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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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


I didnt say it was was going to move into Central America. I clearly said the BAM suite moves it into CA.

I believe that it'll move slowly North over the next 4-5 days.
ok, my bad. I misunderstood you .
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You can beat cancer...and you can outrun a hurricane...I've done both...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
Mike need to wait for dynamic models i.e; GFDL/HWRF later today. Thing could drift into central america but i think thats becoming unlikely.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS
PRODUCING A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS AND THUNDERSTORMS. THIS SYSTEM
HAS THE POTENTIAL FOR SLOW DEVELOPMENT AS IT DRIFTS NORTHWARD
DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...LESS THAN 30
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.



I didnt say it was was going to move into Central America. I clearly said the BAM suite moves it into CA.

I believe that it'll move slowly North over the next 4-5 days.
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Quoting AndrewSurvicor:


That does not look good. How strong will the hurricane be ? As you see from my user name this is no joke to me. Please guys don't put me on ignore. I am scared crapless about these storms.


Nothing we can say will make your fear go away. If it's really that bad and you're having trouble coping...there are always the two obvious options:

1) Therapy
2) Move
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
BAM suite says we're all wasting our time and runs it into CA.
A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS
PRODUCING A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS AND THUNDERSTORMS. THIS SYSTEM
HAS THE POTENTIAL FOR SLOW DEVELOPMENT AS IT DRIFTS NORTHWARD
DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...LESS THAN 30
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

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LBAR moves northward


AL 94 2009102012 03 LBAR 0 125N 817W
AL 94 2009102012 03 LBAR 12 130N 821W
AL 94 2009102012 03 LBAR 24 142N 826W
AL 94 2009102012 03 LBAR 36 156N 830W
AL 94 2009102012 03 LBAR 48 171N 833W
AL 94 2009102012 03 LBAR 60 185N 830W
AL 94 2009102012 03 LBAR 72 194N 827W
AL 94 2009102012 03 LBAR 84 202N 817W
AL 94 2009102012 03 LBAR 96 202N 813W
AL 94 2009102012 03 LBAR 108 207N 808W
AL 94 2009102012 03 LBAR 120 213N 806W
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
BAM suite says were all wasting our time and runs it into CA.


LOL - I see your point. However, it is not wasteful for someone who enjoys watching the weather and trying to predict the weather.
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1083. beell
Still an area to watch even if the current Invest moves ashore as forecast by the BAM's.

Conditions should remain more or less the same in the southern Caribbean.
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BAM suite says we're all wasting our time and runs it into CA.
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1081. 19N81W
system looks pretty disorganized this morning?
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The Year of the Shear
sung to the tune of "The Year of the Cat"

On the morning of six one oh nine
In a country where the mets are fine
They saw El Nino freakin' like Peter Lore
Contemplating a crime

They came out of the sun from off Africa running
Generating a lot of rain
Bloggers asking for explanations
Why the canes never came
In the year of the shear.

Doc Masters answered all the questions
As storm after storm appeared
And we followed each one closely, would they get through this time
But each completely disappeared

By the blue tiled walls of the NHC stalls
There's a hidden door they'll show to you
These days, they're lounging and eating donuts
Just like a cop in Timbucktoo...
The year of the shear

Well, the sheer it does its work so cooly
Doesn't matter that the sun's on the sea
The sheer's relentless like a killer bee
MJO? Is it really trying to hide?
The year of the sheer

Mornings pass and its still out there
And most of the bloggers are gone
But you've thrown away your life and lost your marriage
So you have to stay on

But the drum-beat strains of El Nino remains
In the rhythm of the new-born day
You know sometime there's bound to be one
But for now they stay away
In the year of the shear
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AL 94

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 12.5N LONCUR = 81.7W DIRCUR = 0DEG SPDCUR = 1KT
LATM12 = 12.5N LONM12 = 81.9W DIRM12 = 236DEG SPDM12 = 2KT
LATM24 = 12.2N LONM24 = 81.7W
WNDCUR = 25KT RMAXWD = 0NM WNDM12 = 25KT
CENPRS = 1007MB OUTPRS = 1010MB OUTRAD = 150NM SDEPTH = D
RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM


SHIPS Text
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2009 Storms
All Active Year


Atlantic
94L.INVEST
93L.INVEST

East Pacific
20E.RICK

Central Pacific
03C.NEKI

West Pacific
93W.INVEST
22W.LUPIT
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1076. amd
looks like the area of maximum lower level vorticity with the sw blob is just north of puerto limon, costa rica. Rough guess being 11.4 N 82.5 West

850 mb chart from cimss

However, what I find interesting is that the 500 mb maximum vorticity, however weak, is quite a bit inland in central America, which doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.

500 mb vorticity inland over Nicaragua



Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1024
It looks as if the system in the Caribbean my be moving West into the Yucatan. This would hender development. Steering would also suggest it would move that direction.
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AL 94 2009102012 BEST 0 125N 817W 25 1007 DB
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I don't think we can ignore the fact the heat content in the path of our SW Carribean disturbance. We've seen what can happen with a weak tropical storm under only marginal conditions. I keep watching StormW post those TCHP maps. He is doing that for a reason obviously. People definitely need to be aware.
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Seismic Monitor

AOI

AOI

Humor in Comments
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
1071. beell
The best track for intensification would exclude FL. If we get something near 20N 80W moving NE across Cuba and the Bahamas.

50-60 knot southern jet across the GOM next weekend from the SW across FL.
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Quoting StormW:







I don't like that recipe ya got there Storm W. Need some more road blocks.
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Quoting IKE:


At least for a couple of days.

By this weekend there may be more road blocks(shear), facing it.

My unprofessional opinion...this never amounts to more than a moderate tropical storm that faces on and off shear it's entire life.

There hasn't been a hurricane past 70W all season, in 142 days of it. I'll go with what that's telling me and say this won't be a cane either.

So it could just bring a bit of wind and plenty of rain, is that good or bad for an area in drought?
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And now for something completely different...

The End of the World

They are seated, huddled, on the top of a mountain...


Jon : How will it be, this end of which you have spoken, Brother Enim?
Omnes: Yes, how will it be?
Peter : Well, it will be, as 'twere a mighty rending in the sky, you see, and the mountains shall sink, you see, and the valleys shall rise, you see, and great shall be the tumult thereof.
Jon : Will the veil of the temple be rent in twain?
Peter : The veil of the temple will be rent in twain about two minutes before we see the sign of the manifest flying beast-head in the sky.
Alan : And will there be a mighty wind, Brother Enim?
Peter : Certainly there will be a mighty wind, if the word of God is anything to go by...
Dudley : And will this wind be so mighty as to lay low the mountains of the earth?
Peter : No - it will not be quite as mighty as that - that is why we have come up on the mountain, you stupid nit - to be safe from it. Up here on the mountain we shall be safe - safe as houses.
Alan : And what will happen to the houses?
Peter : Well, naturally, the houses will be swept away and the tents of the ungodly with them, and they will all be consuméd by the power of the heavens and on earth - and serve them right!
Alan : And shall we be consumed?
Peter : Con..sum..éd? No, we shall not be consuméd - we shall be up on the mountain here, you see, while millions burn, having a bit of a giggle.
Jon : When will it be, this end of which you have spoken?
Omnes : Aye, when will it be - when will it be?
Peter : In about thirty seconds time, according to the ancient pyramidic scrolls... and my Ingersoll watch.
Jon : Shall we compose ourselves, then?
Peter : Good plan, Brother Pithy. Prepare for the End of the World! Fifteen seconds...
Alan : Have we got the tinned food?
Dudley : Yes.
Peter : Ten seconds...
Jon : And the tin-opener?
Dudley : Yes.
Peter : Five - four - three - two - one - Zero!
Omnes : (Chanting) Now is the end - Perish The World!
A pause

Peter : It was GMT, wasn't it?
Jon : Yes.
Peter : Well, it's not quite the conflagration I'd been banking on. Never mind, lads, same time tomorrow... we must get a winner one day...
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1064. IKE
Quoting AussieStorm:

but for how long?????


At least for a couple of days.

By this weekend there may be more road blocks(shear), facing it.

My unprofessional opinion...this never amounts to more than a moderate tropical storm that faces on and off shear it's entire life.

There hasn't been a hurricane past 70W all season, in 142 days of it. I'll go with what that's telling me and say this won't be a cane either.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Current Weather Conditions:
San Andres Isla / Sesquicentenario, Colombia

(SKSP) 12-35N 081-43W 6M
Conditions at

2009.10.20 1100 UTC
Wind from the E (090 degrees) at 5 MPH (4 KT)
Visibility greater than 7 mile(s)
Sky conditions mostly cloudy
Temperature 80 F (27 C)
Dew Point 77 F (25 C)
Relative Humidity 88%
Pressure (altimeter) 29.74 in. Hg (1007 hPa)
ob SKSP 201100Z 09004KT 9999 FEW011 BKN070 27/25 A2974
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Quoting XL:


Plenty. Seems to have been raining a lot during the night again and around 4.30am we got some thunder.
I should be going off island next week - we'll see!
We had a lot up here too. Lots of thunder and lightning. Hope your trip goes well.
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1061. XL
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Have you been getting much rain in WB ?


Plenty. Seems to have been raining a lot during the night again and around 4.30am we got some thunder.
I should be going off island next week - we'll see!
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1060. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT TUE OCT 20 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS
PRODUCING A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS AND THUNDERSTORMS. THIS SYSTEM
HAS THE POTENTIAL FOR SLOW DEVELOPMENT AS IT DRIFTS NORTHWARD
DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...LESS THAN 30
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ABOUT 750 MILES WEST-
SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTHERN CAPE VERDE ISLANDS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A
WESTWARD MOVING TROPICAL WAVE. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE NOT FAVORABLE
FOR DEVELOPMENT. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...LESS THAN 30 PERCENT...OF
THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting IKE:
Shear rules....




but for how long?????
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Quoting XL:
Welcome back StormwatcherCI
Have you been getting much rain in WB ?
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Quoting XL:
Welcome back StormwatcherCI
Thanks. I have been following the discussion but couldn't post. Last night was great. Thanks very much 456, StormW and Drakoen. Very educational.
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1055. XL
Welcome back StormwatcherCI
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1054. IKE
Shear rules....



Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting StormW:


Good evening Aussie.

All the info i have been reading on here during the last few days isn't making a pretty picture. I just hope Mr. Wind Shear keeps it in check.
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Quoting Weather456:


Its all on my blog, time frame for u guys is 5 days, they maybe a bit sooner or later depending on what it does. At most for u guys, a TS, I'm conservative though, so monitor the situation.
Thanks a million. I was thinking along those lines about time frame etc but since Paloma last year I am kinda on edge with that.
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Quoting WxLogic:


IF it were to develop, I would expect it to be a TD in the Carib. with a transition to a weak TS as it enters the SE GOM... but due to land interaction... I don't expect much.

Unless it somehow manages to intensify more than expected before it enters the SE GOM.

That's my take on it.
Thanks. Rapid intensification in the Caribbean is known to happen. Hope not but we are sure getting a lot of rain from it and it still is far off.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good morning everyone. Finally released from prison(24 hr ban) and can finally ask some questions. Any timeline for this to affect the Cayman Islands and can someone please give me an idea at what it is expected to be. TS or hurricane ?


Its all on my blog, time frame for u guys is 5 days, they maybe a bit sooner or later depending on what it does. At most for u guys, a TS, I'm conservative though, so monitor the situation.
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1049. WxLogic
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good morning everyone. Finally released from prison(24 hr ban) and can finally ask some questions. Any timeline for this to affect the Cayman Islands and can someone please give me an idea at what it is expected to be. TS or hurricane ?


IF it were to develop, I would expect it to be a TD in the Carib. with a transition to a weak TS as it enters the SE GOM... but due to land interaction... I don't expect much.

Unless it somehow manages to intensify more than expected before it enters the SE GOM.

That's my take on it.
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Good morning everyone. Finally released from prison(24 hr ban) and can finally ask some questions. Any timeline for this to affect the Cayman Islands and can someone please give me an idea at what it is expected to be. TS or hurricane ?
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1047. WxLogic
Good Morning...

Interesting how 00Z ECMWF speed up development into a sheared type system which is typical for this time of the year too.
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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.