Rick weakens; Lupit headed to the Philippines; Western Caribbean brewing a storm?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:09 PM GMT on October 19, 2009

Share this Blog
2
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 897 - 847

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23Blog Index

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: 29922
Quoting Drakoen:
The place the low further north than I would have expected maybe a comprise between the cimss observations and the surface observations with the satellite imagery of a broad system.


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thank you StormW for all you do for this site....

Have A Great Nite

Taco :0)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The place the low further north than I would have expected maybe a comprise between the cimss observations and the surface observations with the satellite imagery of a broad system.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29922
Quoting BahaHurican:
Hey, TS, long time no see. I think the NHC threw up the yellow to suggest earliest possible formation, rather than to suggest that by Wed we'd be moving to orange or red.... if anything the area is likely to stay yellow for a few days. The description attached seems a pretty good description of what I'm seeing. What would be more interesting to me is if they decide to take it down altogether at some point this week, though that seems pretty unlikely.


I agree something should be posted as an AOI.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BahaHurican,

I was not aware the anticipation of development had change. I think most including Dr Masters agreed between 4-7 days.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Also looking at the NWS in Miami, temps stay consistent the entire forecast period

Highs in the mid 80s, lows in the mid 70s


Quoting Weather456:
Drak, we were close, now down to 1006 mb



Real Close lol
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29922
Quoting Weather456:


and illustrated by the increase in 500 mb vort @ cimss


That's the one that caught my attention.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
great job guys
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Maybe things will align tomorrow as the ECMWF suggests:

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29922
Drak, we were close, now down to 1006 mb

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Speaking about pushback, our local met mentioned that the front is likely to retrograde through our area sometime on Friday, followed by the arrival of another front on Sunday. I've been trying to work the logistics of that out in my mind since about 8 p.m......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Also based on the temps in Central Florida, this cold front is nowhere near as strong as the one that came through a few days ago

Highs in the low to mid 80s, lows in the upper 60s

We also don't have more than a 30% chance of rain any day for the next 7 days
Quoting TampaSpin:


I know that is at 500mb....


It is between 500mb and 850mb
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29922
Quoting Drakoen:
Over the past 12hours the 850mb vorticity has managed to remain east of Nicaragua as the mid level gained depth probably resulted in cyclonic flow in the steering.


and illustrated by the increase in 500 mb vort @ cimss
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey, TS, long time no see. I think the NHC threw up the yellow to suggest earliest possible formation, rather than to suggest that by Wed we'd be moving to orange or red.... if anything the area is likely to stay yellow for a few days. The description attached seems a pretty good description of what I'm seeing. What would be more interesting to me is if they decide to take it down altogether at some point this week, though that seems pretty unlikely.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFS has showed 10 different solutions the past 10 runs lol, its hopping around like a bunny during Easter

NOGAPS same way

I am thinking that maybe the issues is not with the ECMWF and not buying its solution, but with the GFS and NOGAPS; they seem to be having a really difficult time with what is going on in the SW Caribbean.
Quoting Weather456:


That is not an upper low, that is the steering flow and besides you are using the mid-low level layer.


I know that is at 500mb....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sorry... Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Last Night



Now

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Over the past 12hours the 850mb vorticity has managed to remain east of Nicaragua as the mid level gained depth probably resulted in cyclonic flow in the steering.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29922
Quoting TampaSpin:
Looking at pressure in the area.....it appears that on average the pressure is down about 1mb now ver. 24hrs ago.....1010.1 is the lowest i can find.....


SHIP at 8pm Eastern was 1006... up from 1005 at 12.7N79W.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


Yea. The mid level column is full of vorticity per the cimss mid level charts.


cool
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:


In other words, the low pressure system is altering the steering flow to make it appear cyclonic?


Yea. The mid level column is full of vorticity per the cimss mid level charts.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29922
Quoting TampaSpin:


Exactly why i didn't agree with the yellow circle to begin with.....but, that is a different story...LOL....Most models do not develop a system now.....thats all i'm saying. My belief is the reason they don't is bacause the approaching cold front will rip anything that tries to develop after Sunday as the cold front exists Florida....JMO.


Again the models not developing it are the ones that have been very inconsistent in what they want to show, as I said earlier I think it is better to follow models that are more consistent with the scenerio. The GFS and NOGAPS have been jumping around with solutions like crazy the last few days
Evening all. Not sticking around too long tonight. I have an important early meeting tomorrow, and am going to get some rest so I can wow the attendees....

It did catch my eye, however, that tonight's maps of the CAR look just like last night's, so much so that I refreshed my view several times thinking it was somehow "stuck" on this morning.... lol

So our time frame is now Friday instead of Wednesday? That would explain the no action call by NHC and some of the models.

Anyway, I'll look at the recent comments and see if there's anything to ask about. BTW, we've got 79 forecasted as tomorrow's high - almost cold.... lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good evening.

Great stuff tonight.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
866. JRRP
out....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:


substantial development is not expected to occur within that time frame. Most of the models that do develop the system show it not taking off for atleast 4/5 days.


Exactly why i didn't agree with the yellow circle to begin with.....but, that is a different story...LOL....Most models do not develop a system now.....thats all i'm saying. My belief is the reason they don't is bacause the approaching cold front will rip anything that tries to develop after Sunday as the cold front exists Florida....JMO.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


The low pressure center and associated mid level maxima is agitating the 500-850hpa layer that is in your graphic resulting in a cyclonic vortex in that layer.


In other words, the low pressure system is altering the steering flow to make it appear cyclonic?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:


Where you have place a low there appears to be an ULL in that area also......



That is not an upper low, that is the steering flow and besides you are using the mid-low level layer.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:
So it sounds like most don't think the Trough that will exit the South tip of Florida on Sunday will be strong enough with the increased Shear it will bring to not affect the AOI...i think we might be jumping the gun here a little....if the system does not get going in 3 days it may not ever...IMO


TS one problem, based on the ECMWF the system will still be between Jamaica and the Caymans on Sunday; this is going to be a very slow mover

Also as usual most weather offices in Central and South Florida differ in how far south the front actually goes.
Quoting TampaSpin:


Where you have place a low there appears to be an ULL in that area also......



The low pressure center and associated mid level maxima is agitating the 500-850hpa layer that is in your graphic resulting in a cyclonic vortex in that layer.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29922
Quoting Weather456:


I created this about an hr ago, I think its fair to say it still applies



Where you have place a low there appears to be an ULL in that area also......

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
858. BtnTx
Moscow Mayor Promises a Winter Without Snow

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20091017/wl_time/08599193082200
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:
So it sounds like most don't think the Trough that will exit the South tip of Florida on Sunday will be strong enough with the increased Shear it will bring to not affect the AOI...i think we might be jumping the gun here a little....if the system does not get going in 3 days it may not ever...IMO


substantial development is not expected to occur within that time frame. Most of the models that do develop the system show it not taking off for atleast 4/5 days.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good Evening All,

It's been a while since I've been on here...as there hasn't been much to talk about this season (at east not in the Atlantic basin). I see we have an AOI out there in the Caribbean now. It looks more organized than this morning. Convection does not seem to b able to maintain itself for an extend period which is undoubtedly slowing down development. Conditions seem to be mediocre for development at the moment...probably enough to allow a minimal TS. These later season storms in the Caribbean that develop in this area tend to hang around without much initial forward speed. Assuming we have a TS by weeks end, what type of track are we looking at taking into account current steering patterns?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
So it sounds like most don't think the Trough that will exit the South tip of Florida on Sunday will be strong enough with the increased Shear it will bring to not affect the AOI...i think we might be jumping the gun here a little....if the system does not get going in 3 days it may not ever...IMO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just for kicks and giggles...

0z NAM
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The systems appears to be being ventilated by the help by the upper level trough axis NE of the Leewards.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What is the thought on this wave in the carribean?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just woke up a while back. Must have missed something. Your lows match!! Glad I asked. Thanks.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25395
Looks like the low meandered south for the day not by much but gives support to the ECMWF. The meandering is also confirmed by the NHC surface analysis charts throughout the day.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29922
Well now you have my attention here..... I still think that it will be a few more days because there is no steering just yet..... Now which way does it go? I think I will keep flipping a coin and see where it lands....

Taco :0)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Hey Drak, and Weather. That is why I am asking? Where would either of you place it?


I created this about an hr ago, I think its fair to say it still applies

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Hey Drak, and Weather. That is why I am asking? Where would either of you place it?


Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29922

Viewing: 897 - 847

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
72 °F
Overcast