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

Share this Blog
1
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1750 - 1700

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41Blog Index

yes IKE that is what you may believe but is you look just a few hours ago at 06Z it was a 1013MB



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Under the influence of this system, fairly widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls would commence over coastal areas of Gujarat from 3rd June 2010 and increase thereafter. Squally winds with speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting 75 kmph would commence along and off Gujarat coast from 2nd June 2010 and increase gradually.
Sea condition will be very rough along and off Gujarat coast from 2nd June 2010. Fishermen are advised not venture into the sea.


Uhmm, i think Indian meteo departament will be more concern about damage in the coast than fishermen.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Uh-oh, not only could the storm cause a flood in Pakistan, but its remnant depression is expected to head over New Delhi. I expect the storm to make landfall as a weak cat. 3. As for surge, think of it as a storm the roughly size of Hurricane Ike with the intensity of Hurricane Ike, which produced surges up to 22 ft (6.5 m).

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1747. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT TUE JUN 1 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

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.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED IN THE NEXT
48 HOURS.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1745. pottery
Good Morning.
SAL Rules the Tropical Atlantic!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24390
Quoting Weather456:
Vert tight curve banding




Morning,

Yes seems like wants to build an eye.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wadedanielsmith:
The precipitable water imagery for the Cyclone failed to converge! That sucker must have an insane amount of water already in the air...


What does that mean, if it fails to converge?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
Man ex-Agatha really wants to stay alive and Don't quit I think that to low is located via sat is around 18.5n 86.2w bearly moving but look like very slowly to the nne-ne



Soon the repeated convection might deplete some of the heat content in the NW Caribbean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wadedanielsmith:
1732:

Attabad...

As in, 'attabad place to live right now...

I mean, what are the odds of a landslide in a river valley occuring just days before a massive tropic system hits, creating the perfect catch basin for water to accumulate into a catastrophic flood?


By the way, *ahem*.

God bless Israel.

God bless the Jews.


Actually, the landslide itself was created in January, but the dam could fail in the coming week or two.

Gaza flotilla aftermath "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you know that its desolation is near"...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Man ex-Agatha really wants to stay alive and Don't quit I think that to low is located via sat is around 18.5n 86.2w bearly moving but look like very slowly to the nne-ne

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1737. IKE
CARIBBEAN SEA...
AT 0900 UTC...A SURFACE TROUGH EXTENDS THROUGH THE YUCATAN
CHANNEL NEAR 22N86W TO A TO A 1012 MB LOW NEAR 19N87W INTO THE GULF
OF HONDURAS NEAR 17N87W. SCATTERED SHOWERS/THUNDERSTORMS ARE
FROM 17N-20N BETWEEN 85W-87W WITH SCATTERED SHOWERS AND POSSIBLE
ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WITHIN 90 NM E OF THE REMAINDER OF THE
SURFACE TROUGH. AN UPPER RIDGE COVERS THE CARIBBEAN ANCHORED
NEAR 17N78W AND EXTENDS AN AXIS N INTO THE W ATLC E OF THE
FLORIDA PENINSULA AND A SECOND ENE ACROSS THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
INTO THE CENTRAL ATLC. DIFFLUENCE ALOFT COUPLED WITH THE
REMNANTS OF A STATIONARY FRONT THAT ENDS IN THE MONA PASSAGE ARE
GENERATING SCATTERED SHOWERS AND POSSIBLE ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS
N OF 16N ACROSS THE GREATER ANTILLES E OF 71W ACROSS THE
LEEWARD/VIRGIN ISLANDS AND ISOLATED/SCATTERED SHOWERS INLAND AND
WITHIN 90 NM ALONG THE S COAST OF CUBA INTO THE WINDWARD
PASSAGE. THE REMAINDER OF THE CARIBBEAN REMAINS CLEAR THIS
MORNING.



Low was 1010mb yesterday, so it's weakening.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1735. IKE
No matter what happens in the 2010 hurricane season in the Atlantic, just remember, there ain't a darn thing any of us can do about it.
.........................................
Sweet as sugar love won't wash away,
rain or shine, it always here to stay
All these years you and I've spent together,
all this, we just couldn't stand the weather

img src=>
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Good morning all and welcome to Hurricane season!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
So, a second blob has emerged east of Belize...



The storm in the Indian Ocean is now a cyclone: Tropical Cyclone Phet.



The storm is now 16 degrees wide by longitude, 9 degrees tall by latitude.



Attabad Lake continues to fill up, and the heavy rains from Phet later in the week could be enough to overwhelm the natural landslide dam. This could be a triple tragedy for Pakistan: surge in the Indus Delta, damage in Karachi, and a landslide at Attabad (near the northwestern corner of Pakistan).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:


She sounds divine


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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:


Celine Dion? Really? ;P


She sounds divine :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Good morning. So far 2010 has been a wet one in Puerto Rico as 31.06 inches has fallen in San Juan so far this year.Also the fourth wettest May with 12.52 inches.

Link


Expect that all season. We have been wetter than normal here also.

Wetter than normal rainy seasons don't end well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
We are alive



Celine Dion? Really? ;P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning. So far 2010 has been a wet one in Puerto Rico as 31.06 inches has fallen in San Juan so far this year.Also the fourth wettest May with 12.52 inches.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
We are alive

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sorry, double post. Can't seem to modify comment
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JustSouthofEquator:
Hi weather 456,I see arc clouds on the Northwest quadrant. Dry air?



yea...that was the first thing I noticed. Also the visible images are surreal with barely any clouds outside the cyclone.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hi weather 456,I see arc clouds on the Northeast quadrant. Dry air?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hi weather 456,I see arc clouds on the Northwest quadrant. Dry air?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Have a Happy and Safe 2010 Hurricane Season!!
from all of us here at XtremeStormJunkies
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Vert tight curve banding

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MahFL:
Whats the blob NE of Beleize ?


Remnants of Agatha. Nothing will come of it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1717. MahFL
Whats the blob NE of Beleize ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1716. Makoto1
Good morning, and... Welcome to hurricane season? I'm not sure if that's good or bad yet, I'll get back to you on that part.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
Good Morning

Blog Update

Tropical Update





Good morning, and thanks. That is quite the hole. Amazing.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good Morning

Blog Update

Tropical Update



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
5:30 Eastern and looks like BP is more or less set to go on the riser cut-off. The robots have been busy overnight. Probably just waiting for the "go," which may come quickly or not for a few days.

The riser kink is very clearly in tatters at this point and does not appear to be providing significant back pressure, so there is little to lose by cutting it off below the kink. I guess we'll see how it goes after that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Its now the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane season

000
ABNT20 KNHC 010507
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 AM EDT TUE JUN 1 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED IN THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

TODAY MARKS THE FIRST DAY OF THE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON...WHICH
WILL RUN UNTIL NOVEMBER 30. LONG-TERM AVERAGES FOR THE NUMBER OF
NAMED STORMS...HURRICANES...AND MAJOR HURRICANES ARE 11...6...AND
2...RESPECTIVELY.

THE LIST OF NAMES FOR 2010 IS AS FOLLOWS:

NAME PRONUNCIATION NAME PRONUNCIATION
-------------------------------------------------------------
ALEX LISA LEE- SA
BONNIE MATTHEW
COLIN NICOLE NI COLE-
DANIELLE DAN YELL- OTTO
EARL PAULA
FIONA RICHARD RICH- ERD
GASTON SHARY SHA- REE
HERMINE HER MEEN- TOMAS TO MAS-
IGOR E GOR- VIRGINIE VIR JIN- EE
JULIA WALTER
KARL

THIS PRODUCT...THE TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK...BRIEFLY DESCRIBES
SIGNIFICANT AREAS OF DISTURBED WEATHER AND THEIR POTENTIAL FOR
TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. THE ISSUANCE
TIMES OF THIS PRODUCT ARE 2 AM...8 AM...2 PM...AND 8 PM EDT. AFTER
THE CHANGE TO STANDARD TIME IN NOVEMBER...THE ISSUANCE TIMES ARE 1
AM...7 AM...1 PM...AND 7 PM EST.

PRIOR TO 2009...THE SPECIAL TROPICAL DISTURBANCE STATEMENT COULD BE
ISSUED AT ANY TIME TO DESCRIBE SIGNIFICANT DISTURBANCES IN BETWEEN
ISSUANCES OF THE TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK. THE SPECIAL TROPICAL
DISTURBANCE STATEMENT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED AND WILL NO LONGER BE
ISSUED. INSTEAD...A SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK WILL BE
ISSUED TO PROVIDE UPDATES...AS NECESSARY...IN BETWEEN THE REGULARLY
SCHEDULED ISSUANCES OF THE TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK. SPECIAL
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS WILL BE ISSUED UNDER THE SAME WMO AND
AWIPS HEADERS AS THE REGULAR TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS.

A STANDARD PACKAGE OF PRODUCTS...CONSISTING OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE
PUBLIC ADVISORY...THE FORECAST/ADVISORY...THE CYCLONE DISCUSSION...
AND A WIND SPEED PROBABILITY PRODUCT...IS ISSUED EVERY SIX HOURS
FOR ALL ONGOING TROPICAL CYCLONES. IN ADDITION...A SPECIAL
ADVISORY PACKAGE MAY BE ISSUED AT ANY TIME TO ADVISE OF SIGNIFICANT
UNEXPECTED CHANGES OR TO MODIFY WATCHES OR WARNINGS.

THE TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE IS A BRIEF STATEMENT TO INFORM OF
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN A TROPICAL CYCLONE OR TO POST OR CANCEL
WATCHES OR WARNINGS. IT IS USED IN LIEU OF OR TO PRECEDE THE
ISSUANCE OF A SPECIAL ADVISORY PACKAGE. TROPICAL CYCLONE
UPDATES...WHICH CAN BE ISSUED AT ANY TIME...CAN BE FOUND UNDER WMO
HEADER WTNT61-65 KNHC...AND UNDER AWIPS HEADER MIATCUAT1-5.

ALL NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER TEXT AND GRAPHICAL PRODUCTS ARE
AVAILABLE ON THE WEB AT WWW.NHC.NOAA.GOV

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:


You may be right.

I don't see much on the 00Z GFS through June 17th.



Though both the ECMWF and GFS may be right about the lack of a threat for the foreseeable future, I tend to ignore long-range forecasts, which I consider to be anything beyond a week out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1709. IKE
Quoting KoritheMan:


I'm not expecting much until the next upward MJO pulse arrives on the 29th:



Then, however, I would not be surprised to quickly see Alex.


You may be right.

I don't see much on the 00Z GFS through June 17th.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting IKE:
00Z ECMWF shows nothing in the Atlantic through June 11th.


I'm not expecting much until the next upward MJO pulse arrives on the 29th:



Then, however, I would not be surprised to quickly see Alex.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1707. IKE
00Z ECMWF shows nothing in the Atlantic through June 11th.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858


Meteosat image MPE over TD03 in Arabian Sea. The Storm loks pretty good, son will be declare TS. The latest forecast puts this storm CAT2 Cyclone in 3days.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1705. xcool
bye rob
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1704. Makoto1
Note that from what I've seen (through maybe a year and a half of knowing where to find the advisories, not a long time admittedly), the IMD underestimates wind speeds a lot. This isn't the first time an eye was in the process of forming that they had as a deep depression either. Luckily this one's well away from the coast for now, that'll give them time to catch up. They usually do after a while.

Not to say that they're not good, I just think they're too conservative at times.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Makoto1:
I think they might be a little behind on that storm's intensity... There's no way that wind speed is only 30 knots on a 3-minute average.


Agreed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1701. Makoto1
I think they might be a little behind on that storm's intensity... There's no way that wind speed is only 30 knots on a 3-minute average.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1700. xcool
Link


show 0000%
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1750 - 1700

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.