Tropical Storm Richard slowly intensifying

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:31 PM GMT on October 21, 2010

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Tropical Storm Richard is here, the seventeenth named storm of this very busy 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Richard's formation puts 2010 in 6th place for the greatest number of named storms in the Atlantic since record keeping began in 1851. Only 2005 (28 named storms), 1933 (21 named storms), 1995 (19 named storms), 1887 (19 named storms), and 1969 (18 named storms) had more.

We won't have another hurricane hunter aircraft in Richard until 8pm tonight, so we will have to rely on satellite intensity estimates until then. The closest buoy to Richard is NOAA buoy 42057, which is on Richard's weak side about 100 miles from the heaviest thunderstorms. Winds at the buoy were just 18 mph, gusting to 22 mph, at 2:43pm EDT this afternoon. Recent satellite imagery shows that Richard is steadily organizing, with several curved spiral bands forming on the storm's south and east sides. The storm is bringing very heavy rain to Jamaica. Water vapor satellite loops show considerable dry air to the west and north of Richard, and the southwesterly upper-level winds over the storm are bringing some of this dry into the core of the storm, keeping all the heavy thunderstorm development confined to the east side of the center. The waters beneath Richard are very warm, 29°C, and Richard will begin taking advantage of these warm waters now that the shear is falling.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Richard.

Intensity forecast for Richard
The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that wind shear over the Western Caribbean will remain in the low range, 5 - 10 knots, through Monday morning. As the storm moves westwards on Friday, it will position itself beneath an upper-level high pressure system, which will aid the storm's upper-level outflow. With water temperatures a very warm 29°C and warm waters extending to great depth, Richard should be able to attain at least Category 1 hurricane strength by Saturday. NHC is currently giving Richard a 11% chance of becoming a major Category 3+ hurricane. I believe the odds are higher, near 30%. The main inhibiting factor for intensification will be interaction with the north coast of Honduras, and the possibility of the dry air to the west of Richard getting wrapped into the core of the storm while it is trying to organize. A band of very strong upper-level winds associated with the jet stream will be over the Gulf of Mexico early next week, so it is likely that if Richard crosses into the Gulf of Mexico, the storm will steadily weaken.

Track forecast for Richard
The latest set of 8am EDT (12Z) model runs are similar to the previous set of runs, and don't help illuminate what the long-range fate of Richard might be. Steering currents are weak in the Western Caribbean, and will remain weak through Friday morning, resulting in a slow, erratic movement for Richard. Most of the models favor a southerly, then southwesterly path at 5mph or less over the next two days. This may bring the center of Richard very close to or over the northern coast of Honduras on Saturday or Sunday, as predicted by the GFS, UKMET, and NOGAPS models. These models then show Richard dissipating over Central America. A much different solution is offered by the ECMWF, HWRF and GFDL models, which foresee less of a southerly motion for Richard over the next two days, resulting in the storm missing the north coast of Honduras by one hundred miles or more. These models take Richard to the northwest across the tip of the Yucatan (GFDL and ECMWF models) or western tip of Cuba (HWRF model) on Sunday or Monday. The HWRF and GFDL models predict Richard will be a threat to the west coast of Florida on Tuesday. NHC takes the reasonable approach of predicting a path somewhere between these two extremes, with Richard crossing the Yucatan between Cozumel and the Belize/Mexico border. Residents of northern Honduras should anticipate the possibility that Richard will pass very close or strike Honduras on Saturday or Sunday. Very heavy rains of 4 - 8 inches are possible over the the weekend in coastal Honduras beginning Friday night or Saturday morning. The 11am EDT NHC wind probability forecast is giving the highest odds for tropical storm-force winds at Guanaja in Honduras, at 46%. Cozumel, Mexico is given a 42% chance, Key West a 6% chance, and Ft. Myers a 3% chance.

Invest 90L
A tropical wave that emerged off the coast of Africa yesterday (Invest 90L) has a modest amount of spin and some growing thunderstorm activity. Wind shear is a moderate 5 - 15 knots, and the waters are still warm enough to support tropical storm formation. NHC is giving the system a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday. By Sunday, 90L will encounter high wind shear of 20 - 40 knots, discouraging further development. This system is not a threat to cross the Atlantic and affect the Lesser Antilles or North America.

Typhoon Megi takes aim at China
Typhoon Megi continues it slow march towards China at 5 mph, and is expected to make landfall Saturday morning on the Chinese coast opposite from Taiwan. Megi has maintained strength as a Category 3 typhoon with 115 mph winds today, despite rising wind shear (now a moderate 10 - 20 knots) and cooling sea surface temperatures. Megi is moving slow enough and is large and powerful enough that it is probably upwelling cold water from the depths to the surface faster than it can move away, and these upwelling cool waters are keeping Megi from being a stronger storm. Wind shear will increase dramatically to 20 - 40 knots on Friday as the typhoon makes its final approach to the coast of China, and this shear should be high enough to reduce Megi to Category 1 status before landfall. Megi will still be a very large and powerful storm capable of causing considerable wind and storm surge damage even at Category 1 strength. However, heavy rain will likely be the storm's main threat, since it is moving slowly and is a huge storm. I expect Megi will be a billion-dollar disaster for China, mostly due to flooding from heavy rains. The outer rain bands of Megi are already affecting the coast of China near Taiwan, as seen on China's radar composite, as well as Taiwan radar.

The clean-up continues in the Philippines from Megi, which hit northern Luzon island on Monday morning at 3:30 UTC as a Category 5 super typhoon with sustained winds of 165 mph and a central pressure of 914 mb. Severe damage was done to Isabela Province in northern Luzon, and 19 deaths are being blamed on the storm. Considering most major typhoon that have hit the Philippine in recent year have killed hundreds and sometimes thousands of people, the low death toll from Megi is a testament to the excellent efforts by officials in the Philippines to get people out of harm's way in advance of the storm.


Figure 2. Rainfall rate for Megi as observed by the TRMM polar orbiting satellite at 10:01am EDT October 21, 2010. Heavy rains in excess of 0.8" per hour (yellow colors) were present in Megi's eyewall and spiral bands. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Next update
I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
We've only gotten to the R letter twice before. Roxanne and Rita.

I have no probs with the names Roxanne or Rita.
But RICHARD??
Cannot take any system with that name seriously.
It just dont fit....
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Quoting scottsvb:
Is reedzone still telling everyone in florida to prepare for doomsday and cat 3-cat 5 storm?

"Watch out folks... this could be a disaster ready to happen for Florida.... I been predicting this for awhile now" how many times do we hear that.......................
...i seriously. doubt richies going to make landfalk in fl as anything formidable,cozumel area might get a cane landall,but chances of. even a ts making landfall in fl is less than 10% imo
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TropicalStormRichard's heading had turned southward to dueSouth
from its previous heading of dueWest
TS.Richard's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions remained ~2.3mph(~3.8km/h)

Actually, due to the effects of rounding to the nearest tenth of a degree upon position changes of only a tenth of a degree, TS.Richard could have been nearly stationary for the past 6hours or traveled as little as a total of ~14miles southward over the past 12hours.

TropicalDepression19
21Oct 03amGMT - 17.5n81.1w - 35mph (~56.3km/h) _ 1006mb - NHC.Adv.#1
21Oct 06amGMT - 17.2n80.9w - 30knots(~55.6km/h) - 1006mb- ATCF*17.3n80.9w*1005mb*17.2n80.8w
21Oct 09amGMT - 17.0n80.7w - 35mph (~56.3km/h) _ 1005mb - NHC.Adv.#2
TropicalStormRichard
21Oct 12pmGMT - 16.6n80.6w - 35knots(~64.8km/h) - 1006mb - ATCF*30knots*16.5n80.7w
21Oct 03pmGMT - 16.2n80.4w - 40mph (~64.4km/h) _ 1006mb - NHC.Adv.#3
21Oct 06pmGMT - 16.1n80.4w - 35knots(~64.8km/h) - 1006mb - ATCF
21Oct 09pmGMT - 16.0n80.4w - 40mph (~64.4km/h) _ 1005mb - NHC.Adv.#4
22Oct 12amGMT - 16.0n80.5w - 40mph (~64.4km/h) _ 1005mb - NHC.Adv.#4A
22Oct 03amGMT - 15.9n80.5w - 40mph (~64.4km/h) _ 1006mb - NHC.Adv.#5
* Before NHC reevaluated&revised the ATCF numbers.

Copy&paste 17.5n81.1w, 17.2n80.9w, 17.0n80.7w, 16.6n80.6w, 16.2n80.4w-16.1n80.4w, 16.1n80.4w-16.0n80.4w, 16.0n80.4w-16.0n80.5w, 16.0n80.5w-15.9n80.5w, tji, puz, jee into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12^hours.
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Updated steering a few min. ago

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Dozens dead in Haiti from suspected cholera outbreak
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting jurakantaino:
Why NHC is not mentioning that area? It looks more significant, better than 90L...!

Check again, or look at post 898.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Why NHC is not mentioning that area? It looks more significant, better than 90L...!
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
My research shows that there has never been a TS or hurricane named Richard before. Wow!
We've only gotten to the R letter twice before. Roxanne and Rita.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Ahh the only reason Station Waggons and Vans were made :)

Umm I mean for the whole family to go to the drive in :) ohhh and on a weather note.. in case it rained ;)

Absolutely!
Precisely!
Naturally!
Of course...
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Complete Update



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting WeatherfanPR:


I don't want storms right now. All I want is Christmas !!!!!
All I want is to take a couple of days in Culebra alternating Rincon....
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:


I don't want storms right now. All I want is Christmas !!!!!

AAAARRRRHHHHGGGGGG!!!!
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Quoting pottery:

You remember the Blue Meanies?
And Glove????
Brings back some great memories, that image.

(mostly to do with drive-in cinema's. But I wont go there....)


Ahh the only reason Station Waggons and Vans were made :)

Umm I mean for the whole family to go to the drive in :) ohhh and on a weather note.. in case it rained ;)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
I don't know if this has been posted yet, but here goes:

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Quoting pottery:

Yeah, well we dont want that...
Interesting to see if it can hang around though.
Are there any models right now, showing this???
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
Ignore works! Use it.
The report doesn't work. That ! thing. It's not meant for trolls. He's still here right?


I saw some missing posts after I saw his post, which was quoted. I've had him on ignore since Hurricane Alex, really should have ignored him much earlier then that, almost caused a ban a few times we argued on here.
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Quoting sunlinepr:

That will be too bad for us....


I don't want storms right now. All I want is Christmas !!!!!
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1569
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The recent convective burst might be strong enough to pump enough heat out that will draw the anticyclone closer to Richard.
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Quoting reedzone:


Talkin about the Atlantic low :P

Me too!
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
That was a nice melody Reed.
Very soothing.
I'm 52 and still going strong!!
Maybe not as strong as 28,....but I'm still going strong.


No prob. glad u liked it.
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Quoting reedzone:
scottsvb is a troll, simply hit report and ignore :) It's so easy now and days!
Ignore works! Use it. I do, in rare cases.
The report doesn't work. That ! thing. It's not meant for trolls. He's still here right?
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:
if that system in the central atlantic continues to produce those thunderstorms, it should be our next invest area.

That will be too bad for us....
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Quoting Orcasystems:




it looks mean...

You remember the Blue Meanies?
And Glove????
Brings back some great memories, that image.

(mostly to do with drive-in cinema's. But I wont go there....)
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Quoting Ineluki:
Not that Ike needs the support-he can take care of himself-but he's one of the few here that simply says "Here's what's happening, take it or leave it." The general trend here over the four years I've lurked is been for posters to assume everything is worse than it actually is. Every invest is a tropical storm, every tropical storm a hurricane, and every hurricane a Cat 4-5 bombing out over Florida. Ike is one of the few here with patience-he doesn't run around yelling CAT 5 IN MIAMI because of one model run, he merely observes. Meanwhile people around here fly into a panic if a storm wobbles for three frames.

A weather forecast isn't just the one set of model runs that fits your view point. It's real time observation coupled with studying long term trends and upcoming features. And it certainly isn't running around declaring an area definitely under the gun from a Cat 4 when the experts are still trying to figure that out themselves.

For years I've heard about how this place is a great place to learn about weather. Never been sure about that, honestly; far too much hyperbole and furor, really, for me to take most of it seriously. Ike's one of the few here that doesn't go nuts like that, and I appreciate that.

Back to lurking.



Ditto. In addition, he is almost always civil and engaging. That alone sets him apart from a majority here.
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Quoting reedzone:


Thanks, he's my fav. artist, also inspires me when I write/compose my music. He's been around for 28 years and still going strong.
That was a nice melody Reed.
Very soothing.
I'm 52 and still going strong!!
Maybe not as strong as 28,....but I'm still going strong.
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Quoting pottery:

Yeah, well we dont want that...
Interesting to see if it can hang around though.


Talkin about the Atlantic low :P
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Quoting pottery:

Yeah, well we dont want that...
Interesting to see if it can hang around though.




it looks mean...
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting shikori:
Ok reedzone, if this strengthens as much as your ares saying, what will the new path most likely be? NW, like the LBAR n CLP5 have been saying for sooooooooo long.


My track has been for the past few days to head WNW towards the Yucatan, make landfall, and eject NE into the GOM as a weaker system. I still like my first prediction.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Seems like Shear is really expanding and making it relocate SW into a more favorable area....

Yeah, well we dont want that...
Interesting to see if it can hang around though.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:


True I didn't check that, but will Richard be able to push away all that dry air and how will the environment in its path be moistened to give it a better environment to strengthen?


Moisture shield, which it looks like it's creating right now. The dry air isn't moving away, the moisture is starting to expand.
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Quoting Grothar:
Latest statistical and dynamic models.





Hey Grothar, why is that every time the LBAR outraces the other models?
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Quoting GTcooliebai:


True I didn't check that, but will Richard be able to push away all that dry air and how will the environment in its path be moistened to give it a better environment to strengthen?
Once the ridge moves to the north of Richard, this will establish a more easterly mid-level flow, injecting Richard with moister air.
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876. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #72
TYPHOON MEGI (T1013)
12:00 PM JST October 22 2010
=================================

SUBJECT: Category Three Typhoon In South China Sea

At 3:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Megi (950 hPa) located at 21.1N 118.2E has 10 minute sustained winds of 80 knots with gusts of 115 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving north slowly

Dvorak Intensity:

Storm Force Winds
=================
100 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
=================
220 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 23.2N 118.5E - 75 knots (CAT 3/Typhoon)
45 HRS: 25.3N 117.3E - 40 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
69 HRS: 27.6N 118.2E - Tropical Depression
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post above your 871 is water vapor loop. Shows dry air moving out to nw.
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BLOG UPDATE for the expected Severe Weather in North Texas tomorrow Link and Link
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if that system in the central atlantic continues to produce those thunderstorms, it should be our next invest area.
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1569
Quoting Orcasystems:


I am not even going to post the one closing in on your house... its sneaking in again not being watched...

HAH!!
What do you think I am doing up at this hour?
Blogging ????
I am sitting outside in the Brilliant Moonlight, looking Eastward.
NOTHING is sneaking up on me without warning, my friend.

(Do you have a warm coat I can borrow? It's freezing out here. At least 77 degrees!)
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Quoting reedzone:


If the 11 p.m. position is correct, the center is in the convection, on the southwestern side. Not nearly as lopsided as it was just a few hours ago.


True I didn't check that, but will Richard be able to push away all that dry air and how will the environment in its path be moistened to give it a better environment to strengthen?
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The last three or four frame of the water vapor loop shows the dry air moving out quickly the the northwest.

Link
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Seems like Shear is really expanding and making it relocate into a more favorable area....


Yeah, looks that way
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Still lopsided, but improving:

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Quoting reedzone:


CIMMS shear map shows 10-20 knots over the center of that low, I don't find that destructive as the NHC puts it. Something is not right here.
Seems like Shear is really expanding and making it relocate SW into a more favorable area....
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Latest statistical and dynamic models.



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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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