Rick weakens; Lupit headed to the Philippines; Western Caribbean brewing a storm?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:09 PM GMT on October 19, 2009

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Hurricane Rick has weakened significantly over the past 24 hours, thanks to moderate wind shear of 15 - 20 knots. Although still a powerful Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds, this is a far cry from the spectacular Category 5 hurricane with 180 mph winds and 905 mb pressure Rick was early Sunday morning. At that time, Rick was the second most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Eastern Pacific. The only Eastern Pacific hurricane that was stronger was Hurricane Linda of 1997, which had 185 mph winds and a 902 mb pressure. Reliable satellite measurements of Eastern Pacific storms go back to about 1970, and Rick is the 11th Category 5 hurricane in the Eastern Pacific since 1970.


Figure 1.Hurricane Rick just after peak intensity at 17:55 UTC October 18, 2009. A this time, Rick was a Category 5 hurricane with 175 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Recent microwave satellite imagery suggests that wind shear may have eaten away the southwest portion of Rick's eyewall, allowing dry air to intrude into the core of the storm. The Hurricane Hunters will visit Rick this afternoon to learn more, and I suspect Rick is weaker than the Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds that is currently advertised.

Wind shear will increase to the high range, 20 - 30 knots, in the 24 hours before landfall, and ocean heat content and sea surface temperatures will steadily decrease over the next two days as Rick approaches Baja. The latest GFDL and HWRF model runs put Rick at Category 1 strength at its closest approach to Baja, and this appears to be a reasonable forecast given the current appearance of Rick. NHC is currently giving both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Cabo on Baja's southern tip a 20% chance of receiving hurricane-force winds from Rick. Rick will make a second landfall in Mainland Mexico on Wednesday night, and the moisture from Rick should reach southern Texas by Friday, possibly leading to heavy rains there on Friday and Saturday.

Typhoon Lupit a potential major disaster for the Philippines
Category 4 Super Typhoon Lupit has begun its turn to the west over the Philippine Sea, and is headed towards a landfall early Thursday morning on the northern portion of Luzon Island in the Philippines. Thanks to the departure of a trough of low pressure that was pulling the super typhoon to the northeast and creating a region of weak steering currents, a strong ridge of high pressure is now building in over Lupit and will force it slightly south of due west. The models are all in excellent agreement on the forecast track taking the super typhoon over northern Luzon as a major Category 3 or 4 typhoon, and Lupit--the Filipino word for cruel--is very likely to live up to its name. The northern Philippines are still reeling from the rains and mudslides unleashed by Super Typhoon Parma last week, which crossed over the northern Philippines three times, dumping over twenty inches of rain in many locations. Parma killed 438 people, and 51 are still missing. A week prior to Parma, Typhoon Ketsana brought the heaviest rains in 42 years to the capital of Manila, killing 420 people, with 37 still missing.


Figure 2. Rainfall forecast for Super Typhoon Lupit for the 24-hour period ending at 06 UTC Tuesday 10/20/09. Lupit is expected to dump 8 - 12 inches of rain (orange colors) in a small region near its center. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Wind shear over Lupit is in the low range, 5 - 10 knots, and the typhoon is embedded in a very moist environment with warm sea surface temperatures of 28 - 29°C. Total heat content of the ocean is too low (20 kJ/cm^2) to permit much additional intensification over the next two days, but in the final 12 hours before landfall, the total oceanic heat content will rise to 80 kJ/cm^2, which should allow Lupit to retain at least Category 3 strength right up until landfall, despite interaction of the storm with land. Lupit will move relatively quickly over the Philippines, but the typhoon is likely to dump 12+ inches of rain over the already saturated soils of northern Luzon Island. These rains will create life-threatening flash floods and mudslides capable of killing hundreds more Filipinos.


Figure 3 Morning visible satellite image of the area of disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean.

A Western Caribbean tropical storm coming?
In the Atlantic, an area of disturbed weather has developed in the Western Caribbean from Costa Rica to the Cayman Islands, in association with the remains of a cold front, a tropical wave, and a broad 1010 mb low pressure region that has developed over the extreme southwestern Caribbean off the coast of Costa Rica. Last night's QuikSCAT pass showed that the low off the coast of Costa Rica had a broad and disorganized surface circulation. The thunderstorm activity associated with this large and complicated area of disturbed weather is disorganized and under 10 - 30 knots of wind shear, and any development over the next three days will be slow. However, by Friday, wind shear over the Western Caribbean is expected to drop significantly, and development of a tropical depression in the Western Caribbean becomes a more real possibility. Numerous runs over the past few days of all of our reliable global forecast models have shown a tropical depression developing in the Western Caribbean by early next week. The timing, location, and track of such a such a storm are all pretty hazy, but I think there is a 60% chance of a named storm forming in the Western Caribbean sometime in the next 10 days. The regions most likely to be affected by such a storm would be Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Cayman Islands, and it is possible that such a storm may stay trapped in the Western Caribbean for many days (as predicted by the GFS model). Alternatively, the storm could move steadily northwards after formation, affecting western Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, South Florida, and the Bahamas. This is the solution preferred by the ECMWF model. In either case, a long period of disturbed weather is likely for the Western Caribbean. Heavy rains will affect northeast Honduras, eastern Nicaragua, and the Cayman Islands this week, and could spread to adjacent countries as the area of disturbed weather evolves.

Jeff Masters

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I see the NHC finally put a yellow circle on the AOI. Now it might get designated an Invest by the morning, it's normally how these things work now and days.
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Any-hoot,..enjoyed it.

Always eye opening to see the trends.


Ironic eh?

LOL.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
YEPPIE Angels won.....LOL
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Doesn't any cirle yellow, orange, or red mean that a chance of development will occur in 48hrs.....the yellow in this case is 30% chance that development will occur in 48hrs.....i'm just saying they must beleive that or they would not have put it up.....although models don't show anything until about 4 days out and beyond. I have no problem with them putting up the yellow....just trying to understand the 48hrs.

It's precautionary, just like when Someone here posts their idea of an AOI and draws a projected path of where they think it's gonna go even before it develops then nothing comes of it same scenario
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It has got a yellow circle now.

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It looks like Hurricane rick is on a collision course with a cold front over texas? maybe

Statement as of 3:38 PM CDT on October 19, 2009


... Heavy rainfall threat Wednesday through Thursday...

An upper level trough of low pressure will approach from the west
on Wednesday... with an associated cold front moving slowly across
the area on Thursday. This trough will draw in tropical moisture
from the Gulf of Mexico along with mid and high level moisture
associated with the remnants of the eastern Pacific Hurricane
Rick into the area. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are
expected to develop beginning Wednesday... and become more numerous
Wednesday night and Thursday as the front approaches. Given the
deep moisture and slow movement with the system... there appears to
be a good potential for heavy rainfall with this system. Rainfall
totals are expected to average 1 to 2 inches... with isolated
totals of 3 to 5 inches possible. Flooding may occur in areas
where the heaviest rainfall develops. Severe storms are not
anticipated at this time. The inclement weather is expected to
come to an end by Friday morning.


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Quoting Patrap:


LOL..StormW may beg to well differ there sport,..and thats The craziest post Ive ever had my handle associated with.

A Featured Blog is the Kiss o Death here..


Ironic.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting hurricaneseason2006:


If you read Patrap blog's we itchy to become a featured blogger. He gave StormW trouble back in 2006-2007 when he was featured.


LOL..StormW may beg to well differ there sport,..and thats The craziest post Ive ever had my handle associated with.

A Featured Blog is the Kiss o Death here..

Chief StormW,Walsh and I are both U.S. Veterans with the ultimate respect for each other.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting Hurricane009:
CALM DOWN


I'm calm, just needed to be said, Pat is great when it comes to emergency management things and is a real asset when something is threatening with making people aware of what they should do.



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Quoting Patrap:
Im well aware of the 26c isotherm depths,,its the first thing one checks in a Developing system,SST wise,other than the surface,but the pressure some put on a system to develop seems to overwhelm their knowledge base as they hope,for something to track,Blow up into a threat and well,,,its like a bad AM radio station.
Same song's from the same Bands.

Thats called something like,well the obvious,,


actually you are 100% wrong about that, you might as well come out and join the trolls in calling those following this area wishcasters

You danced around it as much as you could without actually saying the world, but it is pretty obvious how you feel.
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Quoting Weather456:
Also, why would an area of thunderstorms cause upwelling? That means the tropical ocean should be freezing by now. Winds cause upwelling not meandering thunderstorms and I dont think the system will get more than 30 knots over the next 4 days.



Exactly.


Note # 677.

LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting Weather456:


And BAP, you know the funny thing, I was not speaking to him, I was supporting Drak. He has a serious problem with I so me dont bother with it much.


I feel the same. No point in trying to convince somebody who has already convinced themselves they are correct.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Mini-Snickers are not finger food too.

But they sure go well with A Mountain Dew..

Ummm,ummmm....
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting Weather456:
Also, why would an area of thunderstorms cause upwelling? That means the tropical ocean should be freezing by now. Winds cause upwelling not meandering thunderstorms and I dont think the system will get more than 30 knots over the next 4 days.


Exactly.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
678. ackee
anyone see latest quickscat
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Im well aware of the 26c isotherm depths,,its the first thing one checks in a Developing system,SST wise,other than the surface,but the pressure some put on a system to develop seems to overwhelm their knowledge base as they hope,for something to track,Blow up into a threat and well,,,its like a bad AM radio station.
Same song's from the same Bands.

Thats called something like,well the obvious,,
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting Weather456:


And BAP, you know the funny thing, I was not speaking to him, I was supporting Drak. He has a serious problem with I so me dont bother with it much.


which is so stupid, you are one of the ones that everyone turns to, you know your stuff.
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One thing is for certain, the cold front did not cool the waters much....OUCH!

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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


I think you are overstepping your boundaries, it is so obvious that you hate when others disagree with you, but Drak and 456 are right

If this becomes a named storm and organizes and sits there for a few days, then yes we could see some upwelling. However a developing disturbance that is over waters that have been virtually untouched all year long; will not cause upwelling.


And BAP, you know the funny thing, I was not speaking to him, I was supporting Drak. He has a serious problem with I so me dont bother with it much.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting CosmicEvents:
If they put up the yellow idiot color, that by their own definition means a probability of a cyclone within 48 hours, yet their TWO stats no chance of cyclone within 48 hours. Which one is it?


They really need to change the probability in 48hrs or drop the 48hr thing and claim any hour they want when a color is posted....I don't know.
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672. 789
stormW what do you think about this bunch of hokas pokas
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Quoting hydrus:
I dont know Pat, that water is warm pretty deep. It might take more than a lingering disturbance to bring up the cooler water. jmo


That is another factor, dept of 26C isotherms

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Patrap:


?????

Gradually organizing disturbance does not constitute to upwelling.



I dont know Pat, that water is warm pretty deep. It might take more than a lingering disturbance to bring up the cooler water. jmo
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Quoting Weather456:


That is the reason why i do not like this yellow orange red thing. The TWO were fine back in the ole days. It would of better said, development, if any, will be slow to occur over the next few days. This probability within 48 hrs is too broad which increases room for error.


I agree 456....they would actually be better off to drop the 48hr potential and just label it as we do an AOI...
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Quoting Patrap:



Seems your not the whiz Kid you thin u r sport.

And never put words in my mouth.



I think you are overstepping your boundaries, it is so obvious that you hate when others disagree with you, but Drak and 456 are right

If this becomes a named storm and organizes and sits there for a few days, then yes we could see some upwelling. However a developing disturbance that is over waters that have been virtually untouched all year long; will not cause upwelling.
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I dont turn my monitor upside down much..I have a bad L5 cosmic.

But I see what yer saying .
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting Weather456:


As I said before the colour coding and the 48 hr period is too broad and conflicting and leaves room for error.

For example Henri was yellow 3 hrs before he's first advisory...Grace an hr and a half. 95L was red becuz it was near Td status yet they stated shear would rip it apart in 36 hrs (which is within the code red 48 hrs).

This product is too inconsistent and should be done with. Development if any will be slow to occur over the next few days makes much more sense, as it gives us a complete idea of what is going not in 48 hrs but several days.

I agree 100%.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5458
Quoting Patrap:
I always told cyclonebuster that its a "TUBE",not a Tunnel.

Crazy upwelling Device.TM,too


Pat...did you get #633? Surely you did?? Where's Aquak when I need her?
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5458
Quoting Weather456:
Also, why would an area of thunderstorms cause upwelling? That means the tropical ocean should be freezing by now. Winds cause upwelling not meandering thunderstorms and I dont think the system will get more than 30 knots over the next 4 days.


Yup you are exactly right, a system that is in its beginning stages does not have enough energy to cause upwelling
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Quoting Patrap:


?????

Gradually organizing disturbance does not constitute to upwelling.



I dont know Pat, that water is warm pretty deep. It might take more than a lingering disturbance to bring up the cooler water. jmo
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Some light reading for yer Monday evening as well.

[PDF]
Hurricane-induced mixed layer cooling in mesoscale oceanic eddies

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Also, why would an area of thunderstorms cause upwelling? That means the tropical ocean should be freezing by now. Winds cause upwelling not meandering thunderstorms and I dont think the system will get more than 30 knots over the next 4 days.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
I always told cyclonebuster that its a "TUBE",not a Tunnel.

Crazy upwelling Device.TM,too

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting CosmicEvents:
If they put up the yellow idiot color, that by their own definition means a probability of a cyclone within 48 hours, yet their TWO stats no chance of cyclone within 48 hours. Which one is it?


As I said before the colour coding and the 48 hr period is too broad and conflicting and leaves room for error.

For example Henri was yellow 3 hrs before he's first advisory...Grace an hr and a half. 95L was red becuz it was near Td status yet they stated shear would rip it apart in 36 hrs (which is within the code red 48 hrs).

This product is too inconsistent and should be done with. Development if any will be slow to occur over the next few days makes much more sense, as it gives us a complete idea of what is going not in 48 hrs but several days.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Remember...a code yellow can be anything between 1 and 29% chance of developing within the next two days. This system is going nowhere fast and we will have plenty of time to watch it.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10577
Quoting Patrap:


?????

Gradually organizing disturbance does not constitute to upwelling.





He is right they don't, because they are not deep enough to churn up the waters enough to cause upwelling
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655. jipmg
Quoting CosmicEvents:
If they put up the yellow idiot color, that by their own definition means a probability of a cyclone within 48 hours, yet their TWO stats no chance of cyclone within 48 hours. Which one is it?


NHC is smart! Maybe they put it because its showing some development, so just incase
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
If they put up the yellow idiot color, that by their own definition means a probability of a cyclone within 48 hours, yet their TWO stats no chance of cyclone within 48 hours. Which one is it?


I really feel they put it up because now so many are used to the system. you have seen here many examples of people on this site who hinge development on whether there is a colored circle on the TWO

Might have been a bad idea to do it overall yes, but considering what people expect now, they put the yellow circle up to cover themselves in case we get a faster development than anticipated

Remember Grace? They dont want that to happen again, so they play it safe
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653. ackee
what does the latest quickcast say anyone
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Quoting Drakoen:


And it is expected to remain a disturbance through mid week. Without a well-defined circulation it cannot tap into the depth of the Caribbean waters. Gradually organizing disturbance does not constitute to upwelling.


?????

Gradually organizing disturbance does not constitute to upwelling.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting weatherbro:


Santa Wants to deliver an early Christmas presant...A Hypercane(get's rid of the whiners lol).


Best laugh of the day on that one.
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Quoting Weather456:


They did not say a cyclone will develop in 48 hrs. I'm not a big fan of the NHC probabilities (i like the old TWOs) but from the TWO, they are stating that development, IF ANY, would be slow over the next couple of days.
If they put up the yellow idiot color, that by their own definition means a probability of a cyclone within 48 hours, yet their TWO stats no chance of cyclone within 48 hours. Which one is it?
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5458
I would not be surprise of this QS pass differs slightly from the TPC 18Z low position.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Patrap:
Candy Corn is not a vegetable too.


One cant have a system Improve,Stall,and organize without upwelling,last I checked..

Wish to a fish or serve a dish.

One cant have all three.




And it is expected to remain a disturbance through mid week. Without a well-defined circulation it cannot tap into the depth of the Caribbean waters. Gradually organizing disturbance does not constitute to upwelling.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
If they would declare it 93L, at least we would have GFDL and HWRF ran on it.
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About JeffMasters

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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