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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947. beell
I'm not sure ya'll can hold this post pace for 4-7 days.
Best wishes!
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Quoting Grothar:


I looked at your blog, couldn't find the house. You do take the most extraordinary pictures. Absolutely amazing.


Sorry, I added them in the comments section. They are interior shots.

And thank you.
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

ROFLMAO...should be cryin'...my son and his new wife live in Hawaii!


Then with you in Maryland and she in Hawaii, it must truly be "Paradise" for her. Only kidding, you are a very nice person.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25458
Quoting PcolaDan:


LOL Actually if you right click on them and then click on properties you can see them. (Giving up my secrets, I know.)


As an aside, I've added some pictures of a 1688 German house on my blog you might find interesting.


I looked at your blog, couldn't find the house. You do take the most extraordinary pictures. Absolutely amazing.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25458
Quoting Grothar:


Accept it for whatever it is. I haven't enjoyed an evening this much since I found out my mother-in-law was moving back to Sweden!

ROFLMAO...should be cryin'...my son and his new wife live in Hawaii!
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Quoting Seastep:


...and new data. ;)


To me that is more the reason, lack of new data, you can only go over the same data for so long lol; hasn't been any new data for a bit; so its time for a break
Quoting 19N81W:
that was funny...if you had any idea what I did and what time I need to get up...what a stupid comment..but then again its a blog


Take a chill pill ok, its not that anything is disorganized as you claim, but development is going to be slow; we will very likely have 93L tomorrow. Something that takes time to organize, there is only so much you can watch without going blind

Also for all we know, they both may have taken a break or on another blog.
Quoting 19N81W:
models models models...slow blog due to lack of organization....


...and new data. ;)
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Quoting Grothar:


Still at it,eh Dan!!!! You have got to tell me where you get them.


LOL Actually if you right click on them and then click on properties you can see them. (Giving up my secrets, I know.)


As an aside, I've added some pictures of a 1688 German house on my blog you might find interesting.
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Evening all on this wondrous splendid wubbulus stupendous night. :P
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937. 789
Quoting PcolaDan:


thanks again
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Quoting TampaSpin:
I think we can all agree that probably nothing will occur (Depression forming) for at least 3-4 days....each passing day we will have a better idea wether anything if anything develops. Just not sure personally that shear will ever drop enough for this thing to develop......time will tell.

Yes! I understand! It IS a miracle!
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that was funny...if you had any idea what I did and what time I need to get up...what a stupid comment..but then again its a blog
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

Hi, Grothar, good to see you -- maybe they were watching the news for a few minutes, like me? Okay, well maybe the sports and weather? I know baseball ran like, what, 11 innings, and then everything else was late.
Yup, the blog has been glorious tonight. Any explanation for this miracle, or should we just accept it as "grace"!??!


Accept it for whatever it is. I haven't enjoyed an evening this much since I found out my mother-in-law was moving back to Sweden!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25458
of the AOI???
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Quoting PcolaDan:




Still at it,eh Dan!!!! You have got to tell me where you get them.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25458
Quoting 19N81W:
models models models...slow blog due to lack of organization....


????

slow blog cuz its almost midnight for most on this blog who have jobs in the morning
A rather large disturbance, no matter how warm the water is, it will take a bit to consolidate.
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models models models...slow blog due to lack of organization....
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Quoting Grothar:
Wow, they haven't posted anything in almost 15 minutes. Did we scare them off with all the compliments. We need some info here, guys.

Hi, Grothar, good to see you -- maybe they were watching the news for a few minutes, like me? Okay, well maybe the sports and weather? I know baseball ran like, what, 11 innings, and then everything else was late.
Yup, the blog has been glorious tonight. Any explanation for this miracle, or should we just accept it as "grace"!??!
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
Can anyone see my posts? lol


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Quoting hurricane23:


Not looking forward to lights out on my 32nd birthday if the ECM pans out. Should be fun to see what evolves hopefully just batch of disorganzied thunderstorms into the area.


Yeah, this looks to be a slow to organize system in addition to be being a slow mover. Should have plenty of time to watch it. Hopefully nothing significant becomes of it if it can consolidate.

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G'nite, all. I'm bushed - I mean real tired...

lol
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LLC just southwest of the main convection? Just my guess based on shortwave. Been busy if this has already been discussed forgive me =)
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Wow, they haven't posted anything in almost 15 minutes. Did we scare them off with all the compliments. We need some info here, guys.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25458
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Hey Adrian, hows it going?


Not looking forward to lights out on my 32nd birthday if the ECM pans out. Should be fun to see what evolves hopefully just batch of disorganzied thunderstorms into the area.
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Shouldnt see significant development until this weekend.


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I think we can all agree that probably nothing will occur (Depression forming) for at least 3-4 days....each passing day we will have a better idea wether anything if anything develops. Just not sure personally that shear will ever drop enough for this thing to develop......time will tell.
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Quoting hurricane23:


Hey Mike!



Hey Adrian, hows it going?
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

Sure. Why not? Almost entirely civil in here tonight, almost. :-)


Hey Awake, how are you? Pleasant blog this evening, isn't it. I am learning a lot, especially to keep my mouth shut. lol
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25458
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Excellent discussion Drak and W456. Keep up the great work.


Hey Mike!

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915. xcool


Now down to 1006MB.oh wow






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Excellent discussion Drak and W456. Keep up the great work.
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.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
Can anyone see my posts? lol

Sure. Why not? Almost entirely civil in here tonight, almost. :-)
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What do you think of this one? Hey Drak and Weather, you are both hot tonight. It is like watching a tennis match. Keep going!!!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25458
Quoting Grothar:


As long as no one is jumping on you feel lucky. I asked a simple little question and was bombarded with graphs I don't even understand. JK. Good blog tonight.


Very good point lol, and I see they are really working awesome together figuring out what is going on
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
Can anyone see my posts? lol


As long as no one is jumping on you feel lucky. I asked a simple little question and was bombarded with graphs I don't even understand. JK. Good blog tonight.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25458
Quoting Drakoen:


Did you review the ECMWF frames from 00hr-72hr? It's still in the southern Caribbean. Also the CMC has a hurricane yet at the end of the run there is a clear cut weakness in the GOM.


Look at the upper left and upper right images, the high is out in the Atlantic (it shifts east as the trough advances which you can see digging over the Central CONUS). The storm slides N in response to the weakness between the 2 features

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Is Rick's coming and going the fastest a storm has gone from TS to Cat 5 and back again? That was amazing.
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Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29935
Well I gess we will know more in about 4/5 days on what this thing will do.... As for now I'm out, Everyone have a Good Nite....

Taco :0)
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Quoting hurricane23:
You can pick up the broad cyclonic rotation on ramsdis floater this evening. pretty large spread on the models in terms of track as CMC,GFS,and UK models seem to have a pretty well establised ridge over the southeast U.S and there for drive the disturbance into central america. ECM has no such thing a drifts the cyclone or what ever is down there northward in time.

Climatology favors this area so its something to keep an eye on.


Did you review the ECMWF frames from 00hr-72hr? It's still in the southern Caribbean. Also the CMC has a hurricane yet at the end of the run there is a clear cut weakness in the GOM.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29935
Quoting SevereHurricane:


I can, BAP.


lol ok, I was feeling largely ignored the last 15 minutes lol
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
Can anyone see my posts? lol


I can, BAP.
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Quoting Drakoen:


Last night's ASCAT pass would confirm a closed low.


yea and maybe part of the QS swath from this morning

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
You can pick up the broad cyclonic rotation on ramsdis floater this evening. pretty large spread on the models in terms of track as CMC,GFS,and UK models seem to have a pretty well establised ridge over the southeast U.S and there for drive the disturbance into central america. ECM has no such thing a drifts the cyclone or what ever is down there northward in time.

Climatology favors this area so its something to keep an eye on.
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Can anyone see my posts? lol
Quoting Weather456:


Almost place the low in the heart of the convection. QS would of helped big time.

I also notice the closed isobars, the TPC thinks it's closed.


Last night's ASCAT pass would confirm a closed low.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29935
Quoting Seastep:
C'mon QS. Looks like it's gonna miss, though.

For the ascat, QS discussion, I find ascat to be timed nicely, although less coverage, but it is an in-between QS passes look.

Windsat is basically worthless unless you get a hit that QS missed as the timing is roughly the same... if it even downloads anything.


I think the Ascat will catch half of it.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29935

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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.