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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If they would declare it 93L, at least we would have GFDL and HWRF ran on it.
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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.



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.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
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.

AOI IR Loopie Doopie




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128261
642. ackee
I think ECMWF should have has as many run like the GFS 3am FAR APART
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Quoting Drakoen:
Looks like the Quickscat will catch the southern Caribbean.


Good. That will give us a better idea of whats going on at the Surface.
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Looks like the Quickscat will catch the southern Caribbean.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
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.


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.

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Quoting ackee:
anyone think we see an invest any time soon


good chance of 93L 2mr.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting HURRICANECAT5:
When is the next run of the ECMWF?


It won't be out untill 2-3AM.
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636. ackee
anyone think we see an invest any time soon
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Quoting HURRICANECAT5:
When is the next run of the ECMWF?


3am
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
When is the next run of the ECMWF?
Member Since: June 16, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 134
Quoting Patrap:
Fall meets Summer in the Atlantic Basin,..the AOI in between.


#622
That's an ummm...errrr....interesting graphic.
If you look at it upside down the area of interest reminds me of Hurricane Doris.
.
Somebody out there will lol so hard they'll swallow their tongue(so to speak)
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Quoting Drakoen:


It won't be able to upwell muchjust being a disturbance.


good point
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Patrap:
With Lil motion, even upwelling becomes a issue,thus the slow if any development is in the TWD tonight.


It won't be able to upwell much just being a disturbance.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
Quoting Drakoen:


JFV, PresidentialElection, WeatherStudent,Meterology101, that would mean that it has time to sit and organize.


Ya, just waiting for the Shear to relax.....i don't like the sit up at all....on about Sunday the cold front trough will draw it north.
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Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
Quoting TampaSpin:


That really makes no sense to me unless they think and believe that a Cyclone could develop in 48hrs......i know they say its only 30%...but not a model is developing it in 48hrs......OK its their call.


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.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
With Lil motion, even upwelling becomes a issue,thus the slow if any development is in the TWD tonight.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128261
626. ackee
well guess NHC heard me out yellow was in deed correct
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Quoting TampaSpin:


That really makes no sense to me unless they think and believe that a Cyclone could develop in 48hrs......i know they say its only 30%...but not a model is developing it in 48hrs......OK its their call.


You just never know. They are the ones in charge and they are supposedly the "experts". Although, I do not agree with their decisions 100% of the time.
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Quoting Meteorology101:


whcih woudl dictate, what drak?


JFV, PresidentialElection, WeatherStudent,Meterology101, that would mean that it has time to sit and organize.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
Fall meets Summer in the Atlantic Basin,..the AOI in between.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128261
Quoting TampaSpin:


That really makes no sense to me unless they think and believe that a Cyclone could develop in 48hrs......i know they say its only 30%...but not a model is developing it in 48hrs......OK its their call.


I agree with it 100% because I feel they are covering their bases just in case it does develop quicker than the models forecast. I have no issues that
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Quoting Weather456:
A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS
PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. DEVELOPMENT...IF
ANY...OF THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO BE SLOW TO OCCUR AS IT MOVES
LITTLE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...
LESS THAN 30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.


I like and agree with what the NHC is saying. "Slow to occur" describes the situation well.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


Well they did, lol yellow circle now


That really makes no sense to me unless they think and believe that a Cyclone could develop in 48hrs......i know they say its only 30%...but not a model is developing it in 48hrs......OK its their call.
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If you go by the ECMWF this thing will be in the Southern Caribbean until Friday.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
I know a "quasi-moto" that used to go to Notre Dame.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128261
Wow Hurricane Rick was indeed a Super Cane in the East Pacific Hurricane Basin. Right when he got so intense with cloud tops around his eyewall around -80C that is when he began to deteriorate as shear broken his western eyewall and then used his intense convection to rip him apart. This is easily visible on the RAMMB website and in his archived satellite animations.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS
PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. DEVELOPMENT...IF
ANY...OF THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO BE SLOW TO OCCUR AS IT MOVES
LITTLE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...
LESS THAN 30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting TampaSpin:
I don't expect NHC to put the yellow circle up yet....


Well they did, lol yellow circle now
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Mention in the TWO.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
Quoting SevereHurricane:
Who cares if the NHC doesn't acknowledge
the Low Pressure area in the Southern Caribbean? Just because the NHC isn't mentioning it doesn't mean it will not develop. Sometimes cyclogenesis takes a long time to occur(several days) and this could very well be that type of system. If it begins to rapidly develop in a several hour period then they will issue a Special TWO, although I am very doubtful of that occurring in the next 24 hours. Let things work themselves out, the NHC not mentioning it will not halt its development. Give it some time and beware, you may get what you have been waiting for.


Many continue to not realize that the TWO is only out to 48 hours, thats it, only 48 hours

Just because is nothing on the TWO, doesnt mean the NHC isnt watching this area. Take a look at the TWD and you will see they are already looking at it, but the TWO wont show anything until they feel development is 48 hours out or less.
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I don't expect NHC to put the yellow circle up yet....
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Who cares if the NHC doesn't acknowledge the Low Pressure area in the Southern Caribbean? Just because the NHC isn't mentioning it doesn't mean it will not develop. Sometimes cyclogenesis takes a long time to occur(several days) and this could very well be that type of system. If it begins to rapidly develop in a several hour period then they will issue a Special TWO, although I am very doubtful of that occurring in the next 24 hours. Let things work themselves out, the NHC not mentioning it will not halt its development. Give it some time and beware, you may get what you have been waiting for.
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Met101 yes it is

He said TWD not TWO, make sure you READ before you react
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Steering speed 0-5knots.

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
Looks like the 8pm twd is up
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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.