Tropical Storm Paula forming

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:30 PM GMT on October 11, 2010

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Data from the Hurricane Hunters, land stations, and satellite imagery reveal that the strong tropical disturbance centered near the coast of Honduras just west of the border with Nicaragua is now Tropical Storm Paula. Paula is the 16th named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. The Hurricane Hunters reported a central pressure of 1001 mb and top surface winds of 45 mph in their 2:11pm EDT center fix. Satellite imagery shows a well-organized system with a modest but increasing amount of intense thunderstorm activity, and some respectable low-level spiral bands. Water vapor satellite loops reveal that Paula has been able to substantially moisten the atmosphere in the Western Caribbean over the past day, and dry air will be less of an impediment to development than it was yesterday. Wind shear is a moderate 10 - 15 knots. Puerto Lempira, Honduras reported sustained winds of 35 mph at 12pm CST this afternoon, with 3.31" of rain from the storm thus far.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Paula.

Forecast for Paula
Proximity to land is hampering Paula's ability to intensify some, and the storm's northwest movement of 10 mph will take the center far enough away from the coast of Honduras this evening to substantially increase the storm's ability to intensify. The latest SHIPS model forecast calls for wind shear to stay mostly in the moderate range, 10 - 15 knots, through Tuesday afternoon, then increase to the high range, 20 - 25 knots, for the remainder of the week. The computer models predict Paula will continue on a northwest motion then turn more north-northwest on Wednesday, which would take the storm close to landfall on the coast of Belize or Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. At that time, Paula may be approaching Category 2 hurricane status, due to the moderate wind shear, SSTs of 29°C, and a sufficiently moist atmosphere. On Wednesday, there is considerable doubt about the future path of Paula. Steering currents in the Western Caribbean will collapse, potentially allowing Paula to wander in the region for many days, as predicted by the GFS and HWRF models. It is also possible that Paula will push far enough inland over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula that the storm will dissipate, as predicted by the NOGAPS model. Finally, if Paula grows strong quickly, and pushes far enough north, it could get caught up a strong trough of low pressure predicted to traverse the U.S. this week (and spawn a Nor'easter for New England this weekend.) In this scenario, offered by the GFDL model, Paula would make a sharp turn to the east-northeast, hit western Cuba, bring tropical storm-force finds to the Florida Keys on Thursday, then move into the Bahama Islands by Friday or Saturday. It is too early to say which of these scenarios is the most likely, as the storm is just forming and the models do not have a good handle on it yet. Regardless, northern Honduras, Belize, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula will receive dangerous flooding rains from Paula today through Wednesday.

The U.S. drought in major hurricanes
On average, the U.S. gets hit by one major Category 3 or stronger hurricane every two years. This year, the team of hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University called for a 76% chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S. in their June forecast. However, the odds of a major hurricane hitting the U.S. are rapidly dwindling. Over the past fifty years, the only Category 3 or stronger hurricanes to hit the U.S. after October 1 were Hilda (October 3, 1964), Opal (October 4, 1995), and Wilma (October 24, 2005). Hilda and Opal were already named tropical storms as of October 1, so Wilma was the major hurricane that formed after October 1 to hit the U.S. during this period. Although we still need to keep a wary eye on developments in the Western Caribbean over the next few weeks, the odds are that 2010 will join 1951 as the only year to have five or more major hurricanes in the Atlantic, but no landfalling major hurricane in the U.S. (1958 is also listed as such a year, but a re-analysis effort is showing that Hurricane Helene hit North Carolina as a major hurricane that year.) If 2010 finishes without a major hurricane hitting the U.S., this will mark the first such five-year stretch since 1910 - 1914.


Figure 2. Hurricane Wilma over South Florida as a Category 3 hurricane on October 24, 2005. Wilma was the last major hurricane to hit the U.S.

However, some caveats are required. Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, which both made landfall in the U.S. in 2008 as top-end Category 2 storms with 110 mph winds, would probably have been classified as Category 3 hurricanes had they occurred early in the 20th century. This is because in past, when there were not any reliable wind measurements in the vicinity of a landfalling hurricane (a common occurrence), the storm was classified based on its central pressure. Gustav and Ike had central pressures of 957 and 952 mb, respectively, which would have qualified them as Category 3 storms. Similarly, Hurricane Floyd of 1999 and Hurricane Isabel of 2002 (though not within the last five years) were strong Category 2 hurricanes with 105 mph winds at landfall, but had central pressures of 956 mb. These hurricanes would also have been classified as Category 3 hurricanes in the past. There are many storms from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s that will likely change their landfall classification once re-analysis efforts are completed over the next few years. One case is Hurricane Ten of 1949, which is listed as having winds of a low-end Category 4 hurricane (135 mph) just before landfall, which would make it the only October major hurricane to make landfall in Texas. However, the hurricane is only given a Category 2 strength at landfall, based on its central pressure.

Prior to 1960, there were five major hurricanes that hit Florida in October. Most notable of these is Hurricane King, which hit downtown Miami on October 18, 1950, as a Category 3 hurricane.

Record quiet hurricane and typhoon seasons in the Pacific
Over in the Western Pacific, it is currently the quietest typhoon season on record, according to statistics computed by forecaster Paul Stanko at the NWS office on Guam. On average, by this point in the season, there should have been 21 named storms, 13 typhoons, and 3 supertyphoons (storms with 150+ mph winds.) So far in 2010, there have been just 12 named storms, 6 typhoons, and no supertyphoons. The record lows for the Western Pacific (since 1951) are 18 named storms, 9 typhoons, and 0 supertyphoons. We have a good chance of beating or tying all of those records. Over the in the Eastern Pacific, it has also been a near record-quiet season. On average, the Eastern Pacific has 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes in a season. So far in 2010, there have been 7 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. The record quietest season since 1966 was the year 1977, when the Eastern Pacific had 8 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 0 intense hurricanes. Climatology suggests that on average, we can expect just one more named storm in the Eastern Pacific this late in the season, so there is a good chance that the 2010 season is over. La Niña is largely responsible to the quiet Eastern Pacific hurricane season, due in part to the cool sea surface temperatures it brought. La Niña also commonly causes less active Western Pacific typhoon seasons, since the warmest waters there shift closer to Asia, reducing the amount of time storms have over water.

I'll have an update Tuesday morning at the latest.

Jeff Masters

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she is in the hebert box.....
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Quoting alvarig1263:


Paula looks better and better with each new satellite imagery. The 11PM advisory will be interesting.
Pretty little thang ain't she?(okay maybe not I'm sure the countries in the warning areas wouldn't agree).
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Impressive. Paula is firing cloud tops as cold as -90C within her CDO and almost right on top of her circulation. Very near hurricane status, if it isn't one already.

Paula is mixing all that warm water around( and she will move over the real warm stuff soon), the steam is rising and Paula will feast on it like M.J. eating Wheaties....And dry air is certainly not a factor at this time..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22312
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.1
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 11 OCT 2010 Time : 231500 UTC
Lat : 16:11:51 N Lon : 84:11:47 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
2.1 /1008.2mb/ 31.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
2.1 2.1 2.1

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +0.0mb

Center Temp : -63.5C Cloud Region Temp : -60.9C

Scene Type : UNIFORM CDO CLOUD REGION

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55665
Quoting caneswatch:


Since you're so old lol, have you seen anything like it?


Only in the 1600's. When Neapolitan mentioned before that we will probably never see another Wilma-like storm in our lifetimes, I hope he didn't include me! LOL Don't know where she will end up, but I think she is going to be stronger.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27114
18L/TS/P/CX
MARK
16.43N/85.15W

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55665
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
No. Latest microwave overpasses reveal that the eyewall is just in its genesis. An eye will take another day or two to become visible on satellite imagery.



thanks just needed to check.
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Has levi posted his update at all today?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
No. Latest microwave overpasses reveal that the eyewall is just in its genesis. An eye will take another day or two to become visible on satellite imagery.
Miami I have A bad feeling about this storm it's just a gut feeling but it not good
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Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
Another Example of Paula is Hurricane Michelle of 2001.
The only thing is that Paula will go farther west and will be a little weaker or not, who knows!
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting weatherlover94:


is that an eye??


Pinhole to be exact lol!

Evening Everyone!
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Quoting Grothar:


Yes.


Since you're so old lol, have you seen anything like it?
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Quoting weatherlover94:


is that an eye??
No. Latest microwave overpasses reveal that the eyewall is just in its genesis. An eye will take another day or two to become visible on satellite imagery.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Impressive. Paula is firing cloud tops as cold as -90C within her CDO and almost right on top of her circulation. Very near hurricane status, if it isn't one already.



is that an eye??
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Washingtonian, most wilma references are track references rather than intensity references. Right now conditions don't seem sufficiently conducive to the kind of RI we saw during Wilma.
I saw a few comments on the other pages comparing the intensity of Paula to Wilma.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
You're thinking Julia.


thats the one
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
KMan.....c'mon, finish dinner already...lol
You're good with these cyclones in your neck of the woods.
Interested in your take on the situation.
I have been looking for his posts all afternoon. His input is greatly appreciated.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Impressive. Paula is firing cloud tops as cold as -90C within her CDO and almost right on top of her circulation. Very near hurricane status, if it isn't one already.




do i now see the appearance of Paula staring right at us off the northern Honduran coastline? hmmm....
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Quoting caneswatch:


Interesting one, eh Hawk?


Yes.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27114
Quoting Neapolitan:

But that's the thing, Doug; I do read his blog, and I watch his video updates. Ive told you in the past that I find him funny and entertaining; I just think he's a buffoon who does himself a major disservice by being so constantly self-aggrandizing, petty, and vindictive. Even if he has a valid point about the NHC--which I don't believe he does--his delivery method turns so many people off that that point is little heard. FWIW, how I feel about JB is pretty much how I feel about Glen Beck...though at least JB understands something--meteorology--which is more than coule ever be said for Beck. ;-)
I agree with every word of this post.
Could of written it myself......
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Prob of RI for 25 kt RI threshold= 45% is 3.6 times the sample mean(12.6%)
Prob of RI for 30 kt RI threshold= 25% is 3.1 times the sample mean( 8.1%)
Prob of RI for 35 kt RI threshold= 19% is 4.0 times the sample mean( 4.8%)
Prob of RI for 40 kt RI threshold= 9% is 2.6 times the sample mean( 3.4%)
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
Quoting Grothar:


Interesting one, eh Hawk?
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Paula looks better and better with each new satellite imagery. The 11PM advisory will be interesting.
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Impressive. Paula is firing cloud tops as cold as -90C within her CDO and almost right on top of her circulation. Very near hurricane status, if it isn't one already.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
http://www.goes.noaa.gov/HURRLOOPS/gulfwv.html




Link


lack of wind shear appears to be allowing the far northwest quad of the overall convection to be extending deep into the yucatan, soon to dump into the southern GOM. I wonder how long the dry air can hold out now?
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
KMan.....c'mon, finish dinner already...lol
You're good with these cyclones in your neck of the woods.
Interested in your take on the situation.
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Washingtonian, most wilma references are track references rather than intensity references. Right now conditions don't seem sufficiently conducive to the kind of RI we saw during Wilma.
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Quoting SweetHomeBamaGOM:


do you have any data to back up strengthening now washington? just curious to know if i am missing something here.

What I meant to say was that if Paula gets that far north say to south florida or the tampa area then it would be weak due to the shear,and dry air.Look at the maps yourself.Thats my proof.
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Quoting dracko19:
Pressure was estimated as were the winds. They have no clue other than sattelite estimates. It could very well be a hurricane and they may even think so, but wouldn't dare declare without some kind of data to back it up. With a HH going out before the next advisory, they'll save the Hurricane decleration for the 11pm or even 5am depending on what happens between now and then. If it keeps getting more impressive looking, I don't think they'll have a choice.
you are right and from what I am seeing we have a hurricane already but lets wait and see and the stronger it gets it will move more to the north
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580. ackee
I think pula will be major cane that stay NW carrbbean, for the rest of the week then tack NE or even East this weekend should be intresting
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Quoting washingtonian115:
You must really hate the guy.I think I saw a post a few months ago about you talking about how crooked his teeth were.Anyway I still do think he's a good forecaster.And by the way can we please stop making Wilma refrences please.We'll probally never see something like that in our life times.Paula may be weak.That's even if it makes it that far north.


do you have any data to back up strengthening now washington? just curious to know if i am missing something here.

Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
steering winds--

700-850--

Link

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8dlm1.html


500-850--

Link


http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8dlm2.html

400-850--

Link

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8dlm3.html




i wonder how fast the mb's will drop now....??
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Quoting Neapolitan:

But that's the thing, Doug; I do read his blog, and I watch his video updates. Ive told you in the past that I find him funny and entertaining; I just think he's a buffoon who does himself a major disservice by being so constantly self-aggrandizing, petty, and vindictive. Even if he has a valid point about the NHC--which I don't believe he does--his delivery method turns so many people off that that point is little heard. FWIW, how I feel about JB is pretty much how I feel about Glen Beck...though at least JB understands something--meteorology--which is more than coule ever be said for Beck. ;-)
You must really hate the guy.I think I saw a post a few months ago about you talking about how crooked his teeth were.Anyway I still do think he's a good forecaster.And by the way can we please stop making Wilma refrences please.We'll probally never see something like that in our life times.Paula may be weak.That's even if it makes it that far north.
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Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27114
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27114
I'm looking at the associated moisture over Cuba.... seems storms this season are bringing as much rain via these associated areas as they're bringing in the main part of the storm... either way it looks like Cuba is going to be one wet place all this week.
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Quoting weatherlover94:


it sure does...fiona was only suppost to be a cat 1 and what did it become? a cat 4


Wait, what?
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55665
Quoting Ookla:
Hello everyone. I'm trying to figure out how to tell if Paula will hit FL. The models seem to be in agreement that she will move NW toward the Yucatan (poor folks there) and then either hang around or break hard right/east. What are the things I should be looking for in a couple days that would let me know if Paula will head toward Florida?
IOW, I know next to nothing. Should I be looking for a trough, or where the dry air is, or what?

This is going to be a tough one for the NHC - looks like steering currents will weaken later this week and it could just wander for days. Everyone in So Fl should monitor.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



notice that the disappearance of the shear between Cuba and the Yucatan has stopped the massive shearing of moisture to the east. Clear skies over the isles and then look at all of that moisture that she did have sheared off into the atlantic.

this may be an indication of how quick she can form now. if she had that much energy to sling off that much moisture and now the shear has ended she could now begin to internalize, breath, vent, and build her own environment as she moves towards the straits between cuba and yucatan.

i wonder how much more upper level moisture will dump in from the pacific tropics over mexico. that stream appears to have accelerated the exiting of the wind shear to the north and added to the pressure on the collapsing dry air bubble that was extremely dry 36 hours ago across the GOM.

without that shear she can push moisture way north in anticipation of her move that way, thus collapsing the dry air as she moves. she appears to have a lot of energy, enough to have internalized all of that dry air for days and still gained strength and overall convection.....
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55665
Quoting scott39:
I think Paula has a real shot at becoming at least a Cat 3 in the short term.


it sure does...fiona was only suppost to be a cat 1 and what did it become? a cat 4
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Quoting scott39:
And how many out of those seasons did a hurricane not hit the USA?


Ooooo....good question!
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564. Ookla
Hello everyone. I'm trying to figure out how to tell if Paula will hit FL. The models seem to be in agreement that she will move NW toward the Yucatan (poor folks there) and then either hang around or break hard right/east. What are the things I should be looking for in a couple days that would let me know if Paula will head toward Florida?
IOW, I know next to nothing. Should I be looking for a trough, or where the dry air is, or what?
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21Z Steering:



Should keep it right on track to just E of Belize where it should "bump" with the High over Mexico before curing N and recurving to the NE and once again "bumping" with the high to its E if the weakness over the E GOM closes.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
Welp. Getting ready to sign off for the night. I hope I do not wake up to a Major hurricane... I know I won't make it to the 11pm update.
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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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