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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1000. Seastep
Quoting JFLORIDA:


Youre kidding thats real?!?


I agree, that is crazy. Sorry, but I'm having trouble buying that.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
№ 992

Jeez...I'd be worried about how many other holes might open up if I lived anywhere close to there.
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Dr Gray realeses his outlook Wednesday and TSR Friday....wonder how their numbers will be??
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996. beell
First strong African wave shown in the GFS model this year. Departing the African coast at 180 hrs out. Showing some consistency. Well clear of the ITCZ.

Being the first of its kind depicted in this model this year makes it worthy of putting on the "curious" list.

12Z GFS 700mb-Valid next Tuesday at 0Z:

Photobucket
Link
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16213
Quoting JFLORIDA:


really?

Alaska Natives Watch Traditions Melting Away

Thinner and more quickly receding sea ice, which are widely attributed to the effects of climate change, mean there is a smaller window in which to hunt walrus. The hunters can’t leave Nome until the shore ice breaks up, and in recent years by the time that happens the sea ice the walrus follow is already quickly receding. The shorter possible hunting time means King Islanders must also travel farther on rough seas in small aluminum boats; and are more likely to risk dangerous weather conditions to do so.

Widely used models predict Arctic temperatures could rise 7 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, and summer sea ice reached record lows this year, with predictions the Arctic could be free of summer sea ice within a decade or less. Data released by NASA this spring showed that while in the past more than half the ice in the Arctic had survived multiple years, this spring more than 70 percent of Arctic sea ice was "young" ice less than a year old.


Haha 7-14 degrees warmer in 90 years? You wanna see the models that forecast that? Take a gander....what does that look like....a forecast? No....a straight trend line more like.



What's that....the color scale was just shifted! That's an extrapolation of the current trend not a dynamic forecast, give me a break.

How long have we been monitoring sea ice? Since um...1978? How do you know what ice was doing before that? It's simple Meteorology that a warm PDO melts arctic sea ice by sending warm water into the arctic ocean and changing wind patterns.

Meanwhile....the same pattern that melts our ice in our hemisphere causes Antarctica's ice sheet to expand. Imagine that.



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
994. DEKRE
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
From a German site:




Der Krater ist rund 150 Meter tief.
(150 meters is about 500 ft.)

http://www.rp-online.de/panorama/ausland/katastrophe/Drei-Haeuser-von-Erdloch-verschlungen_bid_2191 9.html


There are 10 pictures at this site
Member Since: April 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 306
Hey Blog!
I haven't been around since last year. It's not yet the start of the atlantic hurricane season and the blog is in full swing. Exciting. Good to see the regulars, and also notable additions, weather456.
Question: What should folks in the Miami metropolitan area expect from the remnants of Agatha?
Member Since: July 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 96
Quoting CycloneOz:


Looks photoshopped...but if it's really...dang!


From what I understand, they occurred before



2007


Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
I wonder what affects the SAL will have on storms this year?? That can help sometimes with storm numbers cant it????
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988. adb42
New tropical cyclone: 03A in the Arabian Sea. Will hit the border area between India and Pakistan on Thursday or Friday as a 75 knot system.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



i wounder if its big too a point to where we can put JFV in there


You'll notice that NOBODY put up Road Barricades or warning signs around the hole to alert drivers on any of those roads.

The sink hole looks like something from Alice in Wonderland.
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From a German site:




Der Krater ist rund 150 Meter tief.
(150 meters is about 500 ft.)

http://www.rp-online.de/panorama/ausland/katastrophe/Drei-Haeuser-von-Erdloch-verschlungen_bid_2191 9.html

This site includes 10 pictures of the sinkhole
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
977. MiamiHurricanes09 6:23 PM AST on May 31, 2010
Quoting Weather456:
It is real. The president of Guatemala gave CNN

LINK
Damn, if I would have been there I'm sure it I would of pooped myself.


LOL LOL LOL
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
983. IKE
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Great... he will be back just in time for the start of Hurricane Season.


LOL.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Weather456:
My God



Looks photoshopped...but if it's really...dang!
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Quoting DEKRE:


Can only be a cave collapsing - like the cenotes in Yucatan


That sounds more reasonable. At the bottom it looks the crater opens up to an underground cavern.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting JFLORIDA:


Alaska natives dont - Its destroying their way of life. Construction on permafrost is a disaster as well as biological problems of habitat loss and change.

But the world was created for you to enjoy.


Yaaa, I bet. What did we do in 1977 that caused this?



Hmm....cold....SPIKE....warm ever since. What on earth did we do? Nothing....in 1977 we had the great Pacific climate shift as the PDO went warm, and Alaska followed suit. It is natural for us. Very natural. Watch this winter....I'll be texting you guys from college in Fairbanks telling you how freaking cold it is relative to normal.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
Quoting Weather456:
It is real. The president of Guatemala gave CNN

LINK


When was the last time that we ever had this much damage and death from a tropical storm? I wonder if after the season is over, that she will be not on upgraded but retired. My god is all I have to say about that sink hole.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
It is real. The president of Guatemala gave CNN

LINK
Damn, if I would have been there I'm sure it I would of pooped myself.
Quoting CycloneOz:


I can do that... :)

Thx!


No problem.
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976. DEKRE
Quoting Weather456:
That has to be related to seismic activity or whatever...


Can only be a cave collapsing - like the cenotes in Yucatan
Member Since: April 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 306
№ 953

Those graphs are of 2004 and 2008. What does that have to do with the 2008-2010 time period?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JFLORIDA:


Alaska natives dont - Its destroying their way of life. Construction on permafrost is a disaster as well as biological problems of habitat loss and change.

But the world was created for you to enjoy.


Lived there through the "oil pipeline will harm the caribou."

NOT! Quite the opposite. The heat allowed them to thrive more than otherwise.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Quoting lickitysplit:
what is that a picture of 456?


A sink hole or crater that opened up in Guatemala after the passage of Agatha.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
I dont think that picture of the guatemalan crater is real.
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Quoting JFLORIDA:


Alaska natives dont - Its destroying their way of life. Construction on permafrost is a disaster as well as biological problems of habitat loss and change.

But the world was created for you to enjoy.


I have lived there. Have you?
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
You know what, just wumail me some of your info and a picture of you and I will have a wiki page of you up by Wednesday.


I can do that... :)

Thx!


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That has to be related to seismic activity or whatever...
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:
My God



WOWWW!!! That's scary!! My mind is blown. How the heck did that get there? Eroding limestone? Just.. WOW
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Happy Memorial Day guys! I'm out.

Oz, my gear is on the way! The new bluetooth setup is the 2010 version capable of 1000m intercom!
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Quoting Seastep:


Warm Alaska. Love it.


My winters are supposed to be this way. I should know. Ever since 1977.....hmm what happened in 1977.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
what is that a picture of 456?
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№ 943

...In recorded history. However there are not many direct measurements of ice volume. Most are models with spot measurements and proxies for thickness.

My post was in reference to the use of the PIOMAS graph which shows current ice volume to be even less. This seems to contradict data from the Navy PIPS model.
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It is real. The president of Guatemala gave CNN

LINK
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
It is on the home page of CNN... So I guess it is real.

Not that I have 100% confidence in CNN.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
Quoting JFLORIDA:


I don't think that forecast looks particularly good for arctic ice.

Thats also very short term success extended on to a much longer period.


You will see a lot more maps like that as the PDO turns cold permanently for the next 2-3 decades. If it causes that kind of a drop in global temperature for one year, why can't it for the next 25?

Let's take a look at some of the analog years for this summer, where we had a strong El Nino reversing to a La Nina during the summer, and lasting into the following winter, along with a PDO reversing to cold. Here are the global surface temps for those summers:



Now look at the following winters:



Ding ding ding.....look at the reversal not only in Alaska but globally...how much colder overall it is.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
Quoting Weather456:
My God



That's probably the worst sinkhole I've ever seen...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Cold PDO wasn't invented by Bastardi.


ba-da-bing. ;)
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
957. viman
This really SUCKS!!!!

FTMJUA
Message Date: May 31 2010 14:33:32

TECHNICIANS HAVE ISOLATED THE PROBLEM WITH TJUA THE NEXRAD RADAR IN CAYEY PUERTO
RICO AND WILL ORDER THE NECESSARY PART. RADAR IS EXPECTED TO BE DOWN AT LEAST U
NTIL WEDNESDAY, 02 JUNE 2010.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 376
Our local news here in Orlando showed a model that develops the system and takes it in between the Big Bend part of Florida and Tampa!
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Quoting Weather456:


You kidding me...that is frightening....I got nervous just looking at it..WTH?
Wait, wait, wait. That's actually real?
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Quoting Weather456:


You kidding me...that is frightening....I got nervous just looking at it..WTH?


Photoshop... I think...
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
May g-d have mercy on the poor souls who were on the ground when that opened up underneath them.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
Quoting Dakster:
June 1 starts in around 50 minutes or so...



50 minutes???

Well it's still 50 minutes plus 5 hours for me in EST :)
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Quoting JFLORIDA:


That isnt showing the current Canadian and Alaskan situation - right??


Warm Alaska. Love it.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414

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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.