Paula continuing to weaken

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:53 PM GMT on October 14, 2010

Share this Blog
3
+

Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicates that Tropical Storm Paula continues to weaken. The aircraft's latest center penetration at 3:08pm EDT found top winds at their flight level of 10,000 feet of just 55 mph in the eyewall. The SFMR instrument saw surface winds near 65 mph. The eyewall of Paula has collapsed, and satellite imagery shows the storm has a lopsided appearance due to wind shear. The low-level center is almost exposed to view, the classic satellite signature of a storm under high wind shear. Since the high wind shear affecting Paula is pushing most of the storm's heavy thunderstorms to the north, Cuba is receiving very little rain from the storm. Havana has reported two brief rain squalls from Paula, and top sustained winds of just 20 mph. Sporadic heavy rains are affecting the Florida Keys today, with Key West picking up 1.01" inches of rain thus far. Weather radar out of Key West (Figure 2) noted several regions offshore where Paula has dumped 5+ inches of rain.


Figure 1. Radar image from the Pinar del Rio radar in Cuba at 3:15pm EDT on October 14, 2010, showing that Paula is now very disorganized. Image credit: Cuban Institute of Meteorology.


Figure 2. Radar-estimated precipitation for Paula from the Key West radar.

Forecast for Paula
The models continue to predict that Paula will move along the north coast of Cuba or just inland during the next two days. On this track, Paula will move over Cuba's capital, Havana, tonight and Friday morning. An extended period of time over mountainous Cuba will likely destroy a small storm like Paula by Friday night, particularly since the storm will be under 30+ knots of wind shear. The models are pretty unanimous in showing that wind shear will pull Paula apart over the next day regardless of whether or not the center stays over water. Tropical storm force winds extend out just 45 miles to the north of Paula's center, so it is unlikely that the Florida Keys will experience sustained winds of 39+ mph. The 11am EDT wind probability product from NHC gives Key West a 21% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds; these odds are 70% for Havana. Havana may receive some minor wind damage from Paula, and there may be some minor flooding problems in the mountainous regions of Cuba.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The latest 8am EDT (12Z) NOGAPS and GFS model runs continue to predict the formation of a tropical depression 4 - 5 days from now, in the southern Caribbean off the coast of Nicaragua. The storm is predicted to move northwest or northwards towards the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, once it forms. The GFS model has been pretty reliable in forecasting the genesis of new tropical depressions this year, and the fact that we have two major models predicting the formation of a new Caribbean tropical depression next week is worth paying attention to.

In the Western Pacific, Tropical Storm Megi is nearing typhoon strength, and is predicted to intensify into a major typhoon that will strike the northern Philippine Island of Luzon on Sunday night or Monday morning.

Next update
I'll have an update Friday morning.

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: 132 - 82

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10Blog Index

Quoting JLPR2:


That feature is now visible in infrared.

Almost looks like an eye.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
18z GFS Day 7:


GFS obviously develops that area in the SW Caribbean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Link
Check this link Paula center is well intact and partially offshore S Cuba.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7862
Quoting Levi32:


Mid-level center is fighting to pull it back in though. No sign of losing latitude points yet. The extent of the decoupling, or the distance between mid and low-level centers, is not increasing. If anything they are getting slightly closer together with time, based on radar. You can actually see the surface center now on radar with the ghost mid-level center off to the northwest.

Hey Levi, Great Update This morning. Do you think Paula will exit Cuba soon? Or will it stay over Cuba and die out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
125. JLPR2
Quoting Seastep:
If that is the center on this image, it's closed.

BBL



That feature is now visible in infrared.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8698
I must say lookin at the radar, Paula is looks to be producing some nasty weather in the Florida straits.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7862
18z GFS Day 7:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting oracle28:


The only reliable model this year has been the XTRP.
Maybe it's just me but it only seems to be accurate up to 1 hour out after that it's all over the place...LOL

Quoting stormpetrol:
I have never seen such a drastic shift in a cone from one advisory to the next, guess I'll have to eat crow with my predictions about it emerging off the south coast of Cuba LOL!!
It's one that's changed quite a bit. The K storm changed quite a bit back in 2005 as well. Of course this discussion will invite those who will start attacking the NHC for changing track. Their job is not to forecast a track and stick to it for arguments sake; their job is to save lives and protect property through information.

NHC PAULA Graphics Archive
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

What's that over India?!


CIMSS has it as an invest (97B)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Seastep:
If that is the center on this image, it's closed.

BBL


Do you have a link to where you got that image, since it's pretty cool-looking.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cat5hurricane:

I know GFS for sure. I want to say NOGAPS is the other major one but I'm not sure. I'll have to look at them tonight.

CyberTeddy's blog showed the NOGAPS developing it into a strong TS by Wednesday I think.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
The SW Caribbean seems interesting, nothing organized. Is that what models develop into Richard?


mhm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If that is the center on this image, it's closed.

BBL

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:

What's that over India?!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
113. JLPR2
I see Paula is still a 60mph TS, not bad...
And we got two disturbances too.
One in the western Caribbean:

Another in the CATL:
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8698
The SW Caribbean seems interesting, nothing organized. Is that what models develop into Richard?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Conditions at 42056 as of
(4:50 pm CDT)
2150 GMT on 10/14/2010: Unit of Measure: English Metric Time Zone: Station Local Time Greenwich Mean Time [GMT]

Wind Direction (WDIR): N ( 350 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 21.4 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 23.3 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 5.6 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 6 sec
Average Period (APD): 4.5 sec
Mean Wave Direction (MWD): N ( 354 deg true )
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.88 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.03 in ( Falling )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 82.4 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 84.0 °F
Dew Point (DEWP): 73.6 °F
Heat Index (HEAT): 88.3 °F
Combined plot of Wind Speed, Gust, and Air Pressure
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7862
Quoting alvarig1263:


This is what they were talking about I think. It's actually a raining graphic. Pretty cool


Oooh....that's pretty cool. I haven't seen that yet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Man. I did see the forecast track posted earlier & it didn't look pretty. I sure underestimated this one then!
Yup. Megi is expected to be a category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale when it makes landfall over Luzon. I wouldn't be surprised to see it intensify into a category 5 system considering the favorable environment conditions set to be around the system during the next few days.

Back later.


Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Havana airport:

5:55 PM 73.4 °F 71.6 °F 94%

29.59 in 1.2 miles

NNE 19.6 mph - N/A Rain Heavy Rain
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6037
Quoting cat5hurricane:

On a general level, if the shear is increasing, the decoupling will become more profound, right? Or is there more to it.


Generally, but some really cool stuff can go on with small tropical cyclones entering the jetstream flow. Right now the jet is providing a pretty awesome area of upper divergence over the storm area, which has been acting as the sole outflow channel for a while now. Surface convergence is still excellent in this area as well and the result is that Paula is still maintaining a nice central core. This focused upward motion is pulling on the surface center and keeping it close by, not allowing a major decoupling just yet. We still may see the surface center escape out into the Florida Straights along with the mid-level center. The dynamics are actually not that bad, and that's why we saw a pressure fall of 4mb since this morning. Paula isn't going to dissipate, at least if she doesn't stay over land too long.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Paula's core visible on key west radar!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting cat5hurricane:

You got a link. I'd love to see that.


You have to have the program google earth (google it) turn on weather and zoom into the clouds until your under them. the programs free and seriously cool.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


This is what they were talking about I think. It's actually a raining graphic. Pretty cool
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Now that's a healthy looking TS
It intensified into a severe typhoon as of 2100 UTC. The JTWC forecasts for it to rapidly intensify tomorrow and become a super typhoon during the next few days.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Tropical Storm 15W (Megi) has now intensified into a typhoon over the western Pacific ocean. Winds have now increased to 80 knots (1-minute sustained) and gusts have increased to 100 knots.

WARNING POSITION:
141800Z --- NEAR 13.5N 137.7E
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS - 295 DEGREES AT 09 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 040 NM
POSITION BASED ON CENTER LOCATED BY A COMBINATION OF
SATELLITE, AIRCRAFT AND EXTRAPOLATION
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 080 KT, GUSTS 100 KT





Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Levi, we are getting all the October storms we expected but the Conus has been protected further east than normal. Do you see that changing anytime soon?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cat5hurricane:

You got a link. I'd love to see that.


I think she means stuff like this. These are a couple of my images.

Snowstorm in December 2007 (cloud overlay is "above" the viewer, with the NWS radar overlay on the ground).



Cyclone Gael viewed "underneath" from Madagascar:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Seastep:


LOL. Perfect!
LOL. :)
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting kmanislander:


That is what I have been suggesting for the past couple of hours. These sheared, decoupled systems can do odd things, including producing more than one center. I recall a system just east of the eastern Caribbean that sent a false center into the NE Caribbean while the true center was still East of the islands.

I became sceptical of the North coast center position when I saw the Ascat pass from this morning.


Mid-level center is fighting to pull it back in though. No sign of losing latitude points yet. The extent of the decoupling, or the distance between mid and low-level centers, is not increasing. If anything they are getting slightly closer together with time, based on radar. You can actually see the surface center now on radar with the ghost mid-level center off to the northwest.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
off topic
Am I the last to notice that if you zoom in under the storm clouds in google earth you actually see see the rain falling. whats next, wave heights?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If you look at the track and intensity of Paula over the last 5 days, it seems to me that the NHC did an excellent job of forecasting...yet again.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good Afternoon. Paula weakened as everyone expected.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 132 - 82

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10Blog 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.