Tropical Storm Agatha one of the top ten deadliest Eastern Pacific storms on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:56 PM GMT on May 31, 2010

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The Eastern Pacific hurricane season of 2010 is off to a bad start. The mounting death toll from Central America's Tropical Storm Agatha has made that storm one of the top ten deadliest Eastern Pacific tropical cyclones on record. Agatha was a tropical storm for just 12 hours, making landfall Saturday on the Pacific coast of Guatemala as a 45 mph tropical storm. However, the storm brought huge amounts of moisture inland that continue to be wrung out as heavy rains by the high mountains of Guatemala and the surrounding nations of Central America. So far, flooding and landslides have killed at least 83 people in Guatemala, 13 in neighboring El Salvador, and one in Honduras. Guatemala is also suffering from the Pacaya volcano in Guatemala, which began erupting four days ago. At least three people have been killed by the volcano, located about 25 miles south of the capital, Guatemala City. The volcano has destroyed 800 homes with lava and brought moderate ash falls to the capital.


Figure 1. Flood damage in Zunil, Quetzaltenango, in Guatemala on May 29, 2010, after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Agatha. Image credit: Sergio Huertas, climaya.com

Agatha is the deadliest flooding disaster in Guatemala since Hurricane Stan of 2005, which killed 1,513. In a bizarre coincidence, that storm also featured a major volcanic eruption at the same time, when El Salvador's Santa Ana volcano blew its top during the height of Stan's rains in in that country on October 1. The eruption killed two and injured dozens, and worsened the mud flow damage from Stan's rains. The deadliest Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone on record for Guatemala was Hurricane Paul of 1982, which made landfall in Guatemala as a tropical depression. Flooding from Paul's rains killed 620 people in Guatemala.


Figure 2. Two-day rainfall totals for Central America as estimated by satellite, for the period 7pm EDT Friday May 28 - 7pm EDT Sunday May 30, 2010. Rainfall amounts of 350 mm (14 inches, orange colors) were indicated for portions of Guatemala. The Guatemala government reported that rainfall exceeded 36 inches in some regions. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Oil spill update
Light onshore winds out of the south to southwest are expected to blow over the northern Gulf of Mexico all week, resulting increased threats of oil to the Alabama and Mississippi barrier islands, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA. These persistent southwesterly winds will likely bring oil very close to the Florida Panhandle by next weekend.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post Wednesday with answers to some of the common questions I get about the spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
NOAA trajectory forecasts
Deepwater Horizon Unified Command web site
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Surface current forecasts from NOAA's HYCOM model
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and its Aftermath
What You Need to Know about Mercury in Fish and Shellfish

Jeff Masters

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1200. Makoto1
I remember starting to lurk in 2008... Rofl Omar that year sticks out a lot to me. Watching the comments was amazing, as was the fact that I had a class the night it really got going, and it strengthened rapidly once, stayed steady from the time I left until right when I got back, at which point it just exploded.
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I saw yesterday, the SSD had floaters on Agatha in both the Pacific and Atlantic. Does anyone know if that has ever happened before?
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Quoting extreme236:
\

In relation to the odds of early season CV storms? By early I'm more referring to July (Ex. Bertha 2008)


Im sorry, I was refering to a Cape Verde TS or a Hurricane in June. Dont bet the ranch on it. But July, oh yeah dont be surprised to see things come off around the early part of July and form this yr.
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1197. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting msgambler:
Good evening everyone. I just have one request: Could someone PLEASE send me a Who's/Who list of the players this year. I am so confused as to who everyone is with all the name switching. I barely know how to turn on my computer and now I have to keep up with people changing their personalities(which isn't always for the better). For those of you whom I trust, and you know who you are, don't change your names.....LOL
don't worry ms i was keeperofthegate when i started and will continue to be till i finish
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
No I'm serious, Ocean24 is JFV. He created an account today and uploaded a picture of the Miami skyline as his avatar today too. Plus he said "teh" instead of the. How more obvious can you get? Plus FIU2010 got banned so why wouldn't he make a new account?

the master of the blogs...LMAO..lets just see how many names he has to have before this season ends....he's like a damn pimple on your ass..he just keeps coming back...LOL!!
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Quoting Weather456:


not really during the day.
I'm going to be on during the day because of summer, and I'm sure I'll be on here late very often. Lol, I'm obssessed.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Weather456:


Lets consider three factors, the position of the Bermuda High, Intensity of Waves and African Rainfall.

2010 High should be centralized based on the negative NAO. With a high in the central Atlantic, there is less anticyclonic flow on the right side of the high to transport suspended dust particles westward.

Intensity of tropical waves. Tropical waves is what caused dust particles to be come suspended in the first place. More intense frequent waves cause more suspended dust particles, that is, 2005. 2005 was not a good cape verde year at all.

African rainfall as you would assume will lessen the likelihood of dust outbreaks. Africa (Sahel) has been wetter than normal over the past 30 days. However, the statistical model, CCA, foresees drier than normal conditions for Sahel during JAS. Two European models are forseeing near normal and below normal precips for JJA.

I believe there will be more dust suspended around Sahel this year but not much will be transported out into the ATL and Caribbean.

Thanks for clearing that up weather456.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LMAO.Oh it will be, I can guarantee that.


No it really wont. We're just having some fun cause it's downtime right now but when things heat up it's gonna be Tropic City!
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1192. Makoto1
Quoting Weather456:
My approach this season is to picture blog activity as a river. If the river is gently flowing, you can take a dip or two. But when the river turns into a rapid, then you stay on the bank and watch from the side.


That pretty much sums it up... Well for me add when I'm doing something else around here to on the sidelines.

And don't worry, we'll get something good to track soon enough, it's really early after all. I doubt I'd be able to pick those waves off Africa without being told where they are though...
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It is going to get wild in here for real. The worst year I've seen was 2008 since it was the first active year for the US since 2005 and back then we had very few people and I tell ya only a handful of us are left.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting bappit:


You come equipped with the button. She doesn't.


I wish she would sometimes-Oh God, I wish she would!-
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LMAO.Oh it will be, I can guarantee that.
Unfortuneatly you are probably right i tried to help him when he was fiu2010 but it didnt work so im not going to do the same stupid mistake a second time.
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Good evening everyone. I just have one request: Could someone PLEASE send me a Who's/Who list of the players this year. I am so confused as to who everyone is with all the name switching. I barely know how to turn on my computer and now I have to keep up with people changing their personalities(which isn't always for the better). For those of you whom I trust, and you know who you are, don't change your names.....LOL
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I agree. You can also catch me on here at 3:00 AM in the morning if there is something big in the Atlantic or just for pure entertaiment, lol. Hope to see you on the blog a lot.


not really during the day.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1186. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Weather456:
My approach this season is to picture blog activity as a river. If the river is gently flowing, you can take a dip or two. But when the river turns into a rapid, then you stay on the bank and watch from the side.
i think i will take the hit and move on approach i will also keep up to date info on my blog as best as possible
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Yes looks like a lot but i heard there should be less sal this year in the atlantic is this true?


Lets consider three factors, the position of the Bermuda High, Intensity of Waves and African Rainfall.

2010 High should be centralized based on the negative NAO. With a high in the central Atlantic, there is less anticyclonic flow on the right side of the high to transport suspended dust particles westward.

Intensity of tropical waves. Tropical waves is what caused dust particles to be come suspended in the first place. More intense frequent waves cause more suspended dust particles, that is, 2005. 2005 was not a good cape verde year at all.

African rainfall as you would assume will lessen the likelihood of dust outbreaks. Africa (Sahel) has been wetter than normal over the past 30 days. However, the statistical model, CCA, foresees drier than normal conditions for Sahel during JAS. Two European models are forseeing near normal and below normal precips for JJA.

I believe there will be more dust suspended around Sahel this year but not much will be transported out into the ATL and Caribbean.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:
My approach this season is to picture blog activity as a river. If the river is gently flowing, you can take a dip or two. But when the river turns into a rapid, then you stay on the bank and watch from the side.
Superb comparison!
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Quoting Weather456:
My approach this season is to picture blog activity as a river. If the river is gently flowing, you can take a dip or two. But when the river turns into a rapid, then you stay on the bank and watch from the side.
I agree. You can also catch me on here at 3:00 AM in the morning if there is something big in the Atlantic or just for pure entertaiment, lol. Hope to see you on the blog a lot.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting kuppenskup:


I think you've got a better chance of the Cleveland Browns winning the Super Bowl this yr. And that my friend is huge long shot!
\

In relation to the odds of early season CV storms? By early I'm more referring to July (Ex. Bertha 2008)
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1181. bappit
Quoting Weather456:


LMAO!


You come equipped with the button. She doesn't.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Are you new here? It gets worse. :(
Yeah only posting for two months here.
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Quoting kuppenskup:


I try hitting the ignore button on my wife but it never works.
LMAO.
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Man i hope this isnt a common occurence on the blog this year.
Oh it will be, I can guarantee that.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
My approach this season is to picture blog activity as a river. If the river is gently flowing, you can take a dip or two. But when the river turns into a rapid, then you stay on the bank and watch from the side.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting extreme236:
Tropical waves over Africa now could very well become a named storm farther west in the Caribbean, or even for that matter a storm in the EPAC. However if we were to start seeing well-organized waves or even named storms that far east early in the season, I'd call it a sign of whats to come.


I think you've got a better chance of the Cleveland Browns winning the Super Bowl this yr. And that my friend is huge long shot!
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Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Man i hope this isnt a common occurence on the blog this year.


Are you new here? It gets worse. :(
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1174. bappit
Quoting bappit:
Wow! Nice info source: http://uddebatt.wordpress.com

That's the source of this graphic posted earlier.



How does one go about finding a graph they want to share on Weather Underground off a site filled with political hate like that?
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


That's amazing that he's already created a second account and hurricane season hasn't even started yet.
Oh! I'm going to make a word page and list every single account he uses until November 30th beginning with FIU2010.

1. FIU2010
2. Ocean24

Now enough of JFV, he gives me the creeps.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
TROPICAL CYCLONE THREE-A
**IMAGES MADE BY CYCLONEKID**


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Quoting kuppenskup:


I try hitting the ignore button on my wife but it never works.


LMAO!
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting kuppenskup:


I try hitting the ignore button on my wife but it never works.
LMAO!
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


That's amazing that he's already created a second account and hurricane season hasn't even started yet.
Man i hope this isnt a common occurence on the blog this year.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Wow. I don't like to ignore people, sometimes they have good stuff to say, except for JFV, hehehehe.


I try hitting the ignore button on my wife but it never works.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
No I'm serious, Ocean24 is JFV. He created an account today and uploaded a picture of the Miami skyline as his avatar today too. Plus he said "teh" instead of the. How more obvious can you get? Plus FIU2010 got banned so why wouldn't he make a new account?


That's amazing that he's already created a second account and hurricane season hasn't even started yet.
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Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:
Ah its 144 hours though. i never bilieve a model when its over 100 hours.
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


Actually the ignore function helps with this problem, my current list cuts out at least an average of 10 percent of the posts.
Wow. I don't like to ignore people, sometimes they have good stuff to say, except for JFV, hehehehe.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


going going ....
Gone see ya just rain for florida no named storm wait till mid june and then we will get cranking!
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Quoting wadedanielsmith:
1148:

So...it goes to Krakatoa! Nice...


No, Krakatoa is to the east of Sumatra.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


going going ....

And just like my Sister in law, She's Gone!
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Quoting kmanislander:
I suspect the blog will become totally unmanageable this year once the action really starts. The number of active bloggers has grown significantly over the past three years. We may need circuit breakers like they have for the stock exchanges !


Actually the ignore function helps with this problem, my current list cuts out at least an average of 10 percent of the posts.
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6065
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
No I'm serious, Ocean24 is JFV. He created an account today and uploaded a picture of the Miami skyline as his avatar today too. Plus he shia "teh" instead of the. How more obvious can you get?
Oh really i havent been on most of the day so i didnt see him oh well here comes round 2.
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Tropical waves over Africa now could very well become a named storm farther west in the Caribbean, or even for that matter a storm in the EPAC. However if we were to start seeing well-organized waves or even named storms that far east early in the season, I'd call it a sign of whats to come.
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Quoting Weather456:
Wind shear, SST are favorable over the MDR but we forgot big sal



Quite an outbreak.

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1156. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


going going ....
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:


Nope, Ana was not a Cape Verde storm. So the answer would be zero. Does not really translate to June 2010 but you get a good idea how rare it is.

I know there's a first time for everything but I wouldnt bet the wife and kids on it-unless of course your Ozzy Osborne!
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1153. DEKRE
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


The antipodes of Guatemala is in the Indian Ocean, SW of Sumatra.


It could be skewed, no?
Member Since: April 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 306
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Oh god its too early to start this again.
No I'm serious, Ocean24 is JFV. He created an account today and uploaded a picture of the Miami skyline as his avatar today too. Plus he said "teh" instead of the. How more obvious can you get? Plus FIU2010 got banned so why wouldn't he make a new account?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1151. beell
Quoting Weather456:
Wind shear, SST are favorable over the MDR but we forgot big sal



A week or so of zonal flow over the N ATL may settle the dust some.
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1150. bappit
Wow! Nice info source: http://uddebatt.wordpress.com

That's the source of this graphic posted earlier.

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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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