94L still disorganized; Hurricane Gordon bearing down on the Azores

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:44 PM GMT on August 19, 2012

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A tropical wave (Invest 94L) located midway between the Lesser Antilles Islands and the coast of Africa is headed west at 20 - 25 mph. This storm is a threat to develop into a tropical storm that will affect the Lesser Antilles Islands as early as Wednesday. The storm is under light wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, and is over waters of 27°C. A large area of dry air lies just to the north of 94L, as seen on the latest Saharan Air Layer (SAL) analysis and water vapor satellite loops. This dry air is interfering with development, and this morning's visible satellite loop shows that 94L's heavy thunderstorm activity is a bit sparse. The storm does have an impressive amount of spin at middle levels of the atmosphere, though. A pass from the Indian OceanSAT-2 satellite Saturday night at 10:06 pm EDT noted a broad, elongated center of nearly calm winds several hundred miles in diameter at the surface, and nothing resembling a well-organized closed surface circulation. 94L will pass near buoy 41041 on Monday morning. The first hurricane hunter mission into 94L is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Invest 94L.

Forecast for 94L
The latest 8 am EDT run of the SHIPS model predicts that wind shear will be low, 5 - 10 knots, and ocean temperatures will be near 27°C through Monday, then warm to 28°C by Tuesday night. As is typical with storms making the crossing from Africa to the Antilles, dry air to the north will likely interfere with development, and the SHIPS model predicts increased dry air as 94L approaches the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday. However, with shear expected to be low, dry air may be less of an issue for 94L than it was for Ernesto or TD 7. Our two best performing models--the GFS and ECMWF--have both been taking 94L through the Lesser Antilles with every run for the past 36 hours. Both models continue to agree on the timing, with 94L arriving Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The BAMM model, which performed as well as the ECMWF and GFS at 5-day forecasts in 2011, is showing a track just north of the Lesser Antilles. Given this agreement among our top three models for long-range forecasts, I give a 60% chance that 94L will pass through the Lesser Antilles. In their 8 am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 94L a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Tuesday morning. The GFS model has backed off on its forecast that 94L will develop into a hurricane before reaching the islands, and is now predicting 94L will be a tropical storm with 40 - 50 mph winds at that time. The ECMWF model does not develop 94L. It is unlikely that 94L will be able to organize quickly enough to become anything stronger than a Category 1 hurricane before reaching the islands, given the storm's current struggles with dry air, and the lack of model support for intensification. With 94L staying relatively weak and disorganized, the chances of it turning to the northwest and missing the Lesser Antilles, as the NOGAPS model has been predicting, are diminishing. The GFS model predicts that 94L will go on to hit the Dominican Republic as a strong tropical storm on Friday, though the storm could also miss the island, passing just to the north or the south. At longer ranges, the storm is capable of going anywhere from Canada to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula; it's too early to tell.


Figure 2. The 00Z (8 pm EDT) run of the GFS model from August 18, 2012, was done 20 different times at low resolution using slightly different initial conditions to generate an ensemble of forecasts (pink lines.) The high-resolution operational GFS forecast is shown in white. The GFS ensemble forecast is showing decreasing risk to the U.S. East Coast at long ranges, and an increasing risk to the Gulf Coast.

Gordon bears down on the Azores
Hurricane warnings are flying for the central and eastern Azores Islands as Hurricane Gordon barrels eastwards at 21 mph. Gordon's peak 110 mph winds it had last night made it the strongest hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season so far. Latest visible satellite loops show that cold water and high wind shear are taking a toll on Gordon, with the southern portion of the storm deteriorating and the eye beginning to open up. However, Gordon will still be a Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm when it passes through the Azores Monday morning. Winds at Ponta Delgada were 11 mph out of the east at 10 am EDT this morning, but will rise through the day as Gordon approaches.

Gordon is not a threat to any other land areas, and the extratropical remnants of Gordon will not bring any strong winds or significant rain to Europe. The last time the Azores were affected by a tropical storm was in 2009, when Tropical Storm Grace brought 65 mph winds on October 4. No significant damage was reported. Ironically, the last hurricane to affect the Azores was the 2006 version of Hurricane Gordon, which caused minor damage in the Azores, consisting of mostly fallen trees and power outages. However, after Gordon became an extratropical low, four injuries due to falling debris from high wind were reported in Spain, and Gordon brought high winds and rain that affected practice rounds at the Ryder Cup golf tournament in Ireland.


Figure 3. MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Gordon taken on Saturday August 18, 2012, at 11:50 am EDT. At the time, Gordon was a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Its possible one of those things happen, but not both. If this goes to the Caribbean, it will be weak, at least until it gets to the Gulf/far west Caribbean. If it is to become a major quickly like he suggests it has to go north.


I was think maybe you are right track I was following on the lines of the GFS and the TVCN and I only put the intensity that high due to what the SHIPS was showing that is all there is no bias to it
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Im to the point where Im ignoring anyone that doesn't have something "Decent" to say...
basically, wunderkid is about to meet my ignore list...


dude look this is decent I am curently thinking that I am wrong with my model but I am not being bias with it track was just due to the GFS and TVCN and intensity was due to the SHIPS I don't think this will play out exactly like this and I don't think intensity will be this high ok
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12180
Quoting Tropicalupdate:
Which one of those two u think will become TD 9 first?

You should know by now that Pat doesn't forecast :)
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1361. Patrap
Quoting superpete:
94L showing a westward/ south-westward movement. Clearly visible on JSL Floater ( link encl')

Link




A short term response from the Overall tightening in the South and Se Quads with the inflow.

Also the forward quick pace tends to increase that as well,when they occur together.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
1360. Levi32
Quoting StormJunkie:


NNE maybe? I don't think it could go NE. Still not sure though. Maybe Levi or someone could chime in on that. Again though, going with the last forecast for Helena, the typical track of storms so far this year...I'm guessing it is headed right back over land.


A piece could split off and run NE along the front into Louisiana, which is what some models suggest will happen, but at least a piece should also be left behind as the upper trough to the north finally moves on, and with high pressure rebuilding to the north in its wake, that piece would likely be forced back westward into Mexico or Texas. It's kind of like a trough-split that ends up retrograding westward, like most systems that form on the tail-end of fronts in the gulf.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
1359. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting Levi32:


It's a pretty large system so it's definitely possible, but given how far north it is already you are likely to miss the bulk of the storm.


but it has been well documented that the ridge is strong enough that it could force 94L to move WSW for a time, therefore negating how far north it is now
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7829
And as a reminder...What they really look like. Just to make sure level heads prevail.




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Hi everyone. I am new to this blog but am impressed with many of the posts here. I know it is way too early in the game to predict the ultimate fate of 94L. But any direct or indirect (remnants etc) effects from a tropical system here in NJ this year would not be welcome, as many areas are still recovering from the river flooding that Irene brought last year.
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1355. SLU
Very strong agreement from most of the models even 5 days out which is rare. Add the EURO to the mix and it too ends up south of Jamaica in 5 days. The UKMET is the only one of the respectable models that goes north of the Caribbean ... only just.

Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5281
Quoting stormpetrol:
I don't think 94L will recurve before the western Caribbean, this one could well end up in the GOM.




or me 94L wont go out too sea nop am 100% sure on that
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115252
Quoting Patrap:
94L Rainbow




95L Rainbow



Actual Rainbow


Which one of those two u think will become TD 9 first?
Member Since: June 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 93
Quoting StormJunkie:


NNE maybe? I don't think it could go NE. Still not sure though. Maybe Levi or someone could chime in on that. Again though, going with the last forecast for Helena, the typical track of storms so far this year...I'm guessing it is headed right back over land.


I do know that several of the models had a system hitting the northern gulf in a few days from now, this was back when Helene existed lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7829
I don't think 94L will recurve before the western Caribbean, this one could well end up in the GOM.
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1350. aquak9
Quoting JBirdFireMedic:


27.17N 90.58W here. GC680. Same conditions.
Yes it will be.
Watching 94L closely for the next week as well.


Anadarko, copy.
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It's hard for a storm to run ne when the front has already moved ne of the system. It may stall as the NHC says and be picked up by the next trough. Usually to the nw at first. So to me a lot depends on how far east 95l may drift or form as to how close it will get to Texas.
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1347. Levi32
Quoting barbados246:
Hey Levi do you think we here in barbados would get any rains or gusts from 94L?


It's a pretty large system so it's definitely possible, but given how far north it is already you are likely to miss the bulk of the storm.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting yoboi:


95 is getting some good spin going this eve...



yep


95L will be the I storm 1st
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115252
Quoting Hurricanes101:


why would it go right back west or NW if there is a front right in the vicinity?

wouldn't that move it NE?


NNE maybe? I don't think it could go NE. Still not sure though. Maybe Levi or someone could chime in on that. Again though, going with the last forecast for Helena, the typical track of storms so far this year...I'm guessing it is headed right back over land.
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hmmm... the race for Isaac... lol in my opinion I think 95L will get it because of how close it is to land and looking at the spin it's gained over the last several frames....

kinda has me worried a lil
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1343. isuxn2
Going to be like Fredrick 1979.
 
http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/at19796.asp ?feature=hurricanemovie
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1342. yoboi
Quoting Tazmanian:



yes it would i think the hole blog would be mad with 95L too


95 is getting some good spin going this eve...
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94L showing a westward/ south-westward movement. Clearly visible on JSL Floater ( link encl')

Link
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1340. Patrap
94L Rainbow




95L Rainbow



Actual Rainbow


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
Quoting washingtonian115:
All I know is I don't want no hurricane running up the coast .


Uh-greed!
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Quoting Felix2007:
So which one do you guys think will win the race to Isaac, 94L or 95L?
94L is closer.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

LOL.

Im to the point where Im ignoring anyone that doesn't have something "Decent" to say...
basically, wunderkid is about to meet my ignore list...
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Quoting Levi32:

Hey Levi do you think we here in barbados would get any rains or gusts from 94L?

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All I know is I don't want no hurricane running up the coast .
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17149
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Wouldn't it be something if this becomes Isaac...

better not. they should just call it helene again
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Quoting Felix2007:
So which one do you guys think win the race to Isaac, 94L or 95L?


Not sure about Isaac, but to TD I am betting on 95 strictly due to its proximity to land.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Wouldn't it be something if this becomes Isaac...



The race to Issac....
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Why am I not surprised you have it going right over the caymans as a major hurricane?

Its possible one of those things happen, but not both. If this goes to the Caribbean, it will be weak, at least until it gets to the Gulf/far west Caribbean. If it is to become a major quickly like he suggests it has to go north.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Why am I not surprised you have it going right over the caymans as a major hurricane?


no its not over the cayman islands at all its south of there and interms of intensity is due to the SHIPS
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12180
18z GFS Should be running within the hour. I'm interested in seeing if it sticks with a gulf storm.
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Quoting Felix2007:


Which would mean it's not going to the Gulf seeing as Texas is still shown as bone dry.

Gosh knows what gets plugged into those precipitation models. And unplugged.
Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3276
Quoting Felix2007:
So which one do you guys think win the race to Isaac, 94L or 95L?

94L by far.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32335
Quoting StormJunkie:


Sure does y'all. That's why they have labeled it invest 95L (L is used for Atlantic storms). And may actually develop before it heads back in to Mexico or extreme S Texas. Glad to help out anytime I can, although I'm not an expert by any means. Always learning just like y'all.


why would it go right back west or NW, isn't there is a front right in the vicinity?

wouldn't that move it NE?
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7829
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Wouldn't it be something if this becomes Isaac...




yes it would i think the hole blog would be mad with 95L too
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115252
So which one do you guys think will win the race to Isaac, 94L or 95L?
Member Since: July 12, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 383
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Why am I not surprised you have it going right over the caymans as a major hurricane?

LOL.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32335
Quoting canehater1:


There is a trough in SW Gulf and now an unusually
strong front is pushing South and will stall from
SE La. to Tx/Mx border. I am in Central Gulf at
27.7 N and 92 W We have had 20-30 kt S-SW winds
all day and now getting storms along the frontal
boundary..More like a Fall type event.... will be
interesting to see what happens with Helenes remnants
and the frontal boudary once it goes stationary.


27.17N 90.58W here. GC680. Same conditions.
Yes it will be.
Watching 94L closely for the next week as well.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
You on to something Pat?.I'm not yet sold on a Caribbean cruzer yet.I think a Irene track is more likely.JMO....


Or Floyd, Bertha(96).

Please God no!
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Wouldn't it be something if this becomes Isaac...

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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
CPC has a lot of green in the East... I don't know if that's 94L related though.



Which would mean it's not going to the Gulf seeing as Texas is still shown as bone dry and the rest of the Gulf is average.
Member Since: July 12, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 383
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
ok my model is in gray and labled CHC

it is a mix of the TCVN and the AVNI



intensity forecast mine is in Gray



Why am I not surprised you have it going right over the caymans as a major hurricane?
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Center is certainly at aprx. 15n or just south of that. But there does appear to be multiple areas trying to spin up in what i believe the NHC described earlier as a monsoonal trough. That's why I believe this is tough to come up with a long range track at this time.
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95L has quite a little circulation going with it...
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Quoting presslord:
Does it ever occur to any of you arrogant asshats that there might be more to it than just spelling and grammar?!?!


Nah, because correcting the spelling and grammar of complete strangers on the internet, who won't appreciate the correction anyway, is always such an efficient use of everyone's time that we'll do that first.

On topic, someone mentioned webcams for the Azores? Any links still available?
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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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