Tropical Storm Richard slowly intensifying

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

Share this Blog
4
+

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

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: 465 - 415

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28Blog Index

Quoting weatherlover94:


looks about the same to me


Really? Look at the TVCN.

12z


18z
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
464. IKE
Quoting Orcasystems:


HH


On Richard? That's surprising.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Anyone else having issues with the Tropical Atlantic Recon site?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Honest, since the HHs started to fly into Invest99(Richard) I have never seen so much contaminated data!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
URNT15 KNHC 212350
AF301 0419A RICHARD HDOB 25 20101021
234030 1522N 07948W 9627 00385 0060 234 224 181027 028 031 003 03
234100 1521N 07947W 9630 00385 0061 233 223 180027 028 028 004 03
234130 1520N 07946W 9628 00388 0063 232 226 179026 028 030 004 03
234200 1519N 07944W 9628 00387 0063 233 223 178026 027 028 004 03
234230 1517N 07943W 9630 00387 0064 231 227 178026 027 027 005 03
234300 1516N 07942W 9630 00388 0064 231 229 179025 025 029 003 03
234330 1515N 07940W 9630 00389 0065 233 225 178026 028 027 005 03
234400 1514N 07939W 9627 00391 0066 234 225 178026 026 026 005 03
234430 1512N 07938W 9627 00392 0068 234 223 179026 027 028 004 03
234500 1511N 07936W 9628 00393 0068 234 223 178026 027 027 004 03
234530 1510N 07935W 9630 00390 0068 235 222 177026 027 028 004 03
234600 1508N 07934W 9630 00392 0069 234 223 179025 026 027 005 03
234630 1507N 07932W 9630 00390 0068 235 221 178026 027 026 005 03
234700 1506N 07931W 9628 00394 0069 235 220 179027 027 028 004 03
234730 1505N 07930W 9629 00393 0070 236 215 178027 027 026 004 03
234800 1503N 07929W 9629 00396 0071 236 217 179025 026 027 004 03
234830 1502N 07927W 9629 00394 0072 236 221 179025 026 027 003 03
234900 1501N 07926W 9629 00396 0073 235 224 182024 025 027 005 03
234930 1500N 07925W 9631 00396 0074 235 222 180024 025 025 005 03
235000 1458N 07923W 9629 00398 0074 235 225 184024 024 024 004 00
$$

Where exactly is this 1011mb?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:

Weird how we have two systems to watch in the CATL on Late October besides Richard.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting naviguesser:
42W13N gets no 8pm circle. NHC thinks it will dissipate


the NHC thinks it will dissipate but maybe this area will continue to move westward and then could reorganized once again and become a tropical cyclone by early November.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Never bought the whole FL major hurricane idea anyway.

I like how this illustrates the shift south.



The models are performing EXACTLY like my new windshield wipers :-b
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


HH


Seriously? I am seeing a ton of 1006mb pressure, I really do not know what you are looking at
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting naviguesser:
42W13N gets no 8pm circle. NHC thinks it will dissipate
It has a yellow circle. Just took a while to show up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Never bought the whole FL major hurricane idea anyway.

I like how this illustrates the shift south.



looks about the same to me
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes101:


1011?

Where are you getting that from?


HH
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
This storm is hardly moving and that is what is scary about it, festering and strenghthening, plus an uncertain path!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting naviguesser:
42W13N gets no 8pm circle. NHC thinks it will dissipate


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting naviguesser:
42W13N gets no 8pm circle. NHC thinks it will dissipate


??? um look again

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
449. IKE
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hi all,

i live about 3000 feet south of the beach on the north coast of honduras...just south of roatan and just east of la ceiba...
if these models are correct...that richard will pass directly to my north...i am wondering what to expect...like..should i board up some windows?
i have a screen porch on the ocean side..full of pricey equipment..am i going to have torrents of water blowing in...and what direction will the wind be from?..i am exposed to the north and east on this house...and i just put up an immense roof over a fabrication area...which is exposed east...
i am just wondering what i need to do if this thing passes close...any opinions?
Member Since: September 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 66
Quoting Orcasystems:


And getting weaker 1011


1011?

Where are you getting that from?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
42W13N gets no 8pm circle. NHC thinks it will dissipate
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
maybe the low in the central atlantic is the system that GFS model develops and moves toward Puerto Rico near November 2nd.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Never bought the whole FL major hurricane idea anyway.

I like how this illustrates the shift south.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Still a weak TS



And getting weaker 1011
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Quoting CybrTeddy:


NHC's main logic against it.. climo.
Yep. Remember 92L?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TOMSEFLA:
18z runs for hmrf gfdl post if you have seen them


i dont have them yet
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Still a weak TS

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes101:
tropical atlantic recon page crashed on me


me too
google earth no data
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sunlinepr:
Seems like we will have a 2nd CV season....


Oh my.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
18z runs for hmrf gfdl post if you have seen them
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
By tomorrow morning, I expect to be 90L to be at 50%/60%.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:

000
ABNT20 KNHC 212346
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT THU OCT 21 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL
STORM RICHARD LOCATED ABOUT 230 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF GRAND
CAYMAN AND ABOUT 190 MILES EAST-NORTHEAST OF THE HONDURAS/NICARAGUA
BORDER.

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH A BROAD LOW PRESSURE
SYSTEM LOCATED A FEW HUNDRED MILES SOUTH OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
HAVE CHANGED LITTLE IN ORGANIZATION DURING THE LAST SEVERAL HOURS.
WHILE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS APPEAR CONDUCIVE FOR SOME DEVELOPMENT
OF THIS DISTURBANCE DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO...A LESS FAVORABLE
ENVIRONMENT IS FORECAST AFTER THAT TIME. THERE IS A MEDIUM
CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES TOWARD THE NORTHWEST OR
NORTH-NORTHWEST AT 10 TO 15 MPH. LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND GUSTY
WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE LOW ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE CAPE VERDE
ISLANDS THROUGH SATURDAY.

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS HAVE INCREASED IN ASSOCIATION WITH A LOW
PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 1200 MILES EAST OF THE LESSER
ANTILLES. STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE FORECAST TO INHIBIT THE
DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE...AND THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10
PERCENT
...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE AS IT MOVES
SLOWLY WESTWARD DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

PUBLIC ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL STORM RICHARD ARE ISSUED UNDER
WMO HEADER WTNT34 KNHC AND UNDER AWIPS HEADER MIATCPAT4.
FORECAST/ADVISORIES ARE ISSUED UNDER WMO HEADER WTNT24 KNHC AND
UNDER AWIPS HEADER MIATCMAT4.

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN

At least they mentioned that low in the CATL again.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
IMO, 90L should be raised to 50%.


NHC's main logic against it.. climo.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
90L stays at 30%

CATL area now at 10%
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting clwstmchasr:


It went into NE Mexico. This is October. It will either dissipate over Central America or hit somewhere from Miss to Fl.


either is a possibility
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
ABNT20 KNHC 212346
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT THU OCT 21 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL
STORM RICHARD LOCATED ABOUT 230 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF GRAND
CAYMAN AND ABOUT 190 MILES EAST-NORTHEAST OF THE HONDURAS/NICARAGUA
BORDER.

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH A BROAD LOW PRESSURE
SYSTEM LOCATED A FEW HUNDRED MILES SOUTH OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
HAVE CHANGED LITTLE IN ORGANIZATION DURING THE LAST SEVERAL HOURS.
WHILE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS APPEAR CONDUCIVE FOR SOME DEVELOPMENT
OF THIS DISTURBANCE DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO...A LESS FAVORABLE
ENVIRONMENT IS FORECAST AFTER THAT TIME. THERE IS A MEDIUM
CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES TOWARD THE NORTHWEST OR
NORTH-NORTHWEST AT 10 TO 15 MPH. LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND GUSTY
WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE LOW ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE CAPE VERDE
ISLANDS THROUGH SATURDAY.

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS HAVE INCREASED IN ASSOCIATION WITH A LOW
PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 1200 MILES EAST OF THE LESSER
ANTILLES. STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE FORECAST TO INHIBIT THE
DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE...AND THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10
PERCENT
...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE AS IT MOVES
SLOWLY WESTWARD DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

PUBLIC ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL STORM RICHARD ARE ISSUED UNDER
WMO HEADER WTNT34 KNHC AND UNDER AWIPS HEADER MIATCPAT4.
FORECAST/ADVISORIES ARE ISSUED UNDER WMO HEADER WTNT24 KNHC AND
UNDER AWIPS HEADER MIATCMAT4.

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
...RICHARD NEARLY STATIONARY WITH NO CHANGE IN STRENGTH...

SUMMARY OF 800 PM EDT...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...16.0N 80.5W
ABOUT 230 MI...375 KM SSE OF GRAND CAYMAN
ABOUT 190 MI...310 KM ENE OF CABO GRACIAS A DIOS ON NIC/HON BORDER
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...SSE OR 160 DEGREES AT 2 MPH...3 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1005 MB...29.68 INCHES
So I was seeing right when I said he looked almost stationary again.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
IMO, 90L should be raised to 50%.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
new advisory no change in strength but pressure down 1 mb down to 1005 mb
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
...RICHARD NEARLY STATIONARY WITH NO CHANGE IN STRENGTH...

SUMMARY OF 800 PM EDT...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...16.0N 80.5W
ABOUT 230 MI...375 KM SSE OF GRAND CAYMAN
ABOUT 190 MI...310 KM ENE OF CABO GRACIAS A DIOS ON NIC/HON BORDER
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...SSE OR 160 DEGREES AT 2 MPH...3 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1005 MB...29.68 INCHES
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormpetrol:
If Richard stays on track he will run into Honduras, but I doubt this very much.


i do to but i wont be on at all tomorrow i have to go to school and then to a ball game up north for the school band so i will be back Sat and i wander what will be happening then?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This appears to be the center of circulation. Pressure dipped to 1005.6mb before increasing. The decrease to 1005.6mb was rather subtle.

233630 1528N 08003W 9630 00380 0056 +240 +216 184028 029 025 006 03
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If Richard stays on track he will run into Honduras, but I doubt this very much.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
SAN FRANCISCO-COASTAL NORTH BAY

...SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL EXPECTED THIS WEEKEND...

A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL PUSH INTO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST THIS EVENING SLIDING A COLD FRONT THROUGH THE FORECAST AREA. THIS COLD FRONT WILL BRING A CHANCE OF SHOWERS TO THE NORTH BAY AND A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS SOUTH OF THE GOLDEN GATE. ADDITIONALLY...THIS COLD FRONT WILL OPEN THE DOOR TO A SERIES OF STORM SYSTEMS WHICH WILL RESULT IN SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL ESPECIALLY IN THE NORTH BAY AREA. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RAIN IS EXPECTED SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY AS TROPICAL MOISTURE IS PUSHED INTO THE AREA.

TOTAL WEEKEND RAINFALL COULD ADD UP TO 2 TO 3 INCHES IN AND AROUND THE NORTH BAY MOUNTAINS WITH AROUND A HALF OF AN INCH EXPECTED IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA. FURTHER SOUTH IN THE VICINITY OF MONTEREY AND SANTA CRUZ...WEEKEND RAINFALL WILL RANGE FROM 0.25 INCHES TO 0.75 INCHES IN THE SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS. ALTHOUGH NO MAJOR FLOODING IS EXPECTED TO OCCUR WITH THIS SYSTEM SMALL STREAMS MAY SWELL AND THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR PONDING ON THE ROADWAYS ESPECIALLY IN THE NORTH BAY AREA.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
tropical atlantic recon page crashed on me
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Those loops won't post unless you upload them, download them, capture them and post them. Just post a link, that will work.
Link

Thanks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Marziedotz:
Does anyone wish to comment on storm possibilities re the West coast FL area?


to early to tell sister just continue to monitor wait a couple of days and we will have a better idea of were it is going
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 465 - 415

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28Blog Index

Top of Page

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.