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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1700. xcool
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1698. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number FIVE
DEEP DEPRESSION ARB02-2010
8:30 AM IST June 1 2010
=======================================

Subject: Deep depression over east central and adjoining westcentral Arabian Sea

Pre-cyclone watch for Gujarat coast.

At 3:00 AM UTC, Deep Depression ARB02-2010 located over east central and adjoining west central Arabian Sea remained practically stationary and lays centered near 15.5N 63.0E or about 1050 kms southwest of Mumbai, 1050 kms south southwest of Naliya (Gujarat), and 1120 kms south southwest of Karachi, Pakistan.

The current environmental condition and Numerical Weather Prediction models suggest that the system would intensify into a cyclonic storm and move initially in a north-northwesterly/northerly direction for next 24 hours and then recurve northeastwards towards Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast.

Forecast and Intensity
==========================
9 HRS: 16.5N 63.0E - 35 knots (Cyclonic Storm)
21 HRS: 17.5N 63.0E - 40 knots (Cyclonic Storm)
45 HRS: 20.0N 64.0E - 50 knots (Severe Cyclonic Storm)
69 HRS: 22.5N 67.0E - 65 knots (Very Severe Cyclonic Storm)
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Quoting weathersp:
God I love POES sensors...

From visible images it just looks like a CDO (Central Dense Overcast), a sign of a weak/ moderate Tropical Storm



But if you peel back the layers.... You see what is really going on... Its really forming an eyewall, and a half complete one at that. So really this storm is likly a weak CAT 1..



Typically, such an image is a harbinger of rapid intensification, provided the atmospheric and oceanic conditions permit. Which they do. This could be very bad, indeed.
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1696. xcool
not you .was me i got lost
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1695. xcool
haha
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1693. Makoto1
Quoting weathersp:
God I love POES sensors...

From visible images it just looks like a CDO (Central Dense Overcast), a sign of a weak/ moderate Tropical Storm



But if you peel back the layers.... You see what is really going on... Its really forming an eyewall, and a half complete one at that. So really this storm is likly a weak CAT 1..



That's a really good image there, showing the eyewall formation. If you look really closely I think you can see a hint of an eye trying to form in the satellite one as well, though it's much more clear on the other.
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1691. Dakster
Quoting frostynugs:
well, even dr. masters has said the oil, being that it is dark and therefore retains heat more, can possibly warm the water and increase evaporation. may not be something that would make much of a difference until near landfall, but it's there none the less.


SHIPS and intensity models would take the oil into account, because they take the heat content into account... So therefore, yes some of the models know about the "oil" in an indirect way.

Also, we are always plugging data into the models right? So if the oil is creating any type of atmospheric changes the models, again, would indirectly know about it.

Just my .02...

On Edit: To fix a typo.
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God I love POES sensors...

From visible images it just looks like a CDO (Central Dense Overcast), a sign of a weak/ moderate Tropical Storm



But if you peel back the layers.... You see what is really going on... Its really forming an eyewall, and a half complete one at that. So really this storm is likly a weak CAT 1..

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1689. xcool
I'M DUCK .NOT THINK
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1688. Levi32
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26699
1687. xcool
HUH
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just perhaps intensity upon landfall I take it. I guess you're right, no need to overcomplicate things by trying to plug that data in.
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1684. Levi32
Quoting frostynugs:
well, even dr. masters has said the oil, being that it is dark, can possibly warm the water and increase evaporation. may not be something that would make much of a difference until near landfall, but it's there none the less.


There are possible localized effects that could affect a tropical system passing over, but not extremely significant and would certainly not alter the synoptic (large-scale) pattern. The model forecasts would not be wrong just because they don't know oil is there.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26699
well, even dr. masters has said the oil, being that it is dark and therefore retains heat more, can possibly warm the water and increase evaporation. may not be something that would make much of a difference until near landfall, but it's there none the less.
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1682. xcool
SO gfs and cmc show LIFE.. IN tropical .IMO
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1680. Levi32
Quoting frostynugs:
does anyone know if these models are being altered in any way to account for the oil in the water?


At this point any effects on the atmosphere by the oil slick are negligible, and would not cause any changes in the model forecasts.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26699
1679. xcool
frostynugs /I HAVE NO CLUE SORRY..
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does anyone know if these models are being altered in any way to account for the oil in the water?
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1677. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


IMD track for ARB 02
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1676. xcool
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1673. xcool



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1672. xcool
GFS ACT CRAZY SHOW WOW
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1671. xcool
i'm good ..
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1669. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number FOUR
DEEP DEPRESSION ARB02-2010
5:30 AM IST June 1 2010
=======================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, The depression over east central and adjoining west central Arabian Sea remained practically stationary, intensified into a deep depression. Deep Depression ARB02-2010 lays centered ner 15.5N 63.5E, or about 1050 kms southwest of Mumbai, 1050 kms south southwest of Naliya, and 1120 kms south southwest of Karachi, Pakistan.

3 minute sustained winds near the center is 30 knots with a central pressure of 998 hPa. The state of the sea is rough to very rough around the system's center.

Satellite imagery indicates curved band pattern. The Dvorak intensity of the system is T2.0. Associated broken intense to very intense convection observed over the area between 10.5N to 17.5N and 57.5E to 64.5E. The lowest cloud top temperature due to convection is around -80C in association with the system.

Vertical wind shear of horizontal wind over the region is between 5-10 knots. The system lies to the south of tropospheric ridge, which roughly runs along 18.0N. Sea surface temperature (30-32C), depth of 26C. isotherm and the ocean heat content (more the 100 kj/cm2) over the region are favorable for intensification. The relative vorticity at 850 HPA level and upper level divergence is also favorable for intensification.

Current environmental conditions and numerical weather prediction models suggest that the system would intensify into a cyclonic storm and mover north northwesterly/northerly direction for the next 24 hours and then recurve northeastward towards Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast under the influence of the approaching trough in mid-latitude westerlies at 500 HPA level.

Forecast and Intensity
==========================
12 HRS: 16.5N 63.0E - 35 knots (Cyclonic Storm)
24 HRS: 17.5N 63.0E - 40 knots (Cyclonic Storm)
48 HRS: 20.0N 64.0E - 50 knots (Severe Cyclonic Storm)
72 HRS: 22.5N 67.0E - 65 knots (Very Severe Cyclonic Storm)
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1667. xcool
HEY ROB,,,
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It has begun...

That sinkhole is crazy!
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1665. Levi32
It is the first hour and all is well.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26699
1664. xcool
Let the Game Begin NOW..
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1663. xcool
HEL YEAH
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1662. Levi32
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:



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: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26699


Off to work, sleep well everyone. have nice dreams that this Hurricane season is *poof*
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Good night all.
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Quoting winter123:
First (official) TWC tropical update in 2 minutes :)

Edit: Or maybe they started those May 15, I don't actually know 0_o anyway I'm watching

edit2: lol they didn't even bother. I thought they'd at least touch on the guatemala sinkhole.
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First (official) TWC tropical update in 2 minutes :)
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Makeing lite of a bad situation,there's one thing I won't have to buy when I fry my next shrimp,oil,they already come with it.
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1654. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
iam out
later all

lookin forward to doc's season outlook and the show tomorrow on hurricane haven early evening and barometer bob at 8
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1652. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Ike has the honor of posting the first TWO of the season! Set your alarm Ike!
he has
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I'm going to bed if I stay on hear much longer somebody on here might think I'm serious.
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Quoting MississippiBoy:
Sounds like a good syfi movie go to Guatemala city go a mile or two down in the hole,start tunneling our way North under the Gulf of Mexico until we find the leak and cap it off.

I saw this on the science channel with michio Kaku .... mini black holes!!!!!! stupid large hadron colliders!
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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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