Skip Navigation Links weather.gov   
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage
National Hurricane Center
Local forecast by
"City, St" or "ZIP"

 
Alternate Formats
   Text     |   Mobile
   Email   |   RSS XML/RSS logo
   About Alternates
Cyclone Forecasts
   Latest Advisory
   Past Advisories
   Audio/Podcasts
   About Advisories
Marine Forecasts
   Atlantic & E Pacific
   Gridded Marine
   About Marine
Tools & Data
   Satellite | Radar
   Analysis Tools
   Aircraft Recon
   GIS Datasets
   Data Archive
Development
   Experimental
   Research
   Forecast Accuracy
Outreach & Education
   Prepare
   Storm Surge
   About Cyclones
   Cyclone Names
   Wind Scale
   Most Extreme
   Forecast Models
   Breakpoints
   Resources
   Glossary | Acronyms
   Frequent Questions
Our Organization
   About NHC
   Mission & Vision
   Staff | Q&A
   Visitors | Virtual Tour
   Library Branch
   NCEP | Newsletter
Contact Us
   Comments
Follow the National Hurricane Center on Facebook Follow the National Hurricane Center on Twitter
Subscribe the National Hurricane Center on YouTube Read the National Hurricane Center Inside the Eye blog on WordPress
FirstGov.gov is the U.S. Government's official Web portal to all Federal, state and local government Web resources and services.
 
 

Tropical Cyclone Report

Hurricane Javier

10 - 19 September 2004

Lixion A. Avila
National Hurricane Center
15 November 2004

Javier's winds reached 130 kt, making Javier the strongest hurricane of the 2004 eastern North Pacific hurricane season.

a. Synoptic History

Javier originated from a tropical wave that crossed the west coast of Africa 29 August. The wave was devoid of deep convection for several days during its westward trek across the tropical Atlantic. It then interacted with an upper-low near the Lesser Antilles, and both systems moved westward across the Caribbean Sea. The upper-low weakened and the wave continued westward, and it crossed Central America on 9 September with an increase in convective activity. Once the wave entered the eastern Pacific, the cloud pattern became better organized with deep convection but limited upper-level outflow. Dvorak T-numbers suggested that a tropical depression formed at 1800 UTC 10 September about 300 n mi south-southeast of Salina Cruz, Mexico. Satellite images showed that a central cense overcast developed over the circulation center, and intensity estimates based on this cloud pattern indicate that the cyclone became a tropical storm at 1200 UTC 11 September.

Under light wind shear, Javier continued to strengthen and reached hurricane status at 1800 UTC 12 September. It then moved slowly between the west-northwest and northwest around the periphery of a subtropical ridge centered over Mexico. Thereafter, Javier intensified at a rapid rate as indicated by the quick development of a distinct eye. The hurricane reached its estimated peak intensity of 130 knots and a minimum pressure of 930 mb at 0000 UTC 14 September, when the cyclone was located about 270 n mi south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. Microwave data showed the formation of concentric eyewalls and Javier weakened, but it maintained category 3 intensity on the Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale for the next three days. Javier moved northwestward toward cool waters, and this along with strong southwesterly shear resulted in weakening. Javier then turned northward and north-northeastward, and as a weakening tropical depression crossed Baja California between Cabo San Lazaro and Punta Abreojos around 1100 UTC 19 September. The depression continued toward the north-northeast over the Sea of Cortes and weakened to a remnant low at 1800 UTC 19 September. The low moved inland near Guaymas, Mexico, and dissipated over the high terrain of the state of Sonora. Mid-level moisture from Javier spread northeastward over northern Mexico and the southwestern United States.

The "best track" chart of the tropical cyclone's path is given in Figure 1, with the wind and pressure histories shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3, respectively. The best track positions and intensities are listed in Table 1.

b. Meteorological Statistics

Observations in Javier (Figure 2 and Figure 3) include satellite-based Dvorak technique intensity estimates from the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB), the Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB). Microwave satellite imagery from NOAA polar-orbiting satellites, the NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the NASA QuikSCAT, and Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites were also useful in tracking Javier.

Ship reports of winds of tropical storm force associated with Javier are given in Table 2.

c. Casualty and Damage Statistics

There were no reports of damage or casualties associated with Javier.

d. Forecast and Warning Critique

Average official track errors (with the number of cases in parentheses) for Javier were 24 (34), 42(32), 60 (30), 71(28), 105(24), 137(20), and 196(16) n mi for the 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h forecasts, respectively. These errors are smaller than the average official track errors for the 10-yr period 1994-2003[1] of 38, 70, 100, 127, 180, 210, and 247 n mi, respectively. Table 3 shows the track errors associated with selected operational models. Note that the official track errors were smaller than nearly all models.

Average official intensity errors were 8, 15, 19, 22, 18, 25 and 27 kt for the 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h forecasts, respectively. For comparison, the average official intensity errors over the 10-yr period 1994-2003 are 6, 11, 15, 17, 20, 18, and 19 kt, respectively. Note that the average official errors are larger than the 10-yr period errors. This is related to Javier's rapid intensification, a process which in general is difficult to forecast.

Tropical storm watches and warnings were required for portions of Baja California and a summary is included in Table 4.

[1]Errors given for the 96 and 120 h periods are averages over the three-year period 2001-3.



Table 1: Best track for Hurricane Javier, 10-19 September, 2004.
Date/Time
(UTC)
PositionPressure
(mb)
Wind Speed
(kt)
Stage
Lat.
(°N)
Lon.
(°W)
 10 / 1800 11.2 93.5 1005 30 tropical depression
 11 / 0000 11.4 95.3 1004 30 "
 11 / 0600 11.6 96.6 1003 30 "
 11 / 1200 11.7 97.8 1002 35 tropical storm
 11 / 1800 11.9 99.2 1001 40 "
 12 / 0000 12.0 100.4 1000 45 "
 12 / 0600 12.2 101.4 994 55 "
 12 / 1200 12.5 102.4 991 60 "
 12 / 1800 13.1 103.4 987 65 hurricane
 13 / 0000 13.6 104.0 979 75 "
 13 / 0600 14.1 104.8 970 90 "
 13 / 1200 14.7 105.4 957 105 "
 13 / 1800 15.2 106.1 942 120 "
 14 / 0000 15.9 106.8 930 130 "
 14 / 0600 16.3 107.2 936 125 "
 14 / 1200 16.6 107.5 936 125 "
 14 / 1800 17.0 107.7 936 125 "
 15 / 0000 17.4 108.0 936 125 "
 15 / 0600 17.7 108.3 936 125 "
 15 / 1200 18.1 108.6 948 115 "
 15 / 1800 18.5 109.0 948 115 "
 16 / 0000 18.9 109.5 950 110 "
 16 / 0600 19.1 110.0 960 100 "
 16 / 1200 19.4 110.4 960 100 "
 16 / 1800 19.8 110.9 960 100 "
 17 / 0000 20.5 111.2 960 100 "
 17 / 0600 21.0 111.6 960 100 "
 17 / 1200 21.5 111.9 962 95 "
 17 / 1800 21.9 112.1 965 90 "
 18 / 0000 22.4 112.4 970 75 "
 18 / 0600 23.0 112.8 975 65 "
 18 / 1200 23.3 113.2 987 50 tropical storm
 18 / 1800 23.9 113.4 995 45 "
 19 / 0000 24.8 113.5 1001 30 tropical depression
 19 / 0600 25.7 113.2 1001 30 "
 19 / 1200 26.9 112.7 1003 25 "
 19 / 1800 28.5 112.0 1003 20 remnant low
 20 / 0000 30.0 111.3 1004 20 "
 20 / 0600     dissipated
 19 / 1100 26.6 113.0 1003 25 Landfall, west coast of Baja California.
 14 / 0000 15.9 106.8 930 130 minimum pressure


Table 2: Selected ship reports with winds of at least 34 kt for Hurricane Javier, 10-19 September, 2004.
Ship Name or Call SignDate/Time (UTC)Lat.
(°N)
Lon.
(°W)
Wind dir/speed (deg/kt)Pressure (mb)
LAOL515 / 090016.1108.6260 / 35 1003.0 


Table 3: Preliminary forecast evaluation (heterogeneous sample) for Hurricane Javier, 10-19 September, 2004. Forecast errors (n mi) are followed by the number of forecasts in parentheses. Errors smaller than the NHC official forecast are shown in bold-face type. Verification includes the depression stage, but does not include the extratropical stage, if any.
Forecast TechniquePeriod (hours)
122436487296120
CLP527 (34) 51 (32) 78 (30) 115 (28) 223 (24) 315 (20) 413 (16) 
GFNI41 (32) 71 (28) 107 (26) 129 (24) 161 (20) 238 (16) 413 (12) 
GFDI24 (33) 43 (31) 63 (29) 88 (27) 133 (23) 194 (19) 218 (14) 
GFDL28 (34) 42 (32) 60 (30) 81 (28) 130 (24) 185 (20) 225 (15) 
GFDN38 (31) 72 (29) 103 (26) 131 (24) 162 (21) 224 (17) 365 (13) 
GFSI28 (32) 51 (30) 85 (29) 120 (27) 192 (23) 299 (19) 360 (15) 
GFSO35 (34) 56 (31) 81 (29) 115 (28) 183 (24) 294 (20) 367 (16) 
AEMI33 (33) 54 (31) 77 (29) 90 (27) 154 (23) 230 (19) 286 (15) 
NGPI36 (33) 68 (31) 94 (29) 122 (27) 174 (23) 220 (18) 202 (13) 
NGPS39 (34) 67 (32) 99 (30) 122 (28) 178 (24) 169 (18) 189 (13)
UKMI27 (29) 53 (29) 82 (28) 106 (26) 170 (22) 156 (16) 235 (14) 
UKM30 (17) 55 (16) 76 (15) 99 (14) 143 (12) 187 ( 9) 235 ( 8) 
BAMD33 (34) 64 (32) 96 (30) 130 (28) 194 (24) 296 (20) 383 (16) 
BAMM31 (34) 53 (32) 77 (30) 109 (28) 187 (24) 311 (20) 423 (16) 
BAMS38 (34) 70 (32) 105 (30) 141 (28) 243 (24) 377 (20) 491 (16) 
CONU25 (33) 45 (31) 62 (29) 79 (27) 119 (23) 171 (19) 224 (15) 
GUNA23 (29)41 (28)60 (28) 77 (26) 111 (22) 125 (15)175 (12)
OFCL24 (34) 42 (32) 60 (30) 71 (28) 105 (24) 137 (20) 196 (16) 
NHC Official (1994-2003 mean)39 (2746) 72 (2474) 103 (2196) 131 (1928) 186 (1476) 197 (283) 223 (179) 


Table 4: Watch and warning summary for Hurricane Javier, 10-19 September, 2004.
Date/TimeActionLocation
15/2100Tropical Storm Watch IssuedSouthern portion of Baja California from Bahia Magdalena to La Paz including San Carlos, Mexico 
16/2100Tropical Storm Watch DiscontinuedAll locations 
17/2100Tropical Storm Warning IssuedBaja California from Bahia Magdalena to Punta Eugenia. 
17/2100Tropical Storm Watch IssuedBaja California from north of Punta Eugenia to San Jose de las Palomas 
19/0300Tropical Storm Warning and Watch DiscontinuedAll locations 

Best track positions for Hurricane Javier

Figure 1: Best track positions for Hurricane Javier, 10-19 September, 2004.

Selected wind observations and best track maximum sustained surface wind speed curve for Hurricane Javier

Figure 2: Selected wind observations and best track maximum sustained surface wind speed curve for Hurricane Javier, 10-19 September, 2004.

Selected pressure observations and best track minimum central pressure curve for Hurricane Javier

Figure 3: Selected pressure observations and best track minimum central pressure curve for Hurricane Javier, 10-19 September, 2004.



Quick Navigation Links:
Tropical Cyclone Forecasts  -  Tropical Marine Forecasts  -  Data Archive
Outreach  -  Prepare  -  About Cyclones  -  About NHC  -  Contact Us

NOAA/ National Weather Service
National Centers for Environmental Prediction
National Hurricane Center
11691 SW 17th Street
Miami, Florida 33165-2149 USA
nhcwebmaster@noaa.gov
Disclaimer
Credits
Information Quality
Glossary
Privacy Policy
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
About Us
Career Opportunities
Page last modified: Tuesday, 15-Mar-2005 21:06:17 UTC