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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I beleive the track will be similar to the ECMWF. Let's remember the accuracy of this model witl BILL. It has not been too consistent with the strength of the system but yes with the track.
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October 19 2005 - 1:15 PM EDT



48 hr 17-19 October 2005.



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192. IKE
Quoting Meteorology101:


Really? Oh, my apologies then, sir. However, why doesn't it work for me, :(. Well hey, can you at least tell me what it shows? Thank you


Shows the strongest vorticity in the eastern-PAC. Shows a secondary vorticity heading into the Belize area.
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Quoting Meteorology101:


Really? Oh, my apologies then, sir. However, why doesn't it work for me, :(. Well hey, can you at least tell me what it shows? Thank you


JFV/WS/Met101, click through the error and you'll get to the site
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Quoting mikatnight:
Good Afternoon -
If I remember correctly, the CMC (this year) has had the most reliable storm track predictions, but has been highly unreliable as to predicting storm formation.
Which of the models are considered for this year to be the best at predicting storm formation? Is it ECMWF?


CMC did very good with Rick before it even became a depression. All the way to landfall (presuming current NHC forecast holds true - which looks like it should)

Edit: scratch the landfall comment. CMC only goes out five days. Nonetheless, not far off at all as far as position and, it appears, intensity
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Quoting IKE:


Yes it does work. I checked it twice.


I think his problem is the certificate error...
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Quoting Orcasystems:


ROFLMAO, you were not included in the remark.. nor was StormW.


I know, just a general comment.
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The system is building from the bottom, up. 850 mb vort continues to increase, also at 700 mb and 500 mb. Vorticity was non-existent at 500 mb yesterday, now there are hints.

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Quoting Weather456:


as if anyone here waits on the NHC.

:)


ROFLMAO, you were not included in the remark.. nor was StormW. There are a few others who are... umm hoping (wish is such a nasty word).
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
184. IKE
Quoting Meteorology101:
Ike, that NOGAPS link never works, fix it, plz. Thanks


Yes it does work. I checked it twice.
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183. xcool
models this far out are inconsistent
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15624
Quoting Meteorology101:



They're watching it though. or else, it'll end up bitting them in their buds when they less expect it.


a.k.a Grace.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Blasphemy... quoting a real weather source when so many others on here have said different :)


as if anyone here waits on the NHC.

:)
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Rick ity
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Pressures continue to fall relative to the 24 hr diurnal cycle.
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Quoting IKE:
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT MON OCT 19 2009

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

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

$$
FORECASTER ROBERTS/BRENNAN


Blasphemy... quoting a real weather source when so many others on here have said different :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
175. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT MON OCT 19 2009

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

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

$$
FORECASTER ROBERTS/BRENNAN
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Quoting Drakoen:


ECMWF


Thanks Drak, and to Wxlogic (#159) who answered before I finished asking...
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Blog Update

Tropical depression may form later this week
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Quoting mikatnight:
Good Afternoon -
If I remember correctly, the CMC (this year) has had the most reliable storm track predictions, but has been highly unreliable as to predicting storm formation.
Which of the models are considered for this year to be the best at predicting storm formation? Is it ECMWF?


ECMWF
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170. IKE
12Z NOGAPS.


12Z CMC.
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IKE, eventually the moisture form that low heads north into Mexico and when it gets to the 384 hour time frame, the remnats are starting to move into the GOM, slowly.
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Good afternoon all
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There is clearly some low level vorticity in the southern Caribbean taking shape.
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lol...it's was never advisable for me to have distractions when studying physics...
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Good Afternoon -
If I remember correctly, the CMC (this year) has had the most reliable storm track predictions, but has been highly unreliable as to predicting storm formation.
Which of the models are considered for this year to be the best at predicting storm formation? Is it ECMWF?
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Quoting WxLogic:
151. tornadodue...

Hi!!! :)


Hehe... multitasking... working, blogging, and studying some physics.
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Quoting WxLogic:


Hey Drak... hehe. Noticed you post after I posted mine.

If things do materialize to some degree then ECMWF will still retain its crown of best performing models. Then I will have to say shame on us here in the US for not doing a better job at implementing better "physics engines" on our forecast models.


I'm still for a more progressive solution with the ECMWF and CMC.
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Quoting WxLogic:
151. tornadodue...

Hi!!! :)


haha how's it going?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
151. tornadodue...

Hi!!! :)
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Quoting Drakoen:


Afternoon!


Hey Drak... hehe. Noticed you post after I posted mine.

If things do materialize to some degree then ECMWF will still retain its crown of best performing models. Then I will have to say shame on us here in the US for not doing a better job at implementing better "physics engines" on our forecast models.
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The models have major time lag with the ECMWF being the fastest, the CMC in between, and the GFS the slowest.
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156. IKE
Quoting reedzone:
Look at 300 hours..

The isobars are a bit stretching more eastward into the WC. A broad area of disturbed weather on that time frame, no low.



I don't have a clue what you're talking about, looking at the complete 12Z GFS run.
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Quoting tornadofan:
12z CMC and 12z GFS seem to park a high over Georgia after this upcoming cold frontal passage. Looks like some fantastic weather at that point. If it holds true, it should protect the SouthEast USA and push any storm into Central America or Mexico, or even the EPAC.


This is the GFS on the trough at the same time the CMC has the system in the northern Caribbean.

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Thank you to nrtiwlnvragn, I have the HH data back for the Pacific :)




Seismic Monitor

AOI

AOI

Humor in Comments
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting WxLogic:
12Z CMC starting too look like ECMWF a couple runs ago.

Good afternoon by the way...


Afternoon!
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12z CMC and 12z GFS seem to park a high over Georgia after this upcoming cold frontal passage. Looks like some fantastic weather at that point. If it holds true, it should protect the SouthEast USA and push any storm into Central America or Mexico, or even the EPAC.
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Quoting WxLogic:
12Z CMC starting too look like ECMWF a couple runs ago.

Good afternoon by the way...


howdy
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
12Z CMC starting too look like ECMWF a couple runs ago.

Good afternoon by the way...
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


You have to switch over to the Pacific Recon page. It also has a google earth link.


Thank you thank you :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
CMC 12z has a significant storm in the Caribbean
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Quoting Floodman:


OMG...you're kidding, right?


...wish I were...
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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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