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 Orcasystems:


Not that I can find... its 10 miles deep... and the G of C would contain most of it if one happened.

Damn world is screwing up my vacation plans...

Cuba/Cancun - weather that can't make up its mind.. and where do the oil go

Puerto Valarta - earthquakes of all things.


No worries of oil! You don't have to buy suntan lotion! Really though, the oil is mostly gone. The shores, seafood and water is good. People are milking it out like anything else. There is some damage, but its not as bad as it could have been.
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
Quoting reedzone:
The fun begins!



????
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00Z 84 hour NAM:



Farther north with an approaching shortwave.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
811. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


T4.0 from IMD
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43649
Simply put, the basic and original definition of an internet troll is someone who posts comments to a forum with the sole or primary purpose not of adding constructively to a conversation, but rather of provoking a confused, angry, frightened, or otherwise emotional response in other users through intentionally inflammatory words. As such, if anyone here purposely upcasts or downcasts not because they believe in what they're saying but only because they enjoy watching the guaranteed reactions of others to their words, and/or because they relish the attention they know they'll receive, they are by definition a troll, period.

Now, then, who is doing that?

Some trolls are easy to spot by almost anyone. They post racist or hateful or obtuse or obviously stupid, stupid things, things that make them stick out like a greasy fingerprint on a white dress shirt. Others, however, are not quite so easy to tell. These folks almost have to decide on their own whether they're trolls. That is, they have to look at themselves--into their own minds, and their own hearts--and decide if the things they're writing are meant to educate and inform, or if they're just to anger and confuse. If it's the former, great! Keep up the good work. But if it's the latter, they need to change, pipe down, or go away. Please.
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The fun begins!

Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Sorry to hear about your loss Hank:



That was really a nice gesture, Geoff. I mean really nice. Hope Hank was on to see it. Too bad more don't do the same. Not being funny here, but I am kind of a tough guy. My eyes got a little wet for a moment at the end of that song.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
:) For my .02 worth, Ike is entitled to his opinion just like everyone else. Whether anyone agrees with him or not it is his right and so far even though a lot call him a downcaster seems like he is right the majority of time.

Yeah, well I'm with Ike. You know what. Florida, like many areas, is in real bad shape, even more so on the west coast. Record unemployement, you cant give away a frickin house and business's are closing left and right and the ones that aren't closed are hanging on by a thread. Anyone wanna guess what 15 days without electric would do to them????? A guy who seems relatively happy and passes on some pos information about a storm that many thought may be on the way - may not be, and he is deemed a pain in the *** and a "downcaster". Does anyone see something wrong with this?
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Quoting SuperTyphoonLionrock:


I hear that ever a major earthquake were to hit near the Yellowstone Caldera it could be armageddon.


Each year, 1,000 to 3,000 earthquakes occur within Yellowstone National Park and its immediate surroundings. Although most are too small to be felt, these quakes reflect the active nature of the Yellowstone region, one of the most seismically active areas in the United States. Each year, several quakes of magnitude 3 to 4 are felt by people in the park.

Although some quakes are caused by rising magma and hot-ground-water movement, many emanate from regional faults related to crustal stretching and mountain building. For example, major faults along the Teton, Madison, and Gallatin Ranges pass through the park and likely existed long before the beginning of volcanism there. Movements along many of these faults are capable of producing significant earthquakes. The most notable earthquake in Yellowstone’s recent history occurred in 1959. Centered near Hebgen Lake, just west of the park, it had a magnitude of 7.5. This quake caused $11 million in damage (equivalent to $70 million in 2005 dollars) and killed 28 people, most of them in a landslide that was triggered by the quake.

More here
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LOL,some of you are so funny. Yeah, you say that Ike has been right all year, I say he is lucky and that the US has also been lucky and people question whether I am really a lawyer.

This season has been a freak with the lack of US hits. However, that does not change the fact that Ike revels in rubbing people's noses in it whenever a storm fails to either develop, or make landfall.

I don't know his motivation, or really care. There are all kinds on this board. However, it is evident that he does enjoy being the party-pooper.
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Quoting scott39:
Models are interesting to say the least. Fl. went from End of the world--- Doom, to in the clear as of now. I wonder what tomorrow will tell?

We need to look for trends, right now the models are like wind shield wipers.
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Quoting SuperTyphoonLionrock:


I hear that ever a major earthquake were to hit near the Yellowstone Caldera it could be armageddon.


There is a documentary about it... I would highly suggest you do not watch it... it would scare the begezzus out of you... it did to me.
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Quoting pottery:

Any "T" warning with that?


Had to check. That's the one from earlier today. No warnings.
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Quoting pottery:

Any "T" warning with that?


Not that I can find... its 10 miles deep... and the G of C would contain most of it if one happened.

Damn world is screwing up my vacation plans...

Cuba/Cancun - weather that can't make up its mind.. and where do the oil go

Puerto Valarta - earthquakes of all things.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Models are interesting to say the least. Fl. went from End of the world--- Doom, to in the clear as of now. I wonder what tomorrow will tell?
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Oh oh... this isn't good
21-OCT-2010 17:53:14 24.84 -109.17 6.9 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA

Any "T" warning with that?
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795. JLPR2
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Something really trying to spin up there and I haven't looked at it for a while but convection was great earlier.


It developed a new area of convection practically over the center.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8459
Quoting Orcasystems:
Oh oh... this isn't good
21-OCT-2010 17:53:14 24.84 -109.17 6.9 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA


How deep was it?
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
Quoting A4Guy:
once again, all the doomers predicting devastation for Florida will be wrong. Eventually they'll be correct...a storm will hit Florida again..but it just won't be this one, most likely.

Based on what?
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Quoting JRRP:



If I didn't know any better, I'd say the African Wave Train is in full gear. Oh wait....It is.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting Orcasystems:
Oh oh... this isn't good
21-OCT-2010 17:53:14 24.84 -109.17 6.9 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA


Nope! Amy should have kept her fork!
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
Quoting Orcasystems:
Oh oh... this isn't good
21-OCT-2010 17:53:14 24.84 -109.17 6.9 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA


Another one??
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
788. JRRP


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787. JRRP
Quoting JLPR2:
A closer look at the CATl low that in my opinion deserves to be tagged as an invest.

yea
that is a nice pic
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Quoting shikori:


Where do they live? Florida?

yes, same as me
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Quoting JLPR2:
A closer look at the CATl low that in my opinion deserves to be tagged as an invest.

I have been watching that area since yesterday.
It's been quite persistent, and right now looks pretty good!
Fun to see what happens to it in about 6 hrs....
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Oh oh... this isn't good
21-OCT-2010 17:53:14 24.84 -109.17 6.9 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
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Quoting kmanislander:
I'm out for tonight. Not too much should happen in the next 12 hours so see you all tomorrow

Good night


nite
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
Quoting Ineluki:


To quote Sgt. Hulka from that classic film Stripes: "Lighten up, Francis."

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.

That's a good post.
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779. A4Guy
once again, all the doomers predicting devastation for Florida will be wrong. Eventually they'll be correct...a storm will hit Florida again..but it just won't be this one, most likely.
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I'm out for tonight. Not too much should happen in the next 12 hours so see you all tomorrow

Good night
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Quoting NOLALawyer:


He, like the US, has been lucky this season. Luck will eventually run out though. The US will get hit again, it is something you can't debate. Might happen next week, next month or next year....but it will happen.

You a Lawyer?
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Quoting kmanislander:


Hi there.

First of all, so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. Hopefully you will all find solace in the days ahead.

In so far as Richard is concerned I don't see this one coming up from the South in our direction. All the data points to a move off to the SW then West tomorrow, slowly, followed by WNW thereafter.

Pretty confident on this myself.

Thanks and I hope you're right , though you usually are! :) Goodnight! Rough few days weatherwise and otherwise for me at least!
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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.
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Quoting shikori:


me .i posted about it and clp5 earlier


You wouldn't be a fan if you live close to Surfmom or TampaSpin.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Goodnight and my apologises to Ike, we all jump the gun at times, Be well and stay safe Ike, its been a rough week and day for me, I guess you had me figured out much better than I had you, once again my apologises!


Good luck to you and your fam!
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
Quoting NOLALawyer:


He, like the US, has been lucky this season. Luck will eventually run out though. The US will get hit again, it is something you can't debate. Might happen next week, next month or next year....but it will happen.


Thats Brilliant! Thats like saying I'm gonna get laid one day lol! Did it take a law degree to figure that one out!
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
Notice the 11 p.m. position is right on the southwestern end of the deep convection, still tucked in, not exposed.
This should take off in a few hours. The banding is becoming more evident, convection finally organizing.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
Goodnight and my apologises to Ike, we all jump the gun at times, Be well and stay safe Ike, its been a rough week and day for me, I guess you had me figured out much better than I had you, once again my apologises!
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Quoting stormpetrol:

Hi Kman,

Do you think we have anything to fear here in the Caymans or just stay vigilant, this one bothers me. Today is sad day for my family, my sister passed away this morning, she had Downs Syndrome , had a stroke one week ago today, you know planning a funeral with impending bad weather can be stressful, anyways just wanted to get your opinion, at least least she fooled the docs they said she wouldn't live out her teens and she lived to be 54!


Hi there.

First of all, so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. Hopefully you will all find solace in the days ahead.

In so far as Richard is concerned I don't see this one coming up from the South in our direction. All the data points to a move off to the SW then West tomorrow, slowly, followed by WNW thereafter.

Pretty confident on this myself.
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Anyone here a fan of the LBAR... it hasn't really moved over the last few runs...
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Quoting doorman79:


Have to admit he hasn't been wrong all year. I think when we here ike say "ow shi+" we may be in trouble lol!


He, like the US, has been lucky this season. Luck will eventually run out though. The US will get hit again, it is something you can't debate. Might happen next week, next month or next year....but it will happen.
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Quoting reedzone:
Hmm perhaps organization is starting earlier then I thought, still on it's way to a 50-70 mph. Tropical Storm by morning.



Isn't it a tropical storm now! sorry, had to say it
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895

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About JeffMasters

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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