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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1800. Grothar
Quoting mikatnight:


Interesting pie graph. Looks like we are on an upswing. The 50's were bad. I barely remember the 1920's though. LOL. How are you Mike?
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Thanks Weatherman (1797)
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Quoting scott39:
Im just curious,why does the NHC give Ex-Agatha a 10% today and nothing yesterday?
maybe because of persistance
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Quoting mikatnight:


Another good chart......Clearly shows the heightened activity in the active phase of the multi-decadal cycle with the spike in 2005 due to heat anomolies in the MDR similar to what we have now.......We are still in the active phase so the activity leveled off again, near 97-2004 levels, between 2006 and the present.
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Quoting IKE:
NHC took the floater off of Agatha(ex). Maybe they should put it back up.


Looks like a cotton ball LOL
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1794. scott39
Quoting wadedanielsmith:
1780:

Oh well, IKE and others...


I went through Katrina too, and we were without power, got friends and relatives without power for two weeks or more, and you didn't see any of us blaming the government...


And my comments were not "racist".

I tend to get along with african americans as much or more as any other race or ethnic group.
Its the way you came on here blasting people is why you got the reaction you deserve! Some of us may have lost love ones in Katrina! I guess that never crossed your mine or i least hope not why you shouted out your hate! You need to leave now!!
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wadedanielsmith- lighten up dude take achill pill or go outside and have a smoke, i have benn through 3 major hurricanes,people will be people, humans are not perfect....... wel except for moi. LOL
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1791. IKE
NHC took the floater off of Agatha(ex). Maybe they should put it back up.
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1790. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
1789. bjdsrq
Quoting scott39:
Im just curious,why does the NHC give Ex-Agatha a 10% today and nothing yesterday?


Last night when i looked at IR at about 0600Z, this thing looked like it had serious went *poof*. Now it has pretty impressive and symmetric convection for a former *poof*. Let's see what they say at 11:30am.
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1787. IKE
Quoting scott39:
Im just curious,why does the NHC give Ex-Agatha a 10% today and nothing yesterday?


That's a good question. Maybe the NHC doesn't feel it's worthy of a special TWO yesterday?
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Quoting scott39:
Im just curious,why does the NHC give Ex-Agatha a 10% today and nothing yesterday?


Probably because it didn't deserve a special TWO. Since today is the start of the season, it gets mentioned in a regular TWO.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Quoting wadedanielsmith:
Hey guess what?


You know what you do when there's a 170mph hurricane with an 80 mile wide eye (a.k.a. Katrina,) in the Gomex and you don't have an automobile?


You get your lazy ass up and start walking, that's what.


Please take that type of mentality elsewhere; since the Cape Verde storm systems originate in Africa, and make a beeline for the Caribbean and the Americas, one could also argue that it is actually God's way of payback for slavery but this is a weather blog.........Please Go Away...... :)
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TS PHET has declared

Link
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1783. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
wadedanielsmith you shall be replaced with empty space just like whats in your head
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
What a return of ex-Aghata!
Link
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Quoting scott39:
Im just curious,why does the NHC give Ex-Agatha a 10% today and nothing yesterday?


Individual forecaster judgement.
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1780. IKE
1775....you know what? I've had enough of you. Congrats! First of the season!

***POOF!***
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Quoting IKE:
1766...you will never survive on here with comments like you've just made.

And...try decaf!


I was thinkin' Drain-O. Racist hate-mongers would be better served on Palin's blog.
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ooohhh boyyy!!! here we go again.
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From the LA Times today:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010
5:11 a.m. PDT
Average hurricane dates

The following table shows the dates when events would normally occur in an average hurricane season. For example, the first named storm in an average year would form on July 11. The first hurricane would form on Aug. 14 and the first major hurricane would form on Sep. 4. In that same average year, the second named storm would be expected to form on Aug. 8.

This table is based on data from 1944 through 1996.
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1776. scott39
Im just curious,why does the NHC give Ex-Agatha a 10% today and nothing yesterday?
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1774. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting mikatnight:
1766 -

This jerk needs to be outta here...
iam sure he'll get whats due
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
1773. pottery
Quoting IKE:
1766...you will never survive on here with comments like you've just made.

And...try decaf!

I agree. Badly said.
But the points made are a big concern, surely?
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1772. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


convective area WARMING WITH SHINKING CONVECTIVE AREA
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
1766 -

This jerk needs to be outta here...
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1770. IKE
1766...you will never survive on here with comments like you've just made.

And...try decaf!
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INTERMITTENT SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN
SEA EAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE REMNANTS
OF PACIFIC TROPICAL STORM AGATHA. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS...PARTICULARLY
TO THE NORTH OF THE SYSTEM IN THE GULF OF MEXICO...ARE NOT
CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT AND THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10
PERCENT
...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS. THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO MOVE LITTLE OVER THE
NEXT DAY OR SO.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950


"Andy Gabrielson shoots some extremely close-range footage of a tornado in southeast Colorado on Monday, May 31, 2010.

A tornado touches down near Campo, CO and crosses the road about 50 yards in front of Andy's vehicle. This tornado was streamed live on the ChaseCam Network and on The Weather Channel."


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1765. AstroHurricane001 7:59 AM EDT on June 01, 2010

Good analog example..............
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Good Morning Folks......Quiet start to the season, as should be this time of the year, and the heart of the season, in Aug-Oct, will probably bring record activity so don't be over-anxious to form something in June/July; we might get a few storms but not many. For the next two months, we will be watching the models for hints of possible cyclogenisis in the Gulf/Caribbean/Off the East Coast and keeping an eye on frontal remnants and disturbances in/near pockets of low sheer, and lower, sheer in the coming weeks. With higher moisture and precipitation forecast, there will probably be plenty of blobs to watch but the time frame for first storm of the season, and where, is anyones guess......Given the record temps in the MDR between Africa and the Caribbean, I am looking to see if CV season will pop-off early in late July, as opposed to mid-August, but only time will tell.


Remember Emily, the cat. 5 Cape Verde system we had in mid-July 2005? Craaazy.

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well IKE the NHC ain't slow to put a yellow on the map like last year
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Good Morning Folks......Quiet start to the season, as should be this time of the year, and the heart of the season, in Aug-Oct, will probably bring record activity so don't be over-anxious to form something in June/July; we might get a few storms but not many. For the next two months, we will be watching the models for hints of possible cyclogenisis in the Gulf/Caribbean/Off the East Coast and keeping an eye on frontal remnants and disturbances in/near pockets of low sheer, and lower, sheer in the coming weeks. With higher moisture and precipitation forecast, there will probably be plenty of blobs to watch but the time frame for first storm of the season, and where, is anyones guess......Given the record temps in the MDR between Africa and the Caribbean, I am looking to see if CV season will pop-off early in late July, as opposed to mid-August, but only time will tell; you can't rush Mother Nature and the ITCZ will rise up when it choses to rise.
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Quoting pottery:

What!! You think they did not cause it?
What a ridiculous idea!
When obviously it is Obama's fault since he is in Charge.
Denial is not just a River in Africa.
LOL


He lost me when he started touting his religion. He earned an ignore for his next comment. Just another troublemaker.
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Why do I get a "MSXML 3.0 SP10" install warning when I visit this page?!
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:


It's now a tropical storm, and an eye is trying to form.


Yes youre right 100% ,but at the moment Indian meteo cyclonic departament still no named storm.
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Quoting Claudette1234:


TD three

2010JUN01 113000 3.6 982.4/ +0.0 / 57.0kts 3.6 3.7 3.7 NO LIMIT OFF OFF -81.16 -73.86 UNIFRM N/A 16.77 -62.64 FCST


It's now a tropical storm, and an eye is trying to form.
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TD three

2010JUN01 113000 3.6 982.4/ +0.0 / 57.0kts 3.6 3.7 3.7 NO LIMIT OFF OFF -81.16 -73.86 UNIFRM N/A 16.77 -62.64 FCST
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1756. pottery
Quoting wadedanielsmith:
1751:

I'm sure the Democrats will find a way to blame Bush and Cheney...

What!! You think they did not cause it?
What a ridiculous idea!
When obviously it is Obama's fault since he is in Charge.
Denial is not just a River in Africa.
LOL
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Maybe to some, but I get seizures when I hear her. :P

Let's get it on AND ROCK!


Black Sabbath - Iron Man Music Video


She does a Christmas song that blows me away - can't remember the name of it. I'm not a fan but you gotta admit she's got a hellofa voice.

Holy crap! You see the tornado footage from Colorado? Just saw it on the Today show. Andy something. Came within 50 yards. Incredible. video.
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1754. IKE
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MAY 2010 HURRICANE AWARENESS POLL RESULTS

Appears the general public is becoming more aware, but still a ways to go.
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1751. pottery
Dont know if this was mentioned before, but a large section of coastline in Queensland, Australia, has been declared a disaster zone due to an oil and chemical spill.....
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yes IKE that is what you may believe but is you look just a few hours ago at 06Z it was a 1013MB



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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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