94L in the Atlantic a threat to become a historic 2nd named storm in May - 5/25/12
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to my tropical weather update for Friday, May 25th, 2012. We are currently looking at in the tropical Atlantic at Invest 94L, currently off the Florida east coast. 94L is a very broad low but with a very good chance of development. Model support is unanimous at this time that 94L will develop into Sub-Tropical or Tropical Storm Beryl. If 94L does become Beryl, it would be unprecedented in the last 125 years since the 1887 Atlantic Hurricane season to have two named storms develop in the month of May. The National Hurricane Center is currently giving 94L a 70% chance of becoming Beryl.
(figure 1. Invest 94L in the Tropical Atlantic)
Where will 94L go and how strong will it get?
At this time as I earlier mentioned, 94L has nearly unanimous model support to develop into a tropical cyclone. The general consensus in track is that 94L will begin to slow down in a forward NE speed today then begin to retrograde back towards the US coast line anywhere from South Carolina to North Florida. The ECMWF is predicting that 94L will make landfall in North Florida, however the model consensus at this time is leaning more towards the East Coast, South Carolina to be more specific. It is too early really to say where 94L will hit exactly, other than it's probably not going out to sea and might stick around for a while bringing beneficial rainfall to the SE United States.
(figure 2. Current model track for 94L)
Wind shear over 94L is as expected for the month of May very high, 40kt plus, however this shear is predicted to lessen but still will be prudent over it. That will limit peak intensity to more than likely only 45mph and nothing higher. The main threat with 94L will be rainfall, with potential flooding.
(figure 3. Model intensity forecasts for 94L)
Is 94L's formation a sign of an active season?
Unlike Alberto, if we do end up with Beryl before the month of June then the answer is possibly. It is unlikely that 2012 will be as inactive as 2009 and 2006, but will be no where near as active as 2011 and 2010. Most seasonal forecasts are specific to the time period of June 1st - November 30th, and not so much anything before and after those dates. UKMO for example is only prediction 10 named in that time period, however if we do get Beryl before June 1st and the UKMO proves correct, the total will be 12 named storms obviously.
In short, these are my seasonal totals.
12 named storms.
I will have an update tomorrow.