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 RadarRich:
Just watching the TWC. Updating the future of Richard and they are forcasting he will be heading into the Yucatan peninsula, and will be diminishing in stength, but, also mentioning that we can't rule out a threat to the US down the line sometime next (mid)week, but not anything of substantial consequences, hmmm. Basically, saying, this will not be a CONUS threat at this time..
Surprised that they are that bold in that forcast this early in the game, oh well...


This afternoon they were saying the complete opposite, lol. They're swingers just like the models are.

These large swings, let me rephrase that, HUGE swings in the models highlights that they still don't have a clue. Lack of run to run consistency is increasing.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Its amazing how quick the mood on this blog can change. I really don't see Richard dying at all.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
561. JLPR2
Convection growing in the center, 90L organizing nicely.



*errm, sorry meant to say close to the center XD*
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I guess Richard is dying right?? You need to understand that we are in DMIN and also notice a nice convective pop up storm forming west of the LLC. Tonight, this will probably organize into a strong Tropical Storm. Everytime you see a storm look like this in favorable conditions means it is just undergoing organization, it takes time. I expect this to ramp up with convection forming around the center late tonight.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
Just watching the TWC. Updating the future of Richard and they are forcasting he will be heading into the Yucatan peninsula, and will be diminishing in stength, but, also mentioning that we can't rule out a threat to the US down the line sometime next (mid)week, but not anything of substantial consequences, hmmm. Basically, saying, this will not be a CONUS threat at this time..
Surprised that they are that bold in that forcast this early in the game, oh well...
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556. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #15
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 18
9:00 AM JST October 22 2010
=================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression Near The Marianas

At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Depression (1002 hPa) located at 17.3N 139.3E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving west at 8 knots

Dvorak Intensity: T1.5

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 16.4N 135.9E - 40 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44446
Richard are you there??? lol One important thing to note this system has had many vortices and the COC has never been well established.
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TropicalStormRichard's heading had turned westward to dueWest
from its previous heading of dueSouth
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 only ~7miles southward over the past 9hours.
TropicalDepression19
21Oct 12amGMT - 17.5n81.2w - 30knots(~55.6km/h) - 1006mb - ATCF*17.6n81.2w
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
* Before NHC reevaluated&revised the ATCF numbers.

Copy&paste 17.5n81.2w, 17.5n81.1w, 17.2n80.9w, 17.0n80.7w, 16.6n80.6w-16.2n80.4w, 16.2n80.4w-16.1n80.4w, 16.1n80.4w-16.0n80.4w, 16.0n80.4w-16.0n80.5w, tji, puz, jee into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12^hours.
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553. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #71
TYPHOON MEGI (T1013)
9:00 AM JST October 22 2010
=================================

SUBJECT: Category Four Typhoon In South China Sea

At 0:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Megi (945 hPa) located at 20.9N 118.2E has 10 minute sustained winds of 85 knots with gusts of 120 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving north northeast slowly

Dvorak Intensity: T6.0

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

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

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 22.9N 118.3E - 75 knots (CAT 3/Typhoon)
48 HRS: 25.3N 117.3E - 40 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 27.6N 118.2E - Tropical Depression
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44446
Quoting sunlinepr:
Look at Richard and that wave W of 90L, they look like twins in the way they behave....

Sunline, Please post this link.
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Richard looks to be struggling to stay alive at this point.
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550. JLPR2
Not bad...
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latest models took the wind out of a lot of peoples sails
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Richard is a very shallow system struggling for life in a dry enviornment. Shallow systems are subject to very wild swings in model prediction because the models don't know how soon it will gain strength and have to make huge assumptions which turn out to be wrong almost all the time. We will continue to see wild swings in the models until Richard gets on some kind of a strenghening pattern.

Is it me or does shear seem to be lessening on the SW side and increasing on the SE side.
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For video interview:

Added On October 21, 2010
Freelance videographer James Reynolds discusses his passion for documenting severe weather in southeast Asia.

http://edition.cnn.com/video/

This is "Typhoonfury" who Jeff Masters mentioned as typhoon Juan neared the Philippines, video recorded in Hong Kong.
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00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest99
TS Richard Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




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Look at Richard and that wave W of 90L, they look like twins in the way they behave....


Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9690
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10928
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9690
Quoting lightningbolt73:
Good evening everybody. I have a question that I asked yesterday and I never got an answer. I'd like to know how do I fix my settings so I can see all of the comments in here?


At the top of the page under "My Quick Menu" select "My Blog". On your blog page on the right hand side "Modify My Profile". Set the default filter to the desired level.
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TS Richard IR Loop from ESL by LSU

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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
On the top of the readers comments section on the right hand side set the filter to show all.
Thank you very much! I'll try that.
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This is what I say Richard will relocate its COC to the NE maybe near 16.7N 79.8W and the models will shift the storm more to at Grand Cayman, Yucatan channel, and Florida type storm than a Honduras, South Yucatan, and G.O.M. type storm
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Change in heart

18z GFDL way south this time around.


Sigh.......It's only doing that because it's the 18z model. The 00z and 12z models are more reliable.
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Nothing new here...GFDL and HWRF again were out to lunch and all those people here jumped all over GFDL. Watch that weak mesohigh in the Gulf. it is going to steer Richard west.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




better yet Poof for you lol
i have better confidence in Ike then some of these newbies
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
funny that no one is mentioning that most of the wind data is contaminated

they just see highest winds not to TS force and assume this is weakening LOL



Exactly.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
funny that no one is mentioning that most of the wind data is contaminated

they just see highest winds not to TS force and assume this is weakening LOL

002700 1644N 07903W 9631 00408 //// +184 //// 126022 023 050 030 05
002730 1646N 07903W 9624 00415 //// +185 //// 123021 022 050 020 01


Is this winds ?
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Quoting lightningbolt73:
Good evening everybody. I have a question that I asked yesterday and I never got an answer. I'd like to know how do I fix my settings so I can see all of the comments in here?
On the top of the readers comments section on the right hand side set the filter to show all.
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funny that no one is mentioning that most of the wind data is contaminated

they just see highest winds not to TS force and assume this is weakening LOL

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Good evening everybody. I have a question that I asked yesterday and I never got an answer. I'd like to know how do I fix my settings so I can see all of the comments in here?
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All these moodels may change towards Florida for all we know by tomorrow
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527. IKE
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well maybe the reason why the winds are weak and the pressures a little higher is because the COC of Richard is relocating it self under the deepest area of convection off to the NE
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
yep leaving too before it gets ugly see you round 11 for the NHC update then off to bed
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
Either way the next 4 hours will be filled with arguing

I have plenty of other things to watch and do, so I will leave now

Have fun and be nice


you mean the next 4 years, right?
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I'm glad I had to run an errand. I see Stormpetrol has made a couple of good points regarding TS Dick. I'll take it under advisement but I'd still say it's looking weak tonite. I certainly wouldn't expect anything rapid. He looked good last night and I said so here. Not happening tonite, so far. We'll see.
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Either way the next 4 hours will be filled with arguing

I have plenty of other things to watch and do, so I will leave now

Have fun and be nice
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Change in heart

18z GFDL way south this time around.
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may be Richard will this poof out like he is doing now
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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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