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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396. jipmg
Quoting Progster:
Link

Quik scat hi res. Persistent weak circ 11N 80 W and gale force gusts in CB's well displaced to the NW


old image
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LMAO 451 you are too predictable and totally not funny

that is what makes it so funny lol

Either way you are grasping at straws; the consistency is there, didn't know it had to be the exact same track down to the mile to be consistent LOL, now I know lmao
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Link

Quik scat hi res. Persistent weak circ 11N 80 W and gale force gusts in CB's well displaced to the NW
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Ike is truly no death caster as labeled. He is just won't cast speculation forecasting until he see's visual facts. Nothing wrong with that. He keeps us all more honest!


I'm just kiddin'. This blog needs Ike - he tends to keep the blog grounded. Besides, everybody likes Ike. TGFI
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I am sure P451 is looking and pasting the old ECMWF in an attempt to prove me wrong lol

fact is ECMWF has been consistently developing a system the last 4 days and the last 2 days have brought it to S Florida

Either way we will see
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Quoting jipmg:
this thing is gradually getting better looking


it will look pretty good if you drink more ;)
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Quoting Meteorology101:
thanks for teh reply burned. geeze i'll be in school then, i wonder what's fiu's policy on hurricanes?

Wonder what FIU's policy on the "shift key" is?
Can ya submit a paper in lower case with grade school grammar and still expect to pass? My third grade grandson can properly punctuate and capitalize better than that.
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Quoting mikatnight:


Good thing storms pay no more attention to wihes than they do this blog. Now quit yer goldbrickin' TD and get back to work (myself, I love work; in fact, I can watch it all day...)


haha well I have a rather boring day a work today, they told me to go to the computer and look over LDM stuff and familiarize myself with Linux.
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386. jipmg
this thing is gradually getting better looking
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Quoting mikatnight:
Where's deathvaster Ike? Point/Counterpoint!


Ike is truly no death caster as labeled. He is just won't cast speculation forecasting until he see's visual facts. Nothing wrong with that. He keeps us all more honest!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


Gators were bailed out big time by a few horrendous calls in that game that went in their favor


Not sure that the Gators would not have scored on that posession anyway but regardless... those were two of the worst calls I have seen all season.
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Quoting tornadodude:


whoa! dude, why would you want this to develop????

I definitely enjoy tracking storms, love their awe and beauty, but you are basically hoping for a storm to hit Florida!


Good thing storms pay no more attention to wihes than they do this blog. Now quit yer goldbrickin' TD and get back to work (myself, I love work; in fact, I can watch it all day...)
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Quoting TampaSpin:


No, not at all! Shear is really to high yet. Until we see shear droping which appears not for another 3-4 days i'm not concerned too much yet.


well the ECMWF doesnt develop the system for 3-4 days either
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The thing is, the cold front expected to enter the Gom will be strong(as opposed to diffuse) and steer it towards The Bahama's. That's the area(along with Cuba) that should be watching this storm! I believe SFL will just get sustenance(dry northerly flow behind the cold front and system that very likely could transition to extra tropical and rapidly move northeastward out to sea. Wind-shear after the 25th will pick up(due to the strong long-wave trough in the East).

Let's see what this thing can do with it's small window of opportunity(Oct-23-25 low shear).
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380. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting mikatnight:


Hi Tampa -
What, you worried the blog isn't focused enough?


No, not at all! Shear is really to high yet. Until we see shear droping which appears not for another 3-4 days i'm not concerned too much yet.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting Meteorology101:


Ignore him, Burned. This place will be packed with deathvasters wishing this system nto to develop. we'll need to deal with it, my friend


whoa! dude, why would you want this to develop????

I definitely enjoy tracking storms, love their awe and beauty, but you are basically hoping for a storm to hit Florida!
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Where's deathvaster Ike? Point/Counterpoint!
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If we got a hurricane in SF that late, I'm betting a bunch of folks would be caught short. We just had our first cold front, and once that happens everyone figures the season is over. Wilma surprised many people, and our first cold front didn't occur until after she passed. (BTW - if you're gonna have a hurricane, make sure a cold front follows its passage. The temperature fall after Wilma was extremely appreciated)
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374. xcool
btwntx08 :)~~~
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting P451:


That IS the ECMWF. Yesterday and Today at the same time.

Yesterday it's got a Cat 3 doing a major zig zag. Today it has barely a depression going due north and going extratropical off of the SC coast.

Please explain the similarities in those two runs.

There aren't any other than the cyclogenesis of which yesterday was 84 hours off, and, today is still 84 hours off.

So, no, other than expecting something to form of the Caribbean disturbance I see no confidence in the model at all and no similarities.

Same with any model dealing with a system that could take in upwards of 120 hours to consolidate!



and the 12Z that came out is a hurricane in south florida again

I am really not arguing with you, you are grasping at straws

Also you seem to really really forget the previous 3 to 4 runs of the ECMWF, all of which took a hurricane into South Florida
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oh the joys of being at work and also being able to be on here at the same time xD
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371. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
...hhhmmmm....I thought you said you were brand new here...
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Quoting P451:


Yesterday: 1:25 PM GMT on October 18, 2009



Today: 4:13 PM GMT on October 19, 2009



What consistency?


You are kidding right? lol

It has been forecasting a NNE movement followed by a NW movement and into the SE Gulf or Florida Straits for 5 days now


Also look at the new ECMWF and it shows more consistency; you are really grasping at straws if you don't see the consistency there
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Quoting TampaSpin:


TampaSpins Tropical Update....NEED TO WATCH THE CARIBBEAN VERY CLOSE!


Hi Tampa -
What, you worried the blog isn't focused enough?
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365. xcool
models this far out are inconsistent. ;))))___)__
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
wow, i have never seen a hurricane so sheared that strong
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Quoting presslord:
...and while you're at it Drak...Could you recommend a few stocks?
lol....from reading this blog I'd say some must own MJNA....lol
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TampaSpins Tropical Update....NEED TO WATCH THE CARIBBEAN VERY CLOSE!




Plenty hot of a Major.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
GO FINS ALL THE WAYS....RONNIE, RICKY AND ALL OF THEM...REMEMBER.. IT IS AT 4:15 NOT 1:00
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Well, the Dolphins probably have a better ground game, so a hurricane could only help. Might even limit Drew Brees to 3 TDs instead of the 6 he'd probably get otherwise! ;-)
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


Nope our offense is really good now, and I am not sold on the Saints D just yet

again have faith, I think we can beat em


It's our secondary that worries me. But I'm with you - go fish!
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Quoting Patrap:
Saints Play Miami Sunday @ Miami.1pm EST.



Im doing a Big ol pot of Shrimp creole... yeah,cher.









I'm going with stone crabs
Homemade hash browns
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Quoting rwdobson:


Depends on which way the front is oriented. If the front is oriented more east-west it would cause a storm to turn east instead of continuing north.


That is true, guess we will see what happens

Almost makes me feel though that he made the comment just to protect his "Season is over for the US" prediction
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...and while you're at it Drak...Could you recommend a few stocks?
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Quoting mikatnight:


That's what I'm afraid of - if it's high scoring, the Dolphins are doomed...



Right. Forgot about that. Moving the game won't do any good though. I hear "the wind will be so great as to lay low the mountains and the earrrrrrrrrrth."


Nope our offense is really good now, and I am not sold on the Saints D just yet

again have faith, I think we can beat em
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Good Day.

I'm watching this area in the western caribbean and at this moment in time I don't think we will have a TD just yet. In the next couple of days wind shear will drop and could allow for a TD to form. For right now intrests in Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Cayman Islands. Other areas csuch as western Cuba and South Florida should watch the progress of this system. Right now, I think that this AOI has the best chance of effecting us in SFLA.
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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.

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