Hurricane warnings for Baja; 94L forming spiral bands

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 03:36 PM GMT am 31. August 2009

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Hurricane warnings are in effect for the southern tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, where powerful Hurricane Jimena is expected to make landfall Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. The hurricane is in an environment with low wind shear, 5 - 10 knots, and warm Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs), 30°C. Shear is expected to remain low, and SSTs will decline to 28°C with a corresponding decrease in total oceanic heat content between now and landfall, and these conditions should mean that Jimena will be a Category 3 or 4 hurricane at landfall. Outer rain-bands of the hurricane will be appearing on Los Cabos radar soon, though the Mexican Weather Service web site has been hard to reach today. The computer models are split, with one camp calling for a landfall in southern Baja, and the other camp calling for landfall farther north near central Baja. The official NHC forecast splits the difference between these two solutions, and landfall could occur anywhere along a long stretch of the Baja coast. At this point, the UKMET model's solution taking Jimena westward out to sea is being discounted, since it is an outlier.

After Jimena makes initial landfall on Baja, it will cross over the Gulf of California and make landfall on Mainland Mexico. Depending upon how up along the coast this second landfall occurs, Arizona may receive moisture from Jimena late this week that will be capable of causing flooding rains.


Figure 1. Image of Hurricane Jimena taken by NASA'a MODIS instrument at 2020 UTC Sunday, 8/30/09.

Invest 94L
The well-organized tropical wave (94L) near 14.5N, 52W, about 500 miles east of the central Lesser Antilles Islands, continues to be a threat to develop into a tropical depression. Visible satellite imagery and this morning's QuikSCAT pass do not show a surface circulation yet, though 94L does have a large envelope of moisture and some modest heavy thunderstorm activity. QuikSCAT noted winds up to 30 mph. Water vapor satellite loops show that 94L has moistened the region surrounding it considerably, and dry air from the Saharan Air Layer is not a major impediment to development. Wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots, and the ocean temperature are a moderately warm 28°C. Visible satellite loops over the past two hours show low-level spiral bands developing on 94L's northeast side, and I give a 70% chance the Hurricane Hunters will find a tropical depression or tropical storm on Tuesday when they investigate 94L.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of 94L, showing low-level spiral bands developing on the northeast side.

The center of 94L probably passed over Buoy 41040, located at 14.5N, 53W over the past hour. Winds blew northeasterly early this morning, then went calm, then shifted to southerly late this morning. The winds were less than 10 knots during the center passage, so the circulation of 94L is not yet well-defined. The pressure fell significantly as 94L moved over the buoy (seen only after one removes the wiggles due to daily atmospheric tide effect present in the tropics). 94L will appear on Martinique radar on Tuesday.

The forecast for 94L
Shear will remain low, 5 -10 knots, over the next 5 days, SSTs will be warm, in the 28 - 29°C range, and dry air should have only a minor inhibiting effect, so I can't see anything that will prevent 94L from developing into a tropical depression over the next 1 - 2 days. The HWRF model develops 94L into a hurricane 4 days from now, as does the SHIPS intensity model, but other models, such as the GFDL, ECMWF, and GFS, do not develop 94L at all.

Model solutions for the track of 94L are divergent. Water vapor satellite loops show two upper-level lows to the north and northwest of 94L that are pulling the storm to the west-northwest, and 94L's motion is expected to range between the west-northwest and northwest over the next three days. By Tuesday, 94L will slow down from its current 15 mph forward speed to about 10 mph. Most of the models predict that the steering influence of the upper-level lows will pull 94L far enough north that the storm will miss the Lesser Antilles, with a closest approach occurring Wednesday and Thursday. However, the ECMWF and HWRF models have 94L passing within 200 miles of the islands, and the northern Lesser Antilles may experience tropical storm conditions on Thursday.

At the longer ranges, the fate of 94L is highly uncertain. The Canadian model turns 94L to the north near Bermuda, then out to sea, while the NOGAPS model foresees a threat to the U.S. East Coast early next week. Both of these solutions are believable. The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to make their first flight into 94L on Tuesday afternoon at 2pm EDT.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic
The remains of an old cold front are bringing cloudiness and showers to the northern Gulf of Mexico and waters offshore North and South Carolina. The GFS and NAM models indicate an area of low pressure may develop along this old front near the Florida Panhandle or off the coast of North Carolina by Thursday. However, such a low may be extratropical and not tropical.

My next post will be between 3 - 5pm this afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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This blog is hilarious. From "It looks impressive, and a TD is likely soon!" this morning, to now "the system is disorganized and being sheared, and is not likely to be TD anytime soon". Too funny how quickly this blog changes it's feelings.
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I am in no mood, to fight.

Let me ask you something if you do have a PhD then why are you not working for a big oil company or corporation or a broadcast Meteorologist...and when it was clear that Bill was going no where near Florida you was still saying it was and giving percentages on it....any person with a PhD in weather would know better than that...not saying you dont have it but if you do you not using it to its full potential
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1339
1154. Grothar


What did Yogi Berra say, folks???
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Quoting largeeyes:
What if the cat V suit and you become said flying debris?


WTH is a CATV suit? I want one...
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1152. GoofOff
For those of you discussing the size of a hurricane, if you pull up Francis in 2004, you will find that it covered almost the entire state of Florida. Not hurricane winds, but total size in respect to bands. We had the eye go over us and it was huge. Some thought the storm was gone. They learned better fairly soon.
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Forgot to put the source of the bulletin. It's the NWS in San Juan. Do you think they're jumping the gun a little bit?
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Quoting Relix:


Should pass north of us honestly. We might feel some rains and gusts, that's about it. Or it could be a darn sunny day.


I agree. That was happened with Bill and Ana. Definitively, Puerto Rico is blessed. 94L will pass, if so, over 200-300 miles from our north coasts. You will see. Just high clouds and extreme hot days...
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Quoting BrockBerlin:


I think you interpreted my answer in the exact opposite way.
i ignored him and moved on...
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Quoting jipmg:


I thought wilma was downgraded to a CAT 2 over FLA..


She made landfall over the SW coast as a cat 3, when she got over West Palm Beach she was a cat 2...though it didn't really matter considering at that point the eye was over us, not the strongest winds.
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So Baja gets the "monster cane" and what do we get in the eastern CONUS? A sheared turkey.

Fairly typical for an El Nino year. Hawaii has seen more activity, also classic.
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Quoting P451:
Those who feel this is a well organized system that should be named TS Erika soon - I just have to disagree.

There is a very broad circulation with the system and a very broad and elongated circulation center that is roughly between the two areas of convection. If you look hard enough you can see the lower level grey swirl taking place west of the larger area of convection. The Eastern side of this rotation does pass under and through the large area of convection however the center of this low level circulation is not under the convection itself.

There is also a lot of southerly shear apparent and you can easily see that with the TStorm tops being ripped northward. Note the black streamers leaving the convection, most evident on the western area of convection.

While I feel this system has promise I don't feel it is all that well organized and don't expect any rapid intensification until it becomes more organized. I can see why the 2PM TWO stated that it's in a marginal environment.

ShortWave Imagery Loop:



My uneducated analysis on what I see in that loop:





That's a good observation but you must remember that the last tropical system we had, had a circulation that was completely removed from it's convection and was still classified a storm.

This could be no different...
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Quoting serialteg:


Who's Connie? I'm Carlos :P

Well, my definition of panicked = excited in this case
lol, connie1976, a girl that i was panics, and why would u mean panicked=excited, i rarely panic unless there is an F-5 tornado coming my way.
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my apologies...I thought Brockberlin was claiming to have a phd in meteorology.The comment was not directed to you in any way
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1142. jipmg
Quoting Grothar:


No one who was living here in North Broward at the time would disagree with you on that one. Some weather reporters told us not to bother with the shutters. Boy were we surprised.


I thought wilma was downgraded to a CAT 2 over FLA..
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banding on 94l is not that good. A lot of what you see is not banding....I see one main band.
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1140. IKE
Quoting bingcrosby:
So Baja gets the "monster cane" and what do we get in the eastern CONUS? A sheared turkey.


LOL...gobble, gobble!
Member Since: Juni 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Miami International 67 mph at 830 AM 92 mph at 752 and 756AM
Fort Lauderdale 70 mph at 811 AM 99 mph at 830 AM
Palm Beach International 82 mph at 910 AM 101 mph at 914 AM
Pompano Beach* 83 mph at 840 AM 98 mph at 818 and 837 AM
Naples* 61 mph at 807 AM 82 mph at 802 AM
Opa Locka* 85 mph at 816 AM 105 mph at 813 AM
Tamiami* 58 mph at 733 AM 83 mph at 738 AM
Fowey Rocks**
(8 miles SE of Key Biscayne) 85 mph at 752 AM 123 mph at 843 AM
WFO Miami (FIU Campus)
(See Figure 6; add 4 knots
for pin drag) 66 mph 746 AM 104 mph at 747 AM
L006***
(South end of
Lake Okeechobee) 103 mph at 1030 AM 112 mph at 11 AM

these are from noaa.

1st is the sustained wind and the 2nd is the highest recorded gust for each location.

*'s indicate instrument failure.
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Quoting canesrule1:
Connie, for sure, I never have panicked, I was actually excited for Andrew.


Who's Connie? I'm Carlos :P

Well, my definition of panicked = excited in this case
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1135. Grothar
Quoting sammywammybamy:
Hurricane Wilma Was Cat 3 Over Florida..




No one who was living here in North Broward at the time would disagree with you on that one. Some weather reporters told us not to bother with the shutters. Boy were we surprised.
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1134. IKE
Wasn't it Karen, a few years ago, in the Atlantic, that was suppose to turn into a significant cane that wound up getting undressed? That's what it looks like is happening to 94L right now.
Member Since: Juni 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting bluewaterblues:


Ummmm....there is now way this cat has a phd in meterology
I am in no mood, to fight.
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So Baja gets the "monster cane" and what do we get in the eastern CONUS? A sheared turkey.
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Back for a bit.

Well, shear is doing a number on 94L which makes it all the less likely that it will be classified as a TD any time soon.

Buoy 41101 that is moored at 14.6N 56.2W last had 10 knots of wind from the NNE and a falling pressure of 1008.5.

Not a whole lot going on out there, for sure.

Maybe if shear strips away some more of the convection we will see what is at the surface. Looking pretty sick right now but it has come back from a poor presentation in the past.

I see coordinates of 15.6 and 14.6 N

Anyone know which it is ??. Navy has the higher latitude and WU had 15.6 but now changed to 14.6

As if we didn't have enough confusion with this system LOL
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This is the most attention I've seen paid to the Pacific in... forever. Andres-no, Blanca-no, Carlos-no, Dolores-no, Enrique-no, Felicia-kinda, Guillermo-no, Hilda-no, Ignacio-no. I saw Felicia, and that was it.

I can go through last year, too. Anyway, kind of glad it's finally getting its due. It does have the most storms per square mile per year... Also, people in Baja California, get ready for a doozy.
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Quoting serialteg:


It seems there are many in this same tag... :P
Connie, for sure, I never have panicked, I was actually excited for Andrew.
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1128. lennit
Ok here is what models are telling us.. IF 94L gets stronger sooner its recurve we go .. the shallower it it is the more west.. thats why CMC and now EMCWF recurve them as they make them strong systems.GFS and NOGAPS and earlier ECMWF runs have them as shallow systems.. the deep layer ridge is to far NE right now to cause it to keep moving W to WNW as a STRONG storm.. there is no deep layered ridges forcasted near the east coast of the US.as of now..
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Quoting BrockBerlin:
he lives in Miami and panics easily?


It seems there are many in this same tag... :P
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Quoting BrockBerlin:


Is that a serious question??


Ummmm....there is now way this cat has a phd in meterology
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What if the cat V suit and you become said flying debris?
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1124. fire635
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
I agree with the current dis-organized state but, if you look closely, spiral banding is increasing and the overall structure is improving slowly. Plus overcoming diurnal hurdle. Shear is supposed to let up tomorrow, we'll see.



I Agree... I see a system that is trying to reorganize... trying to bring in the convection on both sides of the center. This is certainly not going to be gone when we wake up in the morning as Stormno is eluding
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Quoting serialteg:


Well, he did say he was, but I thought he was kidding. You never know, it's the Internet...
I do know it is the internet but why would I be kidding?
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Quoting FLGatorCaneNut:


Wrong......
When Wilma made landfall on the West Coast of Florida at Cape Romano winds were estimated at 105kts (cat 3)......

And it was actaully still strengthening over land and came off the east coast with 125mph winds I think due to Lake Okee,Evergaldes and the thin peninsula.
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Quoting serialteg:


fail.

are you really a PhD in meteorology, or were you kidding the other day?


i really hope he didn't try to say that.

he didn't even know if higher pressures or lower pressures meant if a high was getting stronger or not. he had to ask.

if you have to ask if higher pressures mean a stronger high then you don't even know the basics of weather.
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.STORM INFORMATION...
A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES IS BEING
ACTIVELY MONITORED FOR SIGNS OF TROPICAL CYCLONE DEVELOPMENT.

.SITUATION OVERVIEW...
AT THE PRESENT TIME...SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH A
BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED ABOUT 500 MILES EAST OF THE
LESSER ANTILLES CONTINUE TO SHOW SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION...HOWEVER
THERE IS NO WELL-DEFINED SURFACE CIRCULATION CENTER. MODELS
CONTINUE TO ADVANCE THE SYSTEM TO THE WEST NORTHWEST IN THE
GENERAL DIRECTION OF THE NORTHEAST CARIBBEAN.

REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT THE SYSTEM DEVELOPS INTO A DEPRESSION
OR NAMED STORM...THIS DISTURBANCE HAS THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE
FLASH FLOODING...LOCALLY GUSTY WINDS /ESPECIALLY IN THE HIGHER
ELEVATIONS OF PUERTO RICO/...AND ROUGH SEAS. THEREFORE...IT IS
IMPERATIVE THAT INTERESTS IN THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO
RICO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN ITS
POSITION AND INTENSITY.
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Quoting BrockBerlin:


Is that a serious question??


Well, he did say he was, but I thought he was kidding. You never know, it's the Internet...
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I agree with the current dis-organized state but, if you look closely, spiral banding is increasing and the overall structure is improving slowly. Plus overcoming diurnal hurdle. Shear is supposed to let up tomorrow, we'll see.

Quoting jbplefty:


Not according to the NHC it was a Cat 1 when it hit Fla


Wrong......
When Wilma made landfall on the West Coast of Florida at Cape Romano winds were estimated at 105kts (cat 3)......
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1113. jipmg
Its interesting.. Jimena looks nothing like a CAT 5 on satellite.. they usually have that monstrously clear eye and an amazing outflow.. Jimena looks to me like a strong 3..

I want to imagine what wilma was when it was at its peak.. I know the hunters werent in it.. Im sure it was easily well above 175MPH
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1112. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
National Hurricane Center
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #13
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE JIMENA (EP132009)
21:00 PM UTC August 31 2009
=============================

SUBJECT: A Hurricane Warning Remains In Force

At 18:00 PM UTC, Hurricane Jimena (931 hPa) located at 18.5N 109.2W or 265 NM south of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico has sustained winds of 135 knots with gusts of 165 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving northwest at 9 knots.

Hurricane-Force Winds
======================
40 NM from the center

Gale/Storm-Force Winds
========================
120 NM from the center

Tropical Cyclone Warnings
==========================
A HURRICANE WARNING has been issued for southern portion of the Baja California Peninsula from Bahaia Magdalena southward on the west coast..and from San Evaristo southward on the east coast

Tropical Cyclone Watches
========================
A HURRICANE WATCH has been issued for Baja California north of Bahia Magdelena on the west coast to Punta Abreojos and north of San Evaristo to Mulege on the east coast

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
12 HRS: 19.6N 110.1W - 130 kts (SSHS-4 Cyclone)
24 HRS: 21.6N 111.1W - 125 kts (SSHS-4 Cyclone)
48 HRS: 25.5N 112.2W - 85 kts (SSHS-2 Cyclone)
72 HRS: 27.8N 112.7W - 50 kts (Overland TS)

---
never did understand why 135 knots is not officially a Category 5
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HOWEVER THERE IS NO
WELL-DEFINED SURFACE CIRCULATION CENTER. CONDITIONS ARE MARGINALLY
FAVORABLE

per the NHC. let's see what they say at 8PM.

there is clearly shear affecting the whole west side of the system.

the anticyclone is tiny and not very big at all. like i stated earlier, if you want to see what a nice anticyclone looks like, looks just east of 40W. notice how much bigger and expansive it is? notice how big of an area around that one has 5-10 kts of shear while the one located by 94L has crazy amounts of shear affecting the NW and western parts of it?
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Quoting Relix:


Should pass north of us honestly. We might feel some rains and gusts, that's about it. Or it could be a darn sunny day.
It is anticipated to be somewhere around 23N to around 26N.
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1107. IKE
Quoting stormno:
ike whoever cant see that shear is ripping it apart does not no anything about wate vapor loops and surface maps it clearly shows 94 l is in big trouble may not even be here tomorrow...like i said stick a fork in it ...Stormno


I'm not saying it's dead, but yeah...it's getting sheared.
Member Since: Juni 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting canesrule1:
Based on the latest models


fail.

are you really a PhD in meteorology, or were you kidding the other day?

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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.