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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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
it will be pretty ice free by sept 2010


That is really sad... No wonder it feels like an oven outside. IF the Arctic is warm, the tropics are boiling.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Fatality Count Associated With Agatha
-----------------------------------------------------
El Salvador 13
Guatemala 114
Honduras 14
Nicaragua 1
--------------------------
Total 142


Quite Sobering this is likely the most destructive TS in the recorded history of the EPAC and ATL basins combined.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Fatality Count Associated With Agatha
-----------------------------------------------------
El Salvador 13
Guatemala 114
Honduras 14
Nicaragua 1
--------------------------
Total 142


DAGNABBIT, you beat me to it again!
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
Quoting CycloneOz:
That's right! No artic sea ice today! LOL!





Nobody said that there's currently no ice, just that it's at a record minimum for this time of year and the melt has started a month late, but it's already surpassing the 2007 melting.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
it will be pretty ice free by sept 2010


Probably not ice-free, but I expect the new minimum will be around 3.7 million sq km.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
Hey Acemmett.. Back for some more fun this season...

Welp. Glad we are not looking at a storm in the Gulf just yet... Hopefully, xAgatha peters out the rest of the way... If not, I am sure everyone here will let me know to watch out.
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Quoting Ocean24:


oh dear, i need to reinforce my good old specs then, my apologies, weather456. neitehr will i.


LOL :D It has to be none other! hahahaha!
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Agatha toll update: 142 killed, 64 missing.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
Fatality Count Associated With Agatha
-----------------------------------------------------
El Salvador 13
Guatemala 114
Honduras 14
Nicaragua 1
--------------------------
Total 142
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21098
That's right! No artic sea ice today! LOL!



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Quoting Dakster:


WOW. That is scary...

Keep us posted on what is going on... We may have an ICE free arctic sooner than expected...
it will be pretty ice free by sept 2010
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53453
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
hello ocean24


I'm hoping against hope it is not him.
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851 weathersp "Calm down everyone..."

Oh good grief. Everyone, but everyone, knows it's
When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
In case anybody missed this from earlier, the Arctic sea ice extent is now lower than 2007 and I expect that it will reach a new record minimum this year.



Current sea ice extent:



You can see melt ponds already opening up north of Alaska, and west of Victoria Island and Banks Island. In fact that area is expected to be warmer and drier than normal this summer, speeding up the melting. I expect that this and the area near the East Siberian shelf will melt, opening up both the Northwest and Northeast passages simultaneously and spurring a massive release of methane clathrates.

As a reminder, here's what the Arctic looked like in September 2007:



WOW. That is scary...

Keep us posted on what is going on... We may have an ICE free arctic sooner than expected...
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884. xcool
Acemmett90 lmao..
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Quoting xcool:
9 emails wow



from oh JFV?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It was probably because of me, I sent admin 9 emails. hehehe.


What brought on your action?
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how are you my good old bud sir
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53453
Quoting xcool:
9 emails wow
Lol.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21098
Quoting Ocean24:


oh dear, i need to reinforce my good old specs then, my apologies, weather456. neitehr will i.
hello ocean24
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53453
877. xcool
9 emails wow
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Quoting IKE:
Looks like he got a 24 hr. time-out.


Great... he will be back just in time for the start of Hurricane Season.
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Quoting IKE:
Looks like he got a 24 hr. time-out.
It was probably because of me, I sent admin 9 emails. hehehe.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21098
Quoting Ocean24:


oh dear, i need to reinforce my good old specs then, my apologies, weather456. neitehr will i.


aint no problem....
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
839: Arctic sea ice VOLUME anomaly

Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
871. IKE
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
430 PM CDT MON MAY 31 2010

.SYNOPSIS...WEAK HIGH PRES RIDGE EXTENDING WESTWARD FROM THE ATLC
INTO THE NORTHERN GULF E OF 90W WILL MAINTAIN LIGHT TO MODERATE
WINDS THROUGH TUE BEFORE SOUTHERLY RETURN FLOW INCREASES TUE
NIGHT AND WED OVER THE WESTERN GULF IN RESPONSE TO DEEPENING LOW
PRES OVER THE CENTRAL PLAINS. A WEAK TROUGH W OF 90W ALONG 26N WILL
DRIFT N AND MOVE INLAND TUE NIGHT. WEAK LOW PRES WITH AN ASSOCIATED
TROUGH CURRENTLY IN THE NW CARIBBEAN JUST E OF BELIZE IS EXPECTED TO
DRIFT N-NW AND INTO THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF THE MIDDLE GULF TUE
AFTERNOON INTO WED...THEN INTO THE EASTERN PORTION OF THE SW GULF
LATE WED INTO THU.

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Quoting Tazmanian:
Did FIU2010 or JFV get banned
he has been replace with empty space just like whats in his head
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53453
Can anyone recall the post of what brought it on? :D
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Quoting IKE:
Looks like he got a 24 hr. time-out.




goood
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Quoting IKE:


If he didn't it's only a matter of time.




ok
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866. IKE
Looks like he got a 24 hr. time-out.
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Quoting xcool:
24hr




heh heh heh
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864. IKE
Quoting Tazmanian:
Did FIU2010 or JFV get banned


If he didn't it's only a matter of time.
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863. xcool
24hr
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Did FIU2010 or JFV get banned
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861. xcool
looks like a low may be try forming,hmmm

i'm used Visible Satellite
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Quoting Weather456:
I came across the image...has nothing to do with ex-Agatha but thought I post it anyways...



90L dos have a ch of being name at post season
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Quoting stillwaiting:
456:


weatherunderground wind shear map is crap
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CRS's

May 31, Forecast*

Ocean24

will be discovered to be the latest incarnation of:

JFV, KeyWestMan, PresidentialElection, WeatherStudent, Meteorology101, 09CaneSeason, Portlight2, FIU2010


*nonplagiarized


CRS
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6004
857. xcool
BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_DEACTIVATE_ep012010.ren
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201005312054
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END

HUH
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting plywoodstatenative:
Keeper, does that mean that we are looking at it trying to refire or just remain normal?
all depends how slow it is and how far n before turning nw
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53453
that image looks like the flames off my grill this memorial day!!!:)
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NW???
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BBL
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Calm down everyone...

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850. IKE
SYNOPSIS FOR CARIBBEAN SEA AND TROPICAL N ATLC FROM 07N TO 22N
BETWEEN 55W AND 65W
530 PM EDT MON MAY 31 2010

.SYNOPSIS...ELONGATED LOW PRES TROUGH ACROSS THE FAR W CARIB JUST
OFF THE E COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA AND BELIZE...ASSOCIATED
WITH THE MIDDLE LEVEL REMNANTS OF AGATHA...WILL DRIFT N THROUGH TUE
NIGHT...THEN TURN NW WED AND MOVE INLAND ACROSS THE YUCATAN AND
DISSIPATE WED NIGHT. ELY TRADES WILL RETURN TUE THROUGH FRI AND
STRENGTHEN SOME AS ATLC RIDGE REBUILDS N OF AREA.
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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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