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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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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ECMWF does spin up ghost storms from time to time, but nowhere near as often as the other models

I just have a hard time believing the other solutions that are changing at every run; when the ECMWF has been so consistent.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


nah have faith; gonna be a high scoring game though lol


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

Quoting Patrap:


Why,havent ya heard?,..were gonna switch the Game to the Dome as Miami is Expecting a Hurricane Sunday.

Well,...that's what I heard on the ol internet's,and we know that has to be true.



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."
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Shear is expected to drop in the Caribbean as the upper level high advects northward as the system becomes more organized.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30615
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


The front would draw it north, not keep it south



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.
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Quoting mikatnight:


Hiya Pat -
Looks like you guys are gonna eat us alive...
guys you think that the dolphins are going to win on sunday, first its at 4:15 DOLPHINSRULES... SHRIMP BAIT FOR THE DOLPHINS
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Dr. M. has mentioned possible development within "10" days and sheer levels are very high right now North of Cuba and into the Gulf (in the 40-50 knot range), and marginally favorable around the AOI in the Caribbean, so I'm not so sure about any quick development or recognition by NWS until sheer levels start to drop which may take several days (if they drop significantly at all).
'

It will. the ecmwf DOES NOT, i repeat, ;;DOES NOT'' predict ghost stroms
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340. xcool
Saints go all way go all way
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Dr. M. has mentioned possible development within "10" days and sheer levels are very high right now North of Cuba and into the Gulf (in the 40-50 knot range), and marginally favorable around the AOI in the Caribbean, so I'm not so sure about any quick development or recognition by NWS until sheer levels start to drop which may take several days (if they drop significantly at all).
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Quoting Patrap:


Why,havent ya heard?,..were gonna switch the Game to the Dome as Miami is Expecting a Hurricane Sunday.

Well,...that's what I heard on the ol internet's,and we know that has to be true.




LMAO!
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Quoting Meteorology101:
A Hollyween Cane, eprhaps?


feel like iam in the joint reading pig-latin
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Quoting mikatnight:


Hiya Pat -
Looks like you guys are gonna eat us alive...


Why,havent ya heard?,..were gonna switch the Game to the Dome as Miami is Expecting a Hurricane Sunday.

Well,...that's what I heard on the ol internet's,and we know that has to be true.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129090
335. xcool
Meteorology101 THANK AND MATT TOO
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting mikatnight:


Hiya Pat -
Looks like you guys are gonna eat us alive...


nah have faith; gonna be a high scoring game though lol
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I know, guys, im just concerned, tahts all
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Quoting Patrap:
Saints Play Miami Sunday @ Miami.1pm EST.



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










Hiya Pat -
Looks like you guys are gonna eat us alive...
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Happy birthday Xcool
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thanks for teh reply burned. geeze i'll be in school then, i wonder what's fiu's policy on hurricanes?
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Quoting Meteorology101:
Drakoem, if the ecmwf forecast were a perfect one, when would you anticipate watches to go up for SF?


I would say just watch the fire ants...or the squirrels. Any strange activity, like the one in my picture, and you'll know the storm's coming. ;-)
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Quoting Meteorology101:
Drakoem, if the ecmwf forecast were a perfect one, when would you anticipate watches to go up for SF?


dude, chill out, youre getting WAY ahead of yourself
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Late week front is going to keep whatever is down there in the Carribbean


The front would draw it north, not keep it south

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Quoting xcool:







Happy Birthday X!
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Quoting Meteorology101:
Drakoem, if the ecmwf forecast were a perfect one, when would you anticipate watches to go up for SF?


LOL!
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30615
324. IKE
Quoting Meteorology101:
Drakoem, if the ecmwf forecast were a perfect one, when would you anticipate watches to go up for SF?


LMAO!
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323. xcool





Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting Meteorology101:
Drakoem, if the ecmwf forecast were a perfect one, when would you anticipate watches to go up for SF?


very hard question to ask at this time, BUT if the timing verified I would say Late NEXT Monday or Early NEXT Tuesday lol
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Quoting jipmg:
Rick is done, its been ripped apart by shear:

http://icons-pe.wunderground.com/data/images/ep200920_hd.gif

exposed naked swirl starting to appear

yep ts next update for sure also the moisture is still going to south tx
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Can someone please give me a link to the ECMWF
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10-Day UNYSIS GFSx
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129090
Late week front is going to keep whatever is down there in the Carribbean
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HPC favors the ECMWF and the GGEM.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30615
Drakoem, if the ecmwf forecast were a perfect one, when would you anticipate watches to go up for SF?
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Quoting ackee:
when do u guys think the NHC will pain carrb system yellow


still could be a day or two, even the ECMWF doesn't develop it until Saturday
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314. IKE
HPC 6 day forecast....




HPC 7 day forecast....

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313. ackee
when do u guys think the NHC will pain carrb system yellow
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Quoting iluvjess:
Go Saints! Them Gators had a hard time with the Hogs Saturday afternoon.


Gators were bailed out big time by a few horrendous calls in that game that went in their favor
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Quoting xcool:
Patrap i.m coming over :)


Bring Cold St. Pauli Girls and rice then.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129090
Quoting Patrap:
Saints Play Miami Sunday @ Miami.1pm EST.



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










Good luck to your Saints, but goooo Dolphins

based on the timeline, the game should be good to go
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Go Saints! Them Gators had a hard time with the Hogs Saturday afternoon.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129090
Quoting Drakoen:
Good consistency from the ECMWF.


Yep - hard to ignore that run. What's that 4 out of the last five? Time will tell.
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306. xcool
Patrap i.m coming over :)
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Saints Play Miami Sunday @ Miami.1pm EST.



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








Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129090
I was up there, Ike. Now I'm back in Sweetwater, FL.
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ECMWF has been very consistent not only on development but on track; it is definitely something to keep an eye on
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A Hollyween Cane, eprhaps?
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Good consistency from the ECMWF.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30615
300. IKE
Quoting Meteorology101:


should i monitor this, burned?


You're in Tallahassee. You're safe.
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ECMWF 12z from their site

ECMWF
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298. jipmg
Rick is done, its been ripped apart by shear:

http://icons-pe.wunderground.com/data/images/ep200920_hd.gif

exposed naked swirl starting to appear
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297. ackee
any body link latest ECMWF RUN
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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.