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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1147. CycloneOz
8:24 PM GMT on February 08, 2010
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3751
1146. Grothar
7:46 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Quoting Grothar:


Looks as if our umlauts don't translate on the blog. If you ever have a chance to go to any Scandinavian country, you should. The fjords are an unforgettable sight in Norway. Sweden is also spectacular. People are under the impression that they are always covered in snow, which is not the case. Actually, Norway's climate on the coastal regions are quite mild because of the Gulfstream. Surprisingly so. The countries have the highest standards of living in all of Europe and they are all quite beautiful.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26452
1145. atmoaggie
2:03 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Now to look at the forest within which these trees are cropping up.

MJO has made a move in our direction and GFS is not being friendly with the forecast...

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1144. IKE
2:02 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1143. stormwatcherCI
1:57 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Re: Conditions in the Cayman Islands/Flooding brings misery to residents after heavy rain
Posted on Mon, 10/19/2009 - 21:50 in Local News

(CNS): With over seven inches of rain in the last twenty-four hours, many of Grand Cayman’s residents are now suffering from severe flooding and are trapped in their homes. Those living in the swamp area of George Town told News 27 that they feel they have been neglected by government as every time the island experiences heavy rain their lives come to a standstill. With at least another four inches predicted over the next 24 hours, flooding misery is set to continue for many living in low lying areas with poor drainage.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
1141. stormwatcherCI
1:55 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
You have come to the right place for any information you might need. Do not let the threat of whatever get you into panic mode. Just relax and take it easy. The good folks on here with help you through this and like I said if you feel the need call for someone to be with you.
Sorry about the double post but having some problems with the internet connection this am
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
1139. stormwatcherCI
1:54 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Quoting AndrewSurvicor:


I appreciate that StormW. I just can't help myself sometimes. I let the disorder get the best of me.
You have come to the right place for any information you might need. Do not let the threat of whatever get you into panic mode. Just relax and take it easy. The good folks on here with help you through this and like I said if you feel the need call for someone to be with you.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
1138. stormwatcherCI
1:53 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Quoting AndrewSurvicor:


I appreciate that StormW. I just can't help myself sometimes. I let the disorder get the best of me.
You have come to the right place for any information you might need. Do not let the threat of whatever get you into panic mode. Just relax and take it easy. The good folks on here with help you through this and like I said if you feel the need call for someone to be with you.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
1136. Patrap
1:51 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
RAAMB page,AL932009 - INVEST




RAAMB page,AL942009 - INVEST

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128632
1135. Orcasystems
1:50 PM GMT on October 20, 2009



Seismic Monitor

AOI

AOI

Humor in Comments
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
1134. foggymyst
1:50 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
AndrewSurvicor-totally undertsand. Lived that horrid night in West Kendall.
Member Since: September 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 383
1132. stormwatcherCI
1:47 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Quoting AndrewSurvicor:


Thanks for understanding. Yes I am letting it stress me out, but its part of the affliction, the "what if" thinking....the anticipatory anxiety. I overthink myself into panic. When I read the blog this morning I went into panic mode....heart started palpatating & breathing started hyper-ventalating. Its not fun.

When I was a kid I used to beg for a hurricane, and of course that was during the great drought of storms here in So Fla (I was born in Miami in 1960). But that all ended in 1992 when I was in Cutler Ridge stuck in my townhome during Hurricane Andrew, all alone except for my 14 year old dog Junior. I survived by putting a mattress over my head (and Junior) and hugging the base of the downstairs commode for 4 hours while a CAT 5 hurricane roared around me. I had no 2nd floor when it was over, and no furniture in my house, every window blown out, doors blown out, and north wall collapsed. It was the most horrifying and freigtening experience one could imagine.

This is why I get so excited (panic type) when I see anything about a storm. And this one could hit us and be a CAT 4 or 5 like Wilma or Andrew. Sorry to be a mess on here but its scary for people like me. Folks please understand.
I tuly do understand. I grew up in Miami but moved away in 1973. My parents lived in the Kendall area during Andrew. Fortunately, they received minor damage but devastation was all around. My father worked with the Dade County FD and was out within hours after Andrew. I came up the following year and Miami was still a huge mess.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
1131. IKE
1:46 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Quoting AndrewSurvicor:


Please be right. I just can't deal with a hurricane right now. I am dealing with a lot of other stress (waiting for a cancer test to come back) and just don't need this in my life.


I'm not a professional...just a blogger.

Looks rather disorganized this morning.

Good luck on your cancer test. I just went for lab work to check my kidneys...$363.50 worth of tests.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1130. ackee
1:45 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
94L will track similar to Michelle did 2001 but lot weaker
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1373
1128. kmanislander
1:40 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Back later.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
1127. ackee
1:37 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
94L keep us all guess what the chance it just moves into CA
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1373
1126. 2010hurricane
1:35 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
I know that 94L(Ida) will probably be the season's last storm. I wonder what the 2010 season would be like with a neutral?
Member Since: June 8, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 88
1125. Magicchaos
1:34 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
My local forecast for my area for anyone interested. It is from 8:00PM last night so it's like 12 hours old.



Finally back to averages after a cold outbreak last weekend.
Member Since: April 3, 2009 Posts: 107 Comments: 382
1123. beell
1:31 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Quoting AndrewSurvicor:


Sorry guys but I am a total amateur about all of this. Is that 50-60 knot good or bad for us in South Fla ? Please excuse my ignorance.


That would be good for FL. Upper level conditions as modeled for increasing storm organization would be to your east and southeast. Across Central Cuba and the Bahamas.

We're still a long way out and there is not much to track yet-just a guess.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 143 Comments: 16720
1119. Patrap
1:26 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Quoting StormW:


Agree...it's only an INVEST right now folks. Another thing to keep in mind...do you think any of us would let anyone here be in harms way? Trust me...if and when the time comes...there are plenty of us here that will steer you in the right direction for OFFICIAL word.


G morning Chief Walsh,thats a good fact to remind folks.
When the Danger develops,one will know it here.

Plenty of good minds and knowledgeable folks around here who can disseminate the forecast. and trends.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128632
1116. kmanislander
1:22 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Storm, what do you make of the QS pass ?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
1113. presslord
1:21 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Quoting Patrap:


We have room,Dinner is always at 7 cdt,..and you have to make your bed every morning too


sounds fair
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
1110. Patrap
1:19 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Quoting presslord:



actuaslly Pat...that's not true...

...my spouse is threatening to kill me if I don't go to this silly Living Rosary thing at church tonight...

Can I come live with you?


We have room,Dinner is always at 7 cdt,..and you have to make your bed every morning too
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128632
1108. Patrap
1:18 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
94L Computer runs,WU

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128632
1107. kmanislander
1:18 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Good morning

I just took a look at the Quikscat pass and there is not even a hint of a surface low where 94L is supposed to be.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
1106. presslord
1:16 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Quoting Patrap:
There is no threat to anyone from anything at this time,nor is any forecasted.
Belay any talk of any evacuations,.

First rule always,IGNORE rumor and Disaster casters.

Always



actuaslly Pat...that's not true...

...my spouse is threatening to kill me if I don't go to this silly Living Rosary thing at church tonight...

Can I come live with you?
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
1105. Seflhurricane
1:14 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
what are the possibilities of 94L Affecting South Florida next week everyone thought the season was over
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3022
1104. Patrap
1:14 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
There is no threat to anyone from anything at this time,nor is any forecasted.
Belay any talk of any evacuations,.

First rule always,IGNORE rumor and Disaster casters.

Always
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128632
1103. presslord
1:14 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
And riding out a big hurricane doesn't induce panic?
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
1102. Patrap
1:12 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
IR Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128632
1100. stormwatcherCI
1:11 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
Quoting AndrewSurvicor:


Moving is not an option, or I would, trust me. For a number of reasons, including panic attacks when I leave my home, travel anywhere is a virtual no-no. Therapy is not as easy to come by as you might think it is, especially if you don't have medical insurance because you work for yourself, and can't afford $ 600 a month for insurance.
If you don't feel able to leave your home then call for someone to come be with you. Don't face it alone. Nothing wrong with being afraid.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
1099. stormwatcherCI
1:10 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
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.
I understand your fear having gone through Ivan in Grand Cayman but letting it stress you out is not a good thing. If you are really afraid when the time comes call for someone to help you move to a shelter where you won't be alone and they have professionals who can help you deal with it.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
1097. stormwatcherCI
1:07 PM GMT on October 20, 2009
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 .
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392

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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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