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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596. FLGatorCaneNut
11:36 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting ackee:
I will be very disapointed if the NHC does not give system a low chance by 8pm have seen they done it to system in my view that had no chance to develop


I think you're going to be disappointed for now
Member Since: July 26, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
595. taco2me61
11:34 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:

Only if you own that other taco name...


Well I have been call worse.... even on here....

Taco :0)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3241
594. Cavin Rawlins
11:34 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Expect the SSD T numbers to drop to either 3.5 or 3.0. From my analysis, the low level center is about 1/2 or 1/3 degree latitude from the edge of the coldest cloud tops which gives a DT number of 3.3

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
593. atmoaggie
11:29 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting taco2me61:


So now I'm "Loco" hahahahaha

Taco :0)

Only if you own that other taco name...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
592. ElConando
11:27 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
I love taz man hes too funny :P
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3710
591. taco2me61
11:23 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting Weather456:


Lovely post....look at the models who are being consistent. Reason is key.


I agree

this will be a long drawn out storm and I think I will just flip a coin.....

Taco :0)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3241
590. Tazmanian
11:23 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting Weather456:


Shear pattern T numbers does not justify 100 mph.


nop
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114776
589. ackee
11:21 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
I will be very disapointed if the NHC does not give system a low chance by 8pm have seen they done it to system in my view that had no chance to develop
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1355
588. Cavin Rawlins
11:21 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting Tazmanian:
Rick is of the most pathetic 100mph storm i have evere thing in my life


Shear pattern T numbers does not justify 100 mph.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
587. Tazmanian
11:20 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Rick is of the most pathetic 100mph storm i have evere thing in my life
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114776
586. rocketboy105
11:18 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Love the "trochoidal occilation" of the eye in the Wilma video,...I have the same film in infrared. Very cool.


Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Hurricane Wilma loop:

585. Cavin Rawlins
11:12 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
Well I look at it this way

ECMWF and CMC keep it in the Caribbean

NOGAPS and GFS take it to the EPAC and then bring it back


Looking at the 4 models, the GFS and NOGAPS have been flipping back and forth and have been very inconsistent on what they develop, where they develop it and where they want it to go.

On the other hand the CMC and moreso the ECMWF have been more consistent on the whole situation.


It is hard for me, considering the track record of the models this season, to put any credence at this time in any model that is flip flopping on what it wants to develop. That has been happening all season long with very little success.


Lovely post....look at the models who are being consistent. Reason is key.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
584. GeoffreyWPB
11:10 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Good post BAP
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11011
583. BurnedAfterPosting
11:09 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Well I look at it this way

ECMWF and CMC keep it in the Caribbean

NOGAPS and GFS take it to the EPAC and then bring it back


Looking at the 4 models, the GFS and NOGAPS have been flipping back and forth and have been very inconsistent on what they develop, where they develop it and where they want it to go.

On the other hand the CMC and moreso the ECMWF have been more consistent on the whole situation.


It is hard for me, considering the track record of the models this season, to put any credence at this time in any model that is flip flopping on what it wants to develop. That has been happening all season long with very little success.

Therefore, I will go with the CMC and ECMWF solution for now; and for anyone that may want to imply, it is NOT becuase that is the solution that is the biggest threat to Florida. If you think that is why I feel that way, well then you know nothing about me. Just thought I would nip that in the bud right here just in case someone wanted to say something.
582. GeoffreyWPB
11:08 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
I agree 456….the NOGAPS seems implausible.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11011
581. Cavin Rawlins
11:08 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
In addition, it could be the models inability to ascertain the focal point of the broad low pressure area which stretches across both SW Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. Frankly I am looking at how weak the steering is and it does not support the feature moving southwest. Such a feature embedded within weak steering flow will be tugged by troughs passing in the upper westerlies hence the idea why I think it will drift north.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
580. GeoffreyWPB
11:06 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Even a 1% chance merits a code yellow. Like Ike, a flip of the coin. We shall see shortly.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11011
579. Cavin Rawlins
11:04 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
NOGAPS also...it looks like it brings it into the EPac...then tries to send it back into the Carib.


October 22 2009...this is one of the supporting evidence which suggest it will remain the Atlantic side

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
578. IKE
11:04 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting taco2me61:


Hey Ike with all due respect from what i am seeing right now, there is no steering down that way and I think it will just be stationary for a while before it makes up it mind on which way it will go.... Then of course the models think it will go west toward the EPac and then back again..... So I have been wrong before and who really knows....

Taco :0)


I hear ya...flip a coin.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
577. taco2me61
11:03 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting IKE:


I think it could go either way. I'd lean toward nothing at all, but I could be wrong.

18Z GFS is doing a 180 compared to the ECMWF....sending it toward the east-PAC again.


Hey Ike with all due respect from what i am seeing right now, there is no steering down that way and I think it will just be stationary for a while before it makes up it mind on which way it will go.... Then of course the models think it will go west toward the EPac and then back again..... So I have been wrong before and who really knows....

Taco :0)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3241
576. PensacolaDoug
11:01 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting ElConando:


If they don't Joe Bastardi will surely find another NHC conspiracy theory to talk about.



You couldn't carry his briefcase.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 553
575. GeoffreyWPB
10:59 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
NOGAPS also...it looks like it brings it into the EPac...then tries to send it back into the Carib.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11011
574. IKE
10:57 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting ackee:
do u guys think the NHC will do at 8pm yellow or nothing at all


I think it could go either way. I'd lean toward nothing at all, but I could be wrong.

18Z GFS is doing a 180 compared to the ECMWF....sending it toward the east-PAC again.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
573. taco2me61
10:55 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:
SickKid: Do you have anything useful to say?

Please don't miss, QuikScat. Something seems too be going on there. West winds showing at some observation site off of Columbia (seriously, cannot find what site that is)


(click for full size)

Oh, and tacoloco, my bank wants their money back. They went and put money down on weather futures based on what you said (even though I told them not to) and they lost their a--


So now I'm "Loco" hahahahaha

Taco :0)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3241
572. mossyhead
10:54 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
I am not a wishcaster or a downcaster, but if ya'll who was saying there would be a hurricane would be called wishcasters and blasted. Just like blast the ones who say the opposite and they would be called downcasters. Come on folks, I do not see Dr. Masters blasting anybody. He states what "MAY" happen and thats all. Take a deep breath and step back report the facts. I have seen too many people see or hear something and by the time it gets to the 3rd person or more, it is completely different from whayt is reported. Thank You for reading this and i will crawl back into my little space and watch and observe.
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571. ackee
10:54 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
do u guys think the NHC will do at 8pm yellow or nothing at all
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1355
570. GeoffreyWPB
10:54 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
These type of systems are very slow in developing. If it does evolve, no one should be caught by surprise. There will be plenty of time to monitor its motion and intensity.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11011
569. IKE
10:53 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
18Z NOGAPS through 144 hours.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
568. superpete
10:47 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting stormpetrol:
With a full fledge hurricane you know what to expect and where it maybe headed , with AOI you're not too sure what you're going be dealing with especially when conditions appear ripe for a system to develop, the most scarey thing it is forcasted to stall for few days, not too comforting when you could be in the line of fire, just my personal feelings after battling & surviving a monster like Ivan for 30 hours in 2004.
Well said.The layperson would have a difficult time visioning just how quick these slow-developing systems can flare up & be on top of us here in Cayman(for example;Paloma last year)due to the small amount of water they have to cross.Plus you factor in the unknown track and intensity that is yet to prove solid over the next 3 to 5 days or so.Better to take advance precautions,even if they turn out un-neccessary.This is what I do, just IMO
Member Since: October 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 636
567. stormsurge39
10:37 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting Weather456:


My forecast only goes out to 7-8 days and even then the disturbance is south of Cuba. Due to the weak and complex steering pattern with this one I have to say I'm unsure even if it will be west of Cuba. I can tell you, alot of toughing will dominate through 8-9 days so I can see some easterly component at the end of the forecast cycle, I'm sure where I will be at that time.
thanks
566. kmanislander
10:36 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Back later
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565. Drakoen
10:34 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
GFS 18z struggling to develop anything.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29935
564. ackee
10:33 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
think NHC falling a sleep with what going on SW carrb see meduim chance now system to get going at least a TD
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563. GeoffreyWPB
10:33 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Hurricane Wilma loop:

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11011
562. Cavin Rawlins
10:32 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting stormsurge39:
456 what direction do you think the potential AOI will go once it gets past W Cuba?


My forecast only goes out to 7-8 days and even then the disturbance is south of Cuba. Due to the weak and complex steering pattern with this one I have to say I'm unsure even if it will be west of Cuba. I can tell you, alot of toughing will dominate through 8-9 days so I can see some easterly component at the end of the forecast cycle, I'm sure where I will be at that time.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
561. atmoaggie
10:32 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting kmanislander:


Thanks, Kman.

Those are in the surface plot I posted. Thanks for the alternate method, though.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
560. ElConando
10:28 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:


Is a ship report reporting wind direction from the west (Doh! Forgot the circle on the barb in surface analysis is a ship report. Not seen often...my excuse, anyway).

We will have to see if anything else can confirm it.


If they don't Joe Bastardi will surely find another NHC conspiracy theory to talk about.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3710
559. kmanislander
10:26 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15776
558. atmoaggie
10:25 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:
West winds showing at some observation site off of Columbia (seriously, cannot find what site that is)


Is a ship report reporting wind direction from the west (Doh! Forgot the circle on the barb in surface analysis is a ship report. Not seen often...my excuse, anyway).

We will have to see if anything else can confirm it.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
557. kmanislander
10:23 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:
SickKid: Do you have anything useful to say?

Please don't miss, QuikScat. Something seems too be going on there. West winds showing at some observation site off of Columbia (seriously, cannot find what site that is)


(click for full size)

Oh, and tacoloco, my bank wants their money back. They went and put money down on weather futures based on what you said (even though I told them not to) and they lost their a--


When looking at a low down in that area I often pay attention to obs from Bocas Del Toro and Panama City.

Bocas is on the NW end of Panama and now shows NNW winds whereas Panama City well East of there has a South wind. Fairly good bracketing for a circulation near 11N 80W
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15776
556. ElConando
10:22 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:
SickKid: Do you have anything useful to say?

Please don't miss, QuikScat. Something seems too be going on there. West winds showing at some observation site off of Columbia (seriously, cannot find what site that is)


(click for full size)


Oh, and tacoloco, my bank wants their money back. They went and put money down on weather futures based on what you said (even though I told them not to) and they lost their a--


Quicscat will miss just to piss us all off.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3710
555. stormsurge39
10:21 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
456 what direction do you think the potential AOI will go once it gets past W Cuba?
554. belizeanweatherfan
10:17 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting kmanislander:
Good afternoon

Little change today in the SW Caribbean. This state of affairs could last for days this time of year.
So true and even for named systems...In Belize we were in shelters for 5 days with Mitch - he just churned for days then tilted south to Honduras instead of w and wnw
553. atmoaggie
10:16 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
SickKid: Do you have anything useful to say?

Please don't miss, QuikScat. Something seems too be going on there. West winds showing at some observation site off of Columbia (seriously, cannot find what site that is)


(click for full size)


Oh, and tacoloco, my bank wants their money back. They went and put money down on weather futures based on what you said (even though I told them not to) and they lost their a--
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
552. kmanislander
10:14 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting XL:
Oh yes. Not been out of the front door until an hour ago. I figured the roads might be a bit bad today after all the rain during the night and sure enough there are still plenty of big puddles around.
Hoping this AOI doesn't develop into anything


It certainly does not seem to be in any hurry to show its hand .
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15776
551. Cavin Rawlins
10:12 PM GMT on October 19, 2009
Quoting Drakoen:


hmmm, moderate chance there.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
550. XL
Oh yes. Not been out of the front door until an hour ago. I figured the roads might be a bit bad today after all the rain during the night and sure enough there are still plenty of big puddles around.
Hoping this AOI doesn't develop into anything
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting XL:
Evening Kman


Hi there. Have you been keeping dry ? LOL
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15776
Quoting Weather456:
Its been a rainy day across the Western Caribbean. Caymans picked up 166 mm (6.5 inches)of rain



Most of that was between midnight last night and 9 this morning. Generally the day has been dry and windy with only high cloud around and the odd sprinkle.

I recorded 4.87 inches since midnight last night on the SW coast. Pressure here now is 1011 mb and falling quickly. Some of that could be diurnal.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15776
547. XL
Evening Kman
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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.