94L to Gradually Develop, Lesser Antilles Threatened First

By: Levi32 , 3:11 PM GMT on August 19, 2012

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Hurricane Gordon continues to move northeastward and will scrape the southern Azores as it weakens below hurricane status during the next few days.

The remnants of Helene officially dissipated well inland over Mexico as per the NHC yesterday. However, this morning we see the remnant rotation in the low-mid levels directly above Tampico, Mexico, right on the coastline of the western gulf. This small disturbance still poses a threat to try to redevelop over the water as it gets drawn north by an upper-level trough, represented by a frontal boundary that is pushing towards the northern gulf waters. Model support for redevelopment has waned since yesterday, but Texas and North Mexico should not ignore Helene's remnants yet. Even if redevelopment does occur, the only change in the weather for the TX/MX coastlines will be slightly heavier rainfall than they are already getting. Louisiana will also be getting in on pulses of tropical rain over the next few days.

The big story continues to be Invest 94L in the eastern Atlantic. The system's organization has changed little since yesterday, and as expected it should take its time in developing during the next few days. Dry air to the north is getting entrained and is hampering the development of deep convection, and the main center is competing with a rather large envelope of low pressure to the south and southwest within the ITCZ/monsoon trough. The global models, specifically the GFS and ECMWF, are starting to pick up on the slower rate of development of 94L due to the time needed to consolidate a circulation within such a large area of low pressure, and both of these models have actually ceased to show significant strengthening of 94L before reaching the Antilles islands, at which point it becomes entangled with Hispaniola and Cuba on both models and never strengthens again. These jumpy changes in intensity forecasts are typical of models when they are struggling with resolving the development of a tropical system within a large area of low pressure, and until solid development occurs, I think they will continue to struggle a bit with how to handle 94L. My intensity forecast is unchanged from yesterday, and I think 94L should get named Isaac before reaching the northern Antilles Islands in about 4 days. Folks there and in Puerto Rico should expect a strengthening tropical storm on their doorstep as a good possibility by that time. Thereafter, land interaction will largely determine the intensity, and the track is not nailed down well enough yet to know exactly how that will unfold.

The track forecast continues to look threatening for not only the northeastern Caribbean Islands but also the eastern United States. The pattern itself over North America and the north Atlantic is a classic for an east coast hurricane threat. The question is just whether a storm will be in the correct position to take advantage of it. 94L may very well be, as long as it doesn't bomb out into a hurricane quickly, in which case it would recurve out to sea, likely between the eastern seaboard and Bermuda. The slow development of the storm now is bad news for the U.S. later, as slower development means a farther west and south track. While the global model solutions are currently erratic, due to their recognition of the struggles that 94L will face during its development, my long-range track has been nudged slightly to the southwest, but the forecast is largely an update of yesterday's.

We shall see what happens!



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11. caribbeantracker01
6:07 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
levi so the monsoonal low is not forecast to develop?
Member Since: May 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 553
10. watercayman
4:10 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Thanks Levi!
Member Since: September 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 82
9. Bluestorm5
3:49 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Thanks! My forecast from last night is like your, except I had 94L becoming a hurricane just northeast of Puerto Rico. This is going be a long week...
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 7910
8. AllyBama
3:36 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Thanks for the updates Levi. I will be watching!
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 132 Comments: 20635
7. AtHomeInTX
3:35 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Thanks Levi. We will be watching all this. :)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 679
6. acyddrop
3:34 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Thanks for the update Levi!
Member Since: October 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 48
5. washingtonian115
3:33 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Nice track Levi.I think 94L will start to pull north around Puerto Rico missing the island of Hispanola.South east coast needs to be on Guard.I think speed is stopping it from really organizing.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432
4. IFuSAYso
3:33 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
ty
Member Since: March 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 154
3. iluvocala
3:30 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Thanks for posting this, even a dummy like me understood most of it. Really interesting, I learn a lot from your updates, thanks for taking the time to do them.
Member Since: August 21, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 58
2. Chicklit
3:30 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
Thanks Levi, for your insight.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11178
1. floridaboy14
3:25 PM GMT on August 19, 2012
thanks Levi, is that why more ensemble members have been leaning closer to the east coast before because the weakness moves farther west?
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102

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Levi Cowan has been tracking tropical systems since 2002, and is currently working on his bachelor's degree in physics at UAF.

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