headed towards is very mountainous, and numerous flash floods and dangerous mudslides will affect the region, probably including the cities of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. I don't think Puerto Vallarta will see much in the way of wind or storm surge damage, since it is in a well-protected location and will probably be on the weak (left-front) side of the hurricane. Manzanillo is at higher risk, since it will probably be on the stronger right-front side of the hurricane.


Figure 1. True-color satellite image of Hurricane Bud taken at 12:25 pm EDT May 24, 2012. At the time, Bud was a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

A record May for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season
Bud is the strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane on record for so early in the year, and is tied with Hurricane Alma of 2002 (115 mph winds) as the second strongest May hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific. Only Hurricane Adolph of 2001 (145 mph winds) was stronger. Also, Bud's appearance on May 21 marked the earliest date since record keeping began in 1949 for formation of the season's second named storm. The previous record was set in 1984, when the second named storm formed on May 29. Hurricanes are uncommon in the Eastern Pacific in May; there have been just twelve since record keeping began in 1949--an average of one May hurricane every five years. If Bud ends up making landfall in Mexico as a hurricane, it would be only the second Eastern Pacific May hurricane on record to hit Mexico. The other was Hurricane Agatha of May 24, 1971, which hit the same stretch of coast that Bud is threatening. Agatha made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane about 45 mi (75 km) from Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Ocean temperatures this year in the region where Aletta and Bud formed are only slightly above average, so the large-scale atmospheric patterns are probably more to blame for this year's exceptionally early start to hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Invest 94L.

Invest 94L off the Georgia coast could develop this weekend
An area of disturbed weather (Invest 94L) a few hundred miles east of the Georgia coast is headed northeast at about 15 mph. The disturbance has not become more organized over the past day, due to very high wind shear of 40 - 55 knots. However, the latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that wind shear will drop to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, on Saturday and Sunday. Most of our reliable models predict that 94L could organize into a subtropical or tropical depression or storm on Saturday or Sunday off the coast of Georgia/South Carolina. NHC is giving 94L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical or subtropical depression by Sunday morning. A ridge of high pressure is expected to build in over the weekend off the East Coast, which will force 94L to the west back towards the coast, and heavy rains from 94L are likely to begin affecting coastal South Carolina, Georgia, and Northern Florida on Saturday and Sunday. There is a lot of dry, continental air on the west side of 94L, so the rainfall amounts from the storm will be limited unless until the center makes landfall. If these rains do materialize, they would be welcome, considering the moderate to severe drought conditions in the area.

I'll have an update Saturday.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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1032. cg2916
12:52 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Get ready for one wide cone of uncertainty.


Can't be worse than Bud's.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1031. Stormchaser2007
12:52 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting Skyepony:
.



Yeah must apologize~ I have totally trolled this storm every six years;)


No need to. Very well played and made me actually laugh.

I remember the OG-Bud from 2006. Didn't form until July.

Been here many-a-day.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1030. cg2916
12:52 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
The blog is...OVER 9000!!!!!!!!.


What is the record on here for the most comments?
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1029. weatherh98
12:52 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
I betcha they are trying to figure out wether it should be subtropical or tropical
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1028. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:52 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
That ASCAT pass will push them over the edge.

Some crazy high RC reading in the convection.

What's RC?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1027. Patrap
12:51 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Three Crow Recipes



AL942012 - INVEST

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1026. Skyepony (Mod)
12:50 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
The Windsat looks a bit elongated. North side of the version I posted looks a little troughy on the N end. It's very close.
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1024. washingtonian115
12:50 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
The blog is...OVER 9000!!!!!!!!.
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1023. GTcooliebai
12:49 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
Woot. Seems we'll be having Beryl at 11pm.
Get ready for one wide cone of uncertainty.
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1022. Stormchaser2007
12:49 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
That ASCAT pass will push them over the edge.

Some crazy high RC reading in the convection.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1021. cg2916
12:48 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Up to 5 comments a minute. The blog has kicked into 2nd gear!
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1020. cg2916
12:47 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting NICycloneChaser:


You managed to get that as the 1000th post! Nice job.


Perfection!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1019. cg2916
12:47 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting Patrap:


Convection cutting into the dry air.
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1018. Skyepony (Mod)
12:47 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico %u2014 Bud weakened to a tropical storm Friday as it headed toward a string of laid-back beach resorts and small mountain villages on Mexico's Pacific coast south of Puerto Vallarta. Two people, one of them from France, were reported missing in a separate storm in Cuba.

94L has probably killed already...

& no real surprise Bud went for the laid back resorts..

Quoting Stormchaser2007:


This.


Yeah must apologize~ I have totally trolled this storm every six years;)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1017. WeatherNerdPR
12:47 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Woot. Seems we'll be having Beryl at 11pm.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1016. cg2916
12:46 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Fresh scat:



Looks closed, but can't tell on the NE end.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1015. cg2916
12:46 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting LargoFl:
ok where is the crow? lol


Come on, Taz!
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1014. NICycloneChaser
12:46 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
845 PM EDT FRI MAY 25 2012

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...


You managed to get that as the 1000th post! Nice job.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1013. cg2916
12:45 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting CybrTeddy:
100% on 94L. Advisories initiated later tonight.

There you go folks.


Heck of a start to 2012.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1012. LargoFl
12:45 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
well congrats folks, we did it, over 1000 posts in one day,Beryl..thank you for making this one interesting day,well have a great night everyone...and have a Safe Holiday weekend ok
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1011. BrickellBreeze
12:45 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting CosmicEvents:
Owners of hotels, restaurants, marinas and such from Hatteras to Daytona, plus the owners of that Disney place in Florida, are hoping the guests get on the road at least before this borderline call gets made. Also, the longer the NHC delays and with each model run that looks to high confidence track to Jax area the further south the watches/warnings are needed.


Looks like a Landfall around Jacksonville, Florida
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1010. MiamiHurricanes09
12:45 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Fresh scat:

Still a bit broad, but passes as a tropical cyclone with flying colors.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1009. Patrap
12:45 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1008. GTcooliebai
12:44 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
845 PM EDT FRI MAY 25 2012

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

SATELLITE PICTURES AND REPORTS FROM NOAA BUOY 41002 INDICATE THAT
THE LOW PRESSURE AREA...CENTERED ABOUT 300 MILES EAST OF CHARLESTON
SOUTH CAROLINA...IS BECOMING BETTER DEFINED AND HAS DEVELOPED
THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY NEAR THE CENTER. IF CURRENT TRENDS
CONTINUE...ADVISORIES COULD BE INITIATED LATER TONIGHT. THIS SYSTEM
HAS A HIGH CHANCE...NEAR 100 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A SUBTROPICAL OR
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. LITTLE MOTION IS
EXPECTED TONIGHT...BUT A WEST-SOUTHWESTWARD OR SOUTHWESTWARD MOTION
SHOULD BEGIN TOMORROW AND CONTINUE THROUGH SUNDAY. COASTAL
INTERESTS FROM THE CAROLINAS SOUTHWARD THROUGH NORTHEASTERN FLORIDA
SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM OVER THE MEMORIAL DAY
WEEKEND. IN ADDITION...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND FLOODING WILL
CONTINUE THROUGH AT LEAST TONIGHT OVER PORTIONS OF CENTRAL CUBA AND
THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS
SYSTEM...PLEASE SEE HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE...AND PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

&&
What a post for the 1000th post! Looks like Beryl by the 11 pm. advisory.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1007. cg2916
12:44 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
That's 1000!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1006. CybrTeddy
12:44 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
100% on 94L. Advisories initiated later tonight.

There you go folks.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1005. Stormchaser2007
12:44 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Fresh scat:

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1004. LargoFl
12:43 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
845 PM EDT FRI MAY 25 2012

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

SATELLITE PICTURES AND REPORTS FROM NOAA BUOY 41002 INDICATE THAT
THE LOW PRESSURE AREA...CENTERED ABOUT 300 MILES EAST OF CHARLESTON
SOUTH CAROLINA...IS BECOMING BETTER DEFINED AND HAS DEVELOPED
THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY NEAR THE CENTER. IF CURRENT TRENDS
CONTINUE...ADVISORIES COULD BE INITIATED LATER TONIGHT. THIS SYSTEM
HAS A HIGH CHANCE...NEAR 100 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A SUBTROPICAL OR
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. LITTLE MOTION IS
EXPECTED TONIGHT...BUT A WEST-SOUTHWESTWARD OR SOUTHWESTWARD MOTION
SHOULD BEGIN TOMORROW AND CONTINUE THROUGH SUNDAY. COASTAL
INTERESTS FROM THE CAROLINAS SOUTHWARD THROUGH NORTHEASTERN FLORIDA
SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM OVER THE MEMORIAL DAY
WEEKEND. IN ADDITION...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND FLOODING WILL
CONTINUE THROUGH AT LEAST TONIGHT OVER PORTIONS OF CENTRAL CUBA AND
THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS
SYSTEM...PLEASE SEE HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE...AND PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

&&
ok where is the crow? lol
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1003. Patrap
12:43 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1002. LargoFl
12:43 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1001. ProgressivePulse
12:43 AM GMT on May 26, 2012
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
845 PM EDT FRI MAY 25 2012

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

SATELLITE PICTURES AND REPORTS FROM NOAA BUOY 41002 INDICATE THAT
THE LOW PRESSURE AREA...CENTERED ABOUT 300 MILES EAST OF CHARLESTON
SOUTH CAROLINA...IS BECOMING BETTER DEFINED AND HAS DEVELOPED
THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY NEAR THE CENTER. IF CURRENT TRENDS
CONTINUE...ADVISORIES COULD BE INITIATED LATER TONIGHT. THIS SYSTEM
HAS A HIGH CHANCE...NEAR 100 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A SUBTROPICAL OR
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. LITTLE MOTION IS
EXPECTED TONIGHT...BUT A WEST-SOUTHWESTWARD OR SOUTHWESTWARD MOTION
SHOULD BEGIN TOMORROW AND CONTINUE THROUGH SUNDAY. COASTAL
INTERESTS FROM THE CAROLINAS SOUTHWARD THROUGH NORTHEASTERN FLORIDA
SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM OVER THE MEMORIAL DAY
WEEKEND. IN ADDITION...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND FLOODING WILL
CONTINUE THROUGH AT LEAST TONIGHT OVER PORTIONS OF CENTRAL CUBA AND
THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS
SYSTEM...PLEASE SEE HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE...AND PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

&&
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
T.C.F.W.
00L/INV/TS
MARK
32.47N/75.15W
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
As far as track, I'm on the north end of the consensus; thinking a landfall near Savannah, Georgia is the most probable at the given time. Intensity wise, the 00z SHIPS foresees that upper-level winds vanquish to around 16kts in about 12 hours, and get as low as 9kts in about 24 hours. With that being said, I do believe that 94L will make a run for hurricane status, contrary to popular belief amongst the intensity models. Probably won't achieve 65kts, but will definitely get close, as far as I'm concerned.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That's okay, Taz, I can go without seeing that.




LOL i was playing with you
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
1020mb pressure readings north of 94L.
High Pressure building in over it I see.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Models have updated with the majority of them taking 94L into Georgia.



Models will shift north and south.
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Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:




we can both do a snow dace of some kind a round a camp fire too pass the time i even put on a dress for you

That's okay, Taz, I can go without seeing that.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1020mb pressure readings north of 94L.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


I like Falcons:




slight similarity


Who dat
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Owners of hotels, restaurants, marinas and such from Hatteras to Daytona, plus the owners of that Disney place in Florida, are hoping the guests get on the road at least before this borderline call gets made. Also, the longer the NHC delays and with each model run that looks to high confidence track to Jax area the further south the watches/warnings are needed.
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989. Skyepony (Mod)
Fresh ASCAT
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Two EF-3s on May 19:
May 19th Kingman & Harper County Tornadoes
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Shear dwindling further.

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Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Yes, more so than the National Weather Service is calling for. As 94L (Beryl) moves southwest tomorrow, we should get in on the heavy rainfall and gusty winds.


ok i have to get my neighbor to help me empty some containers in my yard then...Thank u
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Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:
The new TRMM of Bud is too sad to post. Kinda expected, usually you don't see sensational Mexican Bud.


This.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The wait is killing me.







we can both do a snow dace of some kind a round a camp fire too pass the time i even put on a dress for you
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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