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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Good morning all

Today we have Ex Agatha round two underway. Yesterday the small low drifted to the North and got sheared out.

Today, a slightly different scenario so far. While there are similarities to yesterday, such as a relatively small surface low, no signs of rapid organization and high surface pressures in the general vicinity there is one noticeable difference between the two and that is that today that low is just sitting in one place avoiding the shear to the North.

While 1012 mb is relatively high it wouldn't take much for that to drop a couple of mb by late this evening if it maintains itself.

Overall, the convective pattern is superior to yesterday's attempt and for these reasons this one is more worth watching IMO than the low we saw in the same area on Monday.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15790
LOL sorry didnt know it had already been posted
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Quoting SiestaCpl:


Fewer storms to stir the soup of the gulf and carib mean warmer deep water for the following season..are we reaping the "benefits of a slow year past perhaps.

I would think the GOM would be much colder due to the cold winter you guys had, that's why many places got snow, Moisture from the GOM cause of no storms in 2009 hurricane season. Which mean's they had a bit of catching up to do, but they have well and truly caught up now.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
morning....for anyone interested heres Crown WEathers outlook for 2010 hurricane season....Link
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The AOI off belize is starting to get a lot of really high clouds in the center.. granted there is shear and dry air to the north but it looks like it might form a TS in place if the convection keeps up. It has cirrus outflow in all directions
IF it does form up given the mid atalantic ridging thats going to build for the next few day and the UL trough over the central US it would most likely head a little NE then N. There is a presistient trough over and north of the DR, PR and VI.s for the next few days the chances of it going against the trades and slipping into the trough and heading NE are pretty week .

The wave at 60W might be something in a few days just north of aruba and the tail of the trough over the VI's could spawn something.

The ITCZ has really quieted down..
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Quoting aspectre:
SiestaCpl "There are suggestions that they want to try anything but something which will permanently block the flow. If they succeed with the side drilling they will be able to "save the well" and get to pump it for years to come"

Will you guys jut CUT IT OUT? At least think for a minute.

There are TWO relief wells going down right now: one is under halfway down to the oil deposit, the other is over halfway down to the oil deposit.

Block the flow permanently in the failed well, and ya got TWO wells positioned nicely to suck up what's down there.


Please understand that the question is out there, not that i endorse it. I have been working in the mining industry internationally for 28 years and I do know well the need for cost recovery and I have witnessed poor decision making based on the cash recovery need. Patrap's comments clarified and dismissed the subject excellently. No vitrol is needed in posts here. I'm not an expert in oil drilling and wished clarification. Were this a platinum or copper mine I could fill in such questions myself. Enjoy....
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Quoting kimoskee:
Sink Hole pictures

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37420998


That sink hole is huge, I feel so sorry for them folks over there. Prayers goes out to them. God Bless.
Sheri
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Quoting wadedanielsmith:
18% said if they needed to evacuate they'd go to a local motel or hotel?

You gotta be joking?! The roof and awning on most local hotels and motels are among the first things to go in a major hurricane.


30% still say "nothing" and "Tape" for window protection...

How many times people gotta be told tape does nothing? ...nothing...


17% "It's the government's responsibility"...

Must be the "nanny state" african americans in New Orleans...

As a SELA resident, I can say it was the PEOPLE'S fault what happened with Katrina. Every major hurricane expert for 30 years has been screaming bloody murder about NOLA's vulnerability,a nd the moron citizenry acts as if they never knew any of that...


OMG...

30% are gonna ride out a HURRICANE in the Basement....what, do they plan on bringing scuba gear?!

81% are 35yrs and older, and they did that bad on that survey...

This is insane...

Does anyone in this country actually bother to learn anything any more? The culture of ignorance, drunkenness, and debauchery continues...


as evidenced by this post...
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1992. Levi32
Quoting SevereHurricane:
Crown Weather Updated its Hurricane Season Forecast this morning.

Link
\

Funny, exact same numbers as me lol.
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In other news...(from the 8 a.m. NHC Discussion)
TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 78W S OF 12N MOVING W 10-15 KT. WAVE IS OVER THE SW CARIBBEAN AND MOVING INTO THE E PACIFIC REGION.
SCATTERED STRONG CONVECTION IS WITHIN1 75/90 NM ALONG THE COAST OF COLOMBIA AND W PANAMA BETWEEN 73W-78W.
Looking at shear, vorticity, upper and lower level divergence/convergence, seems to be a lot going on in that area right now. Would love to hear the technical analyses.
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Dr Lyons bailed on TWC in April... he went back to the NWS and Meteorologist-in-Charge of the forecast office in San Angelo, Texas... Hev didn't like the show biz either...
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1989. Levi32
One of the few things going for ex-Agatha is the blob isn't moving like it was yesterday morning. This repeat-exercise is nearly stationary.
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Crown Weather Updated its Hurricane Season Forecast this morning.

Link
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If you own shares of BP, don't look at the stock price now.
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SiestaCpl "There are suggestions that they want to try anything but something which will permanently block the flow. If they succeed with the side drilling they will be able to "save the well" and get to pump it for years to come"

Will you guys just CUT IT OUT? At least think for a minute.

There are TWO relief wells going down right now: one is under halfway down to the oil deposit, and the other is over halfway down to the oil deposit.
Block the flow permanently in the failed well, and ya got TWO wells positioned nicely to tap into what's down there.
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Afternoon Aussie
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Good morning Pat, Ike, Levi, Drak, Kori, and all other I missed. Ike, they don't pay him near what he is worth for the work he is doing. IMO!! Hope all are well this morning.
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Quoting Nolehead:
1913. mikatnight 1:59 PM GMT on June 01, 2010
Quoting NorthofAtlanta:
Looks like they're cutting the riser about 40' from the BOP, Stress relief before they cut the top off?

live feed


Wow...happening now. Must see tv!


morning everyone....i just hope they understand the amount of pressure that will be coming out of it when they do cut it...if they couldn't do anything about slamming mud into what makes them think they can just put something right on top of it?? i mean I'm no expert what so ever but 6500 psi is a lot of dang pressure...fingers crossed again but personally don't think it's going to work either...

I hope it works too. I would hate to see a Cat 5 in the GOM in August/September and it's got a top coat of oil.

Good Evening all.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
1981. Levi32
850mb vorticity became slightly better-defined and more offshore at 12z, right after the convective blowup started.

Upper-level divergence has increased, as expected. Low-level convergence has not.



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1980. IKE
Quoting mikatnight:


No kiddin'. I'm not crazy about having someone look over my shoulder while I'm working. Imagine how that operator feels with millions watching.


Same here.

Looks like he/she has sawed through the lower pipe.

Imagine the firmness of those teeth on that saw blade.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
I have seen quite a few changes on the Weather Channel since NBC took over, few of them good. I used to enjoy watching it, no longer.
In years past I relied on the WC most of my information. Way too much “show biz” on there now for me. Think I will rely on WU from now on; Dr. Master seems to be a straight shooter, not full of hype and BS. Many others on this site seem to have great info too.
Anyone know where the Weather Channel’s hurricane expert Dr. Lyons went. It appears they have a new guy.
Thanks!
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1978. Patrap


2010 Hurricane Preparation
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1977. Levi32
Quoting 69Viking:


I think it was the Doctor that pointed out the Oil isn't going to help things either. A good portion of the central GOM is now covered with brown oil that will only enhance the heating of the GOM water temperatures, this year could get ugly.


Perhaps locally and a small effect, but I hope nobody gets the bright idea that the gulf is warm because of the oil, because that is not true. Much bigger things are at work that caused the gulf to turn around from its winter cold record to now much above normal.
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Quoting IKE:
I wonder how much per hour the person is making that's operating that robot w/saw?


No kiddin'. I'm not crazy about having someone look over my shoulder while I'm working. Imagine how that operator feels with millions watching.
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Quoting Levi32:


Yesterday I was going through the 2005 maps, and I really do not like the heat content in the gulf especially, or even the Caribbean. 2005 had a warmer MDR in May but the depth of the warm water we have is insane this year. The Gulf of Mexico is getting way too much heat content this early.


I think it was the Doctor that pointed out the Oil isn't going to help things either. A good portion of the central GOM is now covered with brown oil that will only enhance the heating of the GOM water temperatures, this year could get ugly.
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1974. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


And how much time did they play video games in their youth?


LOL.

Fascinating to watch.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting IKE:
I wonder how much per hour the person is making that's operating that robot w/saw?


And how much time did they play video games in their youth?
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1972. IKE
Quoting Levi32:


Ike, I waited for you lol. You weren't awake last night to put up the first TWO of the season, so I had to do it :S


I was sawing logs. Thanks for thinking of me.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Levi32:


Yesterday I was going through the 2005 maps, and I really do not like the heat content in the gulf especially, or even the Caribbean. 2005 had a warmer MDR in May but the depth of the warm water we have is insane this year. The Gulf of Mexico is getting way too much heat content this early.


I was thinking the same thing. It seems that temperatures skyrocketed in the MDR in late may of 2005, while they slowly dropped this year due to the NAO. Now that the NAO is going negative once again, I'd expect the temps in the MDR to be 2005 levels (or more) once again. The heat content is ridiculous, though. I don't see anything slowing down the Gulf heating, or MDR for that matter. The trade winds look to remain lower than normal for a while. We all know what the main culprit for bringing down the temperatures will be, though. :-/
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1969. Levi32
Quoting IKE:
I wonder how much per hour the person is making that's operating that robot w/saw?


Ike, I waited for you lol. You weren't awake last night to put up the first TWO of the season, so I had to do it :S
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At least they don't have to worry about the saw blade heating up. Fascinating to watch.
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1966. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


Mid-level dry air trying to punch in from the west.


Yea you can see the dewpoint depression in the mid levels on the Skew-T
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29942
1965. Levi32
The problem is the trade wind inflow on the east side of the blob is coming out the other side just as fast into Mexico without really changing direction. This means little surface convergence. The only sign of life is the lack of winds near and over Belize, with hints of northerly or westerly flow in spots. But without a defined surface low this won't survive long. This MCS will have to create its own low, by becoming an MCV.
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Quoting Levi32:


Yesterday I was going through the 2005 maps, and I really do not like the heat content in the gulf especially, or even the Caribbean. 2005 had a warmer MDR in May but the depth of the warm water we have is insane this year. The Gulf of Mexico is getting way too much heat content this early.


Fewer storms to stir the soup of the gulf and carib mean warmer deep water for the following season..are we reaping the "benefits of a slow year past perhaps.
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1963. IKE
I wonder how much per hour the person is making that's operating that robot w/saw?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1961. Patrap
BP alters plan for next attempt to contain oil from Gulf spill


By Times-Picayune Staff
June 01, 2010, 7:57AM


After consulting with Adm. Thad Allen and other federal officials involved in stopping the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP announced Tuesday that it has modified its plan for the "lower marine riser package" containment system scheduled to take effect later this week.

Once the LMRP is operational, the hoses and manifold deployed for the "top kill" will be used to take oil and gas from the failed blowout preventer through a separate riser to a vessel on the surface. This enhancement, scheduled to take effect in mid-June, is expected to increase the amount of oil and gas that can be recaptured from the well.

The new free-standing riser will end approximately 300 feet below the surface. From there it will be connected to a containment vessel through a flexible hose. This second enhancement, scheduled to be completed in late June or early July, will allow the system to be disconnected and reconnected during and after a hurricane.
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1960. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:
This morning's Skew-T from Belize showed some light wind shear and reporting low level moisture from 950mb to the surface. Cape Values 1873 and PW 2.21in.



Mid-level dry air trying to punch in from the west.
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Quoting Grothar:


Looks pretty good for now? What do you see that we don't.



As was already said, the color images typically make things look more intense than they really are.

Additionally, the cirrus is beginning to expand on the eastern side while lessening on the western side, indicating the presence of westerly shear.
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Synergy Meeting

Excerpts:

GFS
The GFS update will occur no earlier than July 13. Issues with post processing and product generation are being resolved.


HWRF
RFCs have been submitted for changes in the HWRF. These changes include HWRF being coupled with the POM (Princeton’s Ocean Model). The HWRF implementation is expected June 1, 2010.


GFDL
Changes involve modifying the way the model removes the global vortex in its initialization procedure. Implementation has not yet been scheduled.

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Quoting Patrap:


No..the Top Kill pressures never got anywhere close to staunching the Flow rate to pump cement..the dont use concrete in the Industry,..its not fluid enough to pass thru a BOP Kill and choke line...



I stay away from rumor as a rule.

I listen to the PC's everyday mostly for the current news on the action.


Thank you, excellent clarification.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
I really wish I had even a small amount of confidence in what is going on with the Oil situation.

They are going to put a containment dome on it now ... that is SOOOO 6 weeks ago!


West and SW winds this week for us, not what we need. Sure wish this would have happened in the Winter time when we generally have North winds so it could get pushed offshore and dissipate in the open gulf.
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1955. Levi32
Quoting MississippiWx:
Yikes...





After a brief set-back in sea surface temperatures due to a positive NAO burst, the sea surface temperatures are soaring again. Last week, the Caribbean was mostly 28C, now it's up to 29C for the most part. The warmth in the Atlantic is expanding quickly once again and the GOM is sizzling. Never underestimate how quickly the Gulf can warm. With temps in the low and mid 90s around the this week into next weekend, the Gulf temps have nowhere to go but up!


Yesterday I was going through the 2005 maps, and I really do not like the heat content in the gulf especially, or even the Caribbean. 2005 had a warmer MDR in May but the depth of the warm water we have is insane this year. The Gulf of Mexico is getting way too much heat content this early.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1954. Patrap
Quoting SiestaCpl:
Good Morn Patrap, any discussion round your parts on the possibility that BP didn't try injecting heavier block material (i.e. concrete) to block the flow? There are suggestions that they want to try anything but something which will permanently block the flow. If they succeed with the side drilling they will be able to "save the well" and get to pump it for years to come...but if they had used a heavier block such as concrete it could have compromised their oil production at the site in the future...and their bottom line at BP is $$$ only....


No..the Top Kill pressures never got anywhere close to staunching the Flow rate to pump cement..they dont use concrete in the Industry,..its not fluid enough to pass thru a BOP Kill and choke line...



I stay away from rumor as a rule.

I also listen to the PC's everyday mostly for the current news on the action.


DATE: June 01, 2010 08:08:29 CST
*UPDATE*MEDIA ADVISORY: Media Tour with BP's Doug Suttles of Tent City and Floating Lodging facilities at Port Fourchon

Key contact numbers

* Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: (866) 448-5816
* Submit alternative response technology, services or products: (281) 366-5511
* Submit your vessel for the Vessel of Opportunity Program: (281) 366-5511
* Submit a claim for damages: (800) 440-0858
* Report oiled wildlife: (866) 557-1401



Deepwater Horizon Incident
Joint Information Center

Phone: (985) 902-5231
(985) 902-5240



What: Media availability with BP's Doug Suttles and USCG Captain LaFarrier, and a walking tour of the floating hotel and tent lodging for response workers in Port Fourchon.

When: Tuesday June 1, 2010, 10:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. CDT

Where: C-Port Facility Seashore (Dudley Bernard Road)

Directions:
Take LA-1 South
Turn right at LA-3090 S/A O Rappelet Rd; Turn right at N J Theriot Rd; Take the 1st right onto N Doucet Dr/Norman Doucet Dr; Continue onto Dudley Bernard Road (C-Port Facility Security Gate)

RSVP/CONTACT: Houma Joint Information Center (985) 493 7821

For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.

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1953. Drakoen
This morning's Skew-T from Belize showed some light wind shear and reporting low level moisture from 950mb to the surface. Cape Values 1873 and PW 2.21in.

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29942
Yikes...





After a brief set-back in sea surface temperatures due to a positive NAO burst, the sea surface temperatures are soaring again. Last week, the Caribbean was mostly 28C, now it's up to 29C for the most part. The warmth in the Atlantic is expanding quickly once again and the GOM is sizzling. Never underestimate how quickly the Gulf can warm. With temps in the low and mid 90s around the South this week into next weekend, the Gulf temps have nowhere to go but up!
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Quoting Nolehead:
1913. mikatnight 1:59 PM GMT on June 01, 2010
Quoting NorthofAtlanta:
Looks like they're cutting the riser about 40' from the BOP, Stress relief before they cut the top off?

live feed


Wow...happening now. Must see tv!


morning everyone....i just hope they understand the amount of pressure that will be coming out of it when they do cut it...if they couldn't do anything about slamming mud into what maks them think they can just put something right on top of it?? i mean i'm no expert what so ever but 6500 psi is alot of dang pressure...fingers crossed again but persoanlly don't think it's going to work either...


What was the name of the Donald Sutherland character in "Kelly's Heroes"?

"...Always with the negative waves, man..."

lol

Think Positive!
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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.