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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1150. bappit
Wow! Nice info source: http://uddebatt.wordpress.com

That's the source of this graphic posted earlier.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MyrtleCanes:


jesus, does that go to China!?


The antipodes of Guatemala is in the Indian Ocean, SW of Sumatra.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LMAO. JFV back on the blog already? I have never seen Ocean24 prior to today.
Oh god its too early to start this again.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
hello stormtop how are ya
Isn't stormtop JFV. Ughhhh, this blog is so confusing.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LOL, I think we are going to get 10000 posts in 1 blog entry, mark my words.
No doubt about that i know one thing it will be chaotic!
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1144. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting HURRICANECAT5:
Well, we are just hours away from what could be a devastating and historical hurricnae season 2010.
hello stormtop how are ya
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Quoting Ocean24:


wow, eye-catching, hit the nail on the cofin tehre, huh?



JFV said that perfectly fine
LMAO. JFV back on the blog already? I have never seen Ocean24 prior to today.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Well, we are just hours away from what could be a devastating and historical hurricnae season 2010.
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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 !
LOL, I think we are going to get 10000 posts in 1 blog entry, mark my words.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Do I see a category 4 in there?


Audrey, 1957
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I think this storm could make it to a cat. 3 (SSHS), and bring a storm surge of up to 17 ft (5 m) into the Indus River Delta when it makes landfall near northwestern Gujarat.

Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
1135. IKE
Quoting Dakster:


Watching the ROV cams I keep waiting to see some creature snatch one up... It's like watching some 'B' Horror flick - only it's real..


It is interesting to watch. Working around the BOP.
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Quoting Weather456:
From my blog

Do I see a category 4 in there?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Weather456:
Wind shear, SST are favorable over the MDR but we forgot big sal

Yes looks like a lot but i heard there should be less sal this year in the atlantic is this true?
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Quoting JFLORIDA:
You guys should be nice Ive seen stuff in the GOM do some rather unexpected things.

Some very unexpected things to be sure.
Like Charlie?
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1130. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Ocean24:


wow, eye-catching, hit the nail on the cofin tehre, huh?



Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


i think you said this wrong...
JFV said that perfectly fine
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting kuppenskup:


So Ana was the only Cape Verde Storm that ever formed in the month of June?


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.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:
From my blog



So Ana was the only Cape Verde Storm that ever formed in the month of June?
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Wind shear, SST are favorable over the MDR but we forgot big sal

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
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 !
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Quoting winter123:
AAAH! Back from vacation and I completely missed the first WHEM storm of the season! What are the chances of reformation? (Anyone can answer, opinion or based on facts)

To me, looks like ok satellite presentation but pretty poor conditions right now.


If this blob survives, it could easily redevelop:
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
1123. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting weather42009:


They were locked up for wishcasting.
lol
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting weather42009:


They were locked up for wishcasting.
LOL!
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from john seach:

Monday 31st May 2010
Yasur volcano, Vanuatu
Eruptions have increased at Yasur volcano, Vanuatu. As of 27th May 2010 the alert status has been increased to Level 3. This means that visitors are not permitted within 500 m of the crater. Volcanic bombs are being ejected from the crater and there is ashfall in surrounding villages. An ash plume covers 100 nautical miles square and reached a height of 1.8 km. New Caledonia’s domestic airline has cancelled or delayed several flights to Mare and Lifou in the Loyalty Islands. Air Vanuatu has not canceled flights.
More on Yasur volcano...
Volcanoes of Vanuatu...

Monday 31st May 2010
Sarigan volcano, Mariana Islands
A submarine vent erupted 11 km south of Sarigan Island on 30th May 2010. An ash cloud reached a height of 8 miles. A large area of floating debris was observed south of Sarigan island, and discoloured water above the vent. A 0.5 m high tsunami was recorded at the island.
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From my blog

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Levi32:


If you want volume let's talk about the arctic...



The volume line is calculated from PIPS


So the Arctic ice is becoming smaller but thicker? There's more snowfall in the area? Sorry but near Alaska it will be warm any dry and that will help melt the already-thin ice:

Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
1116. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting TampaSpin:

cape storm this early i dont see possible!
thats not really true verdes start 3 or 4 weeks early this year high sst's are main reason along with low shear over MDR and off africa won't take much for things to spin up we have already seen this past weekend
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting Weather456:
I think that sink hole was created to throw BP and its executives right it...its deep enough.
LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Ocean24:


wow, eye-catching, hit the nail on the cofin tehre, huh?


i think you said this wrong...
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Quoting weather42009:


They were locked up for wishcasting.


lol
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1112. Dakster
Quoting JFLORIDA:


I think there is more than one hole photo set. Or different angles. If it is legit there seems to be a HUGE cavern on the side of the hole - and that area looks very unstable.

It would make sense that the heavy rainfall would weaken it enough for a partial collapse. You really dont see them that big usually.


Ip;ve seen a few photo sets now - still none of them show the "bottom". I would say the people standing near the edge of the hole are asking for trouble.

I did like the photo of the guy with the rope around his abdomen as he was looking over the edge. (Like that would save his life...)
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10787
Quoting SouthALWX:
There's a cruel joke somewhere in there...
You're momma's so fat she couldnt fit in a Guatemalan sinkhole ....
Anyway, looks like shear has disrupted any chance of TD-1 ?


That's a good one but I heard another today. Because of the oil spill the price of Omega 3 fish oil is going down on a daily basis, it seems there's a lot of that product now-You get it? Fish oil!
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
Anyway looks like ex-Agatha is dead, where did everyone go that claimed it was a TD already or 91L?


They were locked up for wishcasting.
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
NOAA's released temperature forecast for the next 3 months, show a persistent trough in the heartland. If correct, and the number of storms is correct, then this type of setup will open up the East Coast and eastern Gulf of Mexico to waves of hurricanes.

[/CENTER]


Don't forget that Southern Canada is expdcted to be warmer than normal...that same troughing pattern and eastern High influences my predictions for an active tornado season in S. Ontario and the possibility of hurricane landfalls near New York City.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
1107. Dakster
Quoting IKE:
View of the oil


Watching the ROV cams I keep waiting to see some creature snatch one up... It's like watching some 'B' Horror flick - only it's real..
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10787
Quoting StormW:


We may get a surprise this year! Although climatology says different...Look at 2 things here...the SST anomalies are like, historical, and upper level winds are forecast to become more favorable over a good portion of the MDR within the week.


Did we ever have a Cape Verde TS or Hurricane in the month of June before?
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Quoting StormW:
SHORTWAVE IR2 LOOP
Hey stormw!
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There's a cruel joke somewhere in there...
You're momma's so fat she couldnt fit in a Guatemalan sinkhole ....
Anyway, looks like shear has disrupted any chance of TD-1 ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Anyway looks like ex-Agatha is dead, where did everyone go that claimed it was a TD already or 91L?
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Quoting StormW:


Jimmy Hoffa!


LMAO

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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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