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Invest 94L and the Lesser Antilles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 9:51 AM GMT on August 30, 2009

Hi, this is Dr. Rob Carver filling in for Dr. Masters. The convection associated with Invest 94L has intensified, prompting the NHC to issue an early Tropical Weather Outlook to update the situation. Essentially, people in the Lesser Antilles need to start paying attention to the seas and skies. Looking at the computer track models, the set of model solutions are fairly similar to the Saturday model runs. A set of dynamical models (GFDL, HWRF, NOGAPS) runs to the NE of the Antilles, while the simpler models (LBAR, BAM family) are more easterly and take 94L over the Antilles. I do not ascribe any significance to the 00Z GFS track following the simpler models over the dynamical models. From my examination of the 00Z GFS run, it looks like the simulated 94L weakens too much, so the automatic vortex tracker picks up another vorticity feature. As for the future of 94L, there is a large area of large wind shear to it's north. It will need to keep it's track at WNW-W for intensification.

Update at 6AM EDT
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the major hurricane in the Eastern Pacific, Jimena At this time, Jimena has a satellite-estimated maximum wind speed of 115 mph, making it a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Jimena has an impressive presentation in satellite imagery with a large area of cold anvil cirrus in the center of the storm. The following microwave imagery indicate the formation of a relatively potent central eyewall, which is responsible for intensification.

Fig. 1 SSMI 85 GHz PCT at 0244Z Aug 30. Image courtesy of NRL.

People along the western coast of Mexico and along along the Baja need to pay close attention to this dangerous storm. I emphasize that using the current track and intensity forecast, Jimena will be a Category 4 storm when it approaches the tip of Baja and a Category 3 storm when it makes landfall up the coast.

It is worth noting that if Jimena follows the more easterly tracks presented in the computer track forecasts, the remnants of Jimena could impact NM and western Texas.

I'll update this entry further in response to 94L's development.


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