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 IKE:


At least he isn't pulling a hoax with a helium balloon and getting his kids involved in it.


..The Day is young and well,balloons are cheap.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
LMAO at comment 91, take about ratting yourself out lol


ha already admitted it last night, I'm trying to have more patience for him, you know, trying to give him another shot
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95. IKE
Quoting ElConando:


okay, he was a bit of a butt when he first started blogging here but w/e mets are humans too.


At least he isn't pulling a hoax with a helium balloon and getting his kids involved in it.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
LMAO at comment 91, take about ratting yourself out lol
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Quoting IKE:


Yes.


okay, he was a bit of a butt when he first started blogging here but w/e mets are humans too.
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Quoting presslord:
Someone...please...pat me on the back...

...a few of you know me well enough to understand how painfully difficult it is for me to keep my mouth shut...

...but I'm trying really hard...


My hand hurts from Flagging,..LOL
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Someone...please...pat me on the back...

...a few of you know me well enough to understand how painfully difficult it is for me to keep my mouth shut...

...but I'm trying really hard...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
89. IKE
Quoting Floodman:


I think we have a new handle for JFV/WS...too many semantic similarities

How you doing, IKE?


Yes it's him....again.

Doing fine for a Monday.

How about yourself?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Floodman:


I think we have a new handle for JFV/WS...too many semantic similarities

How you doing, IKE?


He admitted it last night in the main blog....
posts #974 and 975
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Quoting Meteorology101:
This system will not a nortehrn gulf of mexico affair; therefore, why worry about sst readings up there? lol


WeatherStudent..its the point of the matter.. Yes the carribean is fine..but it too has cooled in the NW carribean down to 82 off Cancun from 85 2 days ago.. but still can support a Tropical System. Carribean is fine still
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86. IKE
Quoting ElConando:


He is?


Yes.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Meteorology101:


The GOM waters are of no concern to this future system, remember, it's the carib waters that matter most here, and those are still pipping hot, with extraordinarily high tchp readings


That's about as far off the mark as.. well,..a person can be.



Hurricane Juan near peak intensity


Formed October 26, 1985
Dissipated November 1, 1985
Highest
winds
85 mph (140 km/h) (1-minute sustained)
Lowest pressure 971 mbar (hPa; 28.67 inHg)
Fatalities 24 direct
Damage $1.5 billion (1985 USD)
$3 billion (2009 USD)
Areas
affected Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida Panhandle


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Quoting IKE:


He has a right to his opinion + he's a met.

You'll be banned within days, if not hours, at the rate you're going.


I think we have a new handle for JFV/WS...too many semantic similarities

How you doing, IKE?
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Quoting IKE:


He has a right to his opinion + he's a met.

You'll be banned within days, if not hours, at the rate you're going.


He is?
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Quoting jipmg:


really? I thought the gulf waters were still in the mid and upper 80s..

]
The carribean is...and the southern GOM is still near 80- low 80s.. but Clearwater is down to 78 .. off Cedar Key its 75dg
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Quoting scottsvb:
There is no tropical development in the next 3 days...after that...its a wait and see. There is nothing to be excited about...Cold air in the GOM has decreased SSTs north o 26N to a point where development is unlikley..and after the next front in 5 days..it will sink to the entire GOM (except the warm eddy).
Masters says 60% chance in 10 days? More like 50% chance thru 40 days till Nov 30th


really? I thought the gulf waters were still in the mid and upper 80s..
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Met101 is weatherstudent anyways..
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good afternoon all,
just so you know, today is xcool's birthday
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73. IKE
Panama City water temp....Water Temperature (WTMP): 74.8 °F


Pensacola water temp....Water Temperature (WTMP): 70.5 °F

Buoy 22 NM SSE of Biloxi....Water Temperature (WTMP): 76.6 °F
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting StormChaser81:


So two cold snaps has cooled the GOM, Ah no, its still warm, going to take a lot more cold air to cool it down. Plus its only October, it really doesnt start cooling down till December.


dude the temps north of 27N have droped under 80 degress.. believe it or not
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69. IKE
Quoting Meteorology101:


get out of here, troll


He has a right to his opinion + he's a met.

You'll be banned within days, if not hours, at the rate you're going.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting scottsvb:
There is no tropical development in the next 3 days...after that...its a wait and see. There is nothing to be excited about...Cold air in the GOM has decreased SSTs north o 26N to a point where development is unlikley..and after the next front in 5 days..it will sink to the entire GOM (except the warm eddy).
Masters says 60% chance in 10 days? More like 50% chance thru 40 days till Nov 30th


So two cold snaps has cooled the GOM, Ah no, its still warm, going to take a lot more cold air to cool it down. Plus its only October, it really doesnt start cooling down till December.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
There is no tropical development in the next 3 days...after that...its a wait and see. There is nothing to be excited about...Cold air in the GOM has decreased SSTs north o 26N to a point where development is unlikley..and after the next front in 5 days..it will sink to the entire GOM (except the warm eddy).
Masters says 60% chance in 10 days? More like 50% chance thru 40 days till Nov 30th
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Quoting JamesSA:
Interesting...

Lupit IR Floater Animation

EWRC?


Looks to be more than a EWRC...
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AOI/XX/XX
MARK
13.1N/79.8W
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60. IKE
12Z GFS@ 66 hours....


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Good morning/evening everyone! Thanks Dr. Masters for the morning update. Everybody be at peace and be blessed.
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58. amd
Quoting atmoaggie:
Awfully close to being able to analyze a decent low based on these obs. Some west winds to the south would be the clincher.


(Best viewed full size(click)...this plot will update hourly)


Would this qualify? West winds at Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1024
Interesting... Watch Lupit's eye:

Lupit IR Floater Animation

EWRC?
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Awfully close to being able to analyze a decent low based on these obs. Some west winds to the south would be the clincher.


(Best viewed full size(click)...this plot will update hourly)
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Quoting Meteorology101:


Thak you.


Hey 101, How are you? We might have a little activity yet this season.
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Quoting Floodman:


If the CMC had their way, Sioux Falls Iowa would have an encounter...LOL
ROFLOL
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Quoting tmangray:
Interesting and relatively rare rapid development of a large tropical cyclone south of Hawaii, just upgraded to tropical storm status and dubbed Neki.


Thanks for also flagging up this cyclone which merits watching. It is forecast to be at hurricane strength by Wednesday GMT as it passes near Johnston Atoll. Latest forecast map:

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Thank You for the update, Dr. Masters
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Interesting and relatively rare rapid development of a large tropical cyclone south of Hawaii, just upgraded to tropical storm status and dubbed Neki. Although the current models have it moving northwest, the forecasters are wary because of its proximity and also because in this El Nino year, the transpacific steering currents represented by the subtropical and polar jets are digging in their direction on a regular basis, weakening the normal blocking ridge. They also recall the surprise of Iniki not too many years ago.
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A site visitor was kind enough to point to me that Hurricane Rick is the 5th fastest intensifying east pacific storm on record over 24-hour period - slower than Jimena. But, 6th over a 36-hour period - faster than Jimena.
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hydrus...Can you post me a link? We are preparing to get busy if we need to...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492

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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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