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 tkeith:
a "Giants"(or Yankees) caster will get you hammered the most from me :)


Hey Keith.....your Saints did a number on my on Sunday...Congrat....lets hope Richard doesn't do a number on someone now.
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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10967
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Click For Animation


Some convective banding starting to pop up near the COC, I think this gets going tonight.
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This is all the GFS MOdels.

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looks like low in the central atlantic is getting better organized as shear appears diminishing.
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The 3 BAM models.....look WEst!

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NOAA: Another Winter of Extremes in Store for U.S. as La Niña Strengthens
October 21, 2010


High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)
The Pacific Northwest should brace for a colder and wetter than average winter, while most of the South and Southeast will be warmer and drier than average through February 2011, according to the annual Winter Outlook released today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. A moderate to strong La Niña will be the dominant climate factor influencing weather across most of the U.S. this winter.

La Niña is associated with cooler than normal water temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean, unlike El Niño which is associated with warmer than normal water temperatures. Both of these climate phenomena, which typically occur every 2-5 years, influence weather patterns throughout the world and often lead to extreme weather events. Last winter’s El Niño contributed to record-breaking rain and snowfall leading to severe flooding in some parts of the country, with record heat and drought in other parts of the country. Although La Niña is the opposite of El Niño, it also has the potential to bring weather extremes to parts of the nation.

“La Niña is in place and will strengthen and persist through the winter months, giving us a better understanding of what to expect between December and February,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service. “This is a good time for people to review the outlook and begin preparing for what winter may have in store.”

...

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20101021_winteroutlook.html
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255. IKE
54 hr. 18Z GFS....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting TampaSpin:
Which way will i get hammered most as a WishCaster or a DownCaster.......NAY.....LOL
a "Giants"(or Yankees) caster will get you hammered the most from me :)
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The (Cape Verde) Hurricane of 1780 occurred during the LittleIceAge. So talking of Invest 90L as if today's climatology were comparable is more than slightly misleading.

TropicalStormRichard's heading held steady at dueSouth
TS.Richard's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions remained ~2.3mph(~3.8km/h)
Invest 99L
20Oct 06pmGMT - 17.6n81.7w - 30knots - 1008mb - ATCF*17.1n82.2w*17.6n81.6w
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
* Before NHC reevaluated&revised the ATCF numbers.

Copy&paste 17.6n81.7w, 17.5n81.2w, 17.5n81.1w, 17.2n80.9w, 17.0n80.7w-16.6n80.6w, 16.6n80.6w-16.2n80.4w, 16.2n80.4w-16.1n80.4w, 16.1n80.4w-16.0n80.4w, tji, puz, jee into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12^hours.
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Which way will i get hammered most as a WishCaster or a DownCaster.......NAY.....LOL
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
Special request: Can we please start linking the MIMIC TPC images instead of embedding them into the blog? When I'm using the Texas A&M University connection from my computer, the animations kill my browser and freeze my computer. Thanks and Gig 'Em.
You should send that thought to WunderYakuza...or anyone in admin. I agree. That shouldn't be allowed.
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Been a long time since I stopped in, hows it going mates?
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Joan - One of the latest Cape Verde-type hurricanes to form



One of the latest Cape Verde-type hurricanes to form in any season,[4] Joan formed from an area of convection in the intertropical convergence zone that moved off the coast of Africa early in October.<BR>
After crossing Central America into the Pacific, the cyclone was renamed Tropical Storm Miriam, with the system's dissipation occurring southwest of Mexico. Joan-Miriam was the final hurricane of the 1988 Atlantic hurricane season and the final named storm of the Pacific hurricane season.


The "African date" (the day which the system came off of Africa) is still early October much like the 1780 hurricane. Hmmmm, I wonder if we can find a signficant storm with an "African Date" of say October 20 or later like 90L?
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Quoting justcurious:
Here I thought my lurking for the season was over! I thought I saw some model runs that aim this at Tampa, why then is the wind probability forcast only go as far North as Ft. Myers?

I am south of Ft. Myers, and we could use a little rain.

Thanks for the info...

back to lurkdom...



Because Tampa is beyond the time frame posted.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

I agree, the purpose of that post was just to point out a similar occurrence that ended up being significant within approximately the same time period (in this case October). Like you said though, the occurrence of 90L is slightly later than the Great Hurricane, which indeed would place it even further outside the climatological norm in terms of genesis... assuming it develops, that is! After all, it could end up like the season's first 92L from June, which was a similarly impressive Cape Verde wave during a time when it was climatologically unexpected. Whatever happens though, we'll just have to wait and see.


Yep, 92L comes to my mind to when I look at 90L. That shortwave that is shearing up the tropical low in the C-ATL looks like it could end up shearing 90L apart too when it gets to 90L. The question is, will 90L develop before shear gets to it?
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Here I thought my lurking for the season was over! I thought I saw some model runs that aim this at Tampa, why then is the wind probability forcast only go as far North as Ft. Myers?

I am south of Ft. Myers, and we could use a little rain.

Thanks for the info...

back to lurkdom...

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Quoting capeflorida:


Kman gets 3 stars for using the word "postulating" in a sentence. Last time I heard someone use it ,was 55 years ago when I attended Jesuit prep school. Congrats KM, You bring much needed class to this place.


Thanks. Sadly, I learned that word about 55 years ago as well LMAO
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Joan - One of the latest Cape Verde-type hurricanes to form



One of the latest Cape Verde-type hurricanes to form in any season,[4] Joan formed from an area of convection in the intertropical convergence zone that moved off the coast of Africa early in October.

After crossing Central America into the Pacific, the cyclone was renamed Tropical Storm Miriam, with the system's dissipation occurring southwest of Mexico. Joan-Miriam was the final hurricane of the 1988 Atlantic hurricane season and the final named storm of the Pacific hurricane season.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Using this visble loop, I approximate the center of Richard to be at 17N 80W. To me, Richard is more of the same, still a weak TS, probably 45 mph at best. No convection is west of 17N80W yet.

On an infrared picture, it might look like its getting its act together until you check out the visible, which shows the center is decoupled from the deepest convection. That's because Richard is getting sheared. I always check the visible first before the infrared, especially in cases of sheared systems like Richard.

But give good ol' Rich some time, once that trough to the north lifts out, shear will reduce, and then Richard might just take off.


Whoops, forgot to post a link to Rich's visible satellite loop I am using. Here:

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/flash-vis.html
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


That article talks about the 1780 deadly hurricane, which reached the Lesser Antilles around mid-October, and became extratropical around Canada on the 20th of October. So, its possible that the pre-1780 hurricane tropical wave came off of Africa, say early October.

To put 90L in perspective, it has come off the coast of Africa quiet later than when the 1780 hurricane came off of Africa. If the 1780 hurricane and 90L were in the same season, the 1780 hurricane would TODAY be becoming extratropical while 90L is just getting started off of Africa. Thus to me, 90L is more out of climo than the 1780 hurricane.

I agree, the purpose of that post was just to point out a similar occurrence that ended up being significant within approximately the same time period (in this case October). Like you said though, the occurrence of 90L is slightly later than the Great Hurricane, which indeed would place it even further outside the climatological norm in terms of genesis... assuming it develops, that is! After all, it could end up like the season's first 92L from June, which was a similarly impressive Cape Verde wave during a time when it was climatologically unexpected. Whatever happens though, we'll just have to wait and see.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
Also appears to be a nice blowup finally on the westside of the circulation. Don't be surprised if the HH go out there and find 60 mph winds.


Using this visble loop, I approximate the center of Richard to be at 17N 80W. To me, Richard is more of the same, still a weak TS, probably 45 mph at best. No convection is west of 17N80W yet.

On an infrared picture, it might look like its getting its act together until you check out the visible, which shows the center is decoupled from the deepest convection. That's because Richard is getting sheared. I always check the visible first before the infrared, especially in cases of sheared systems like Richard.

But give good ol' Rich some time, once that trough to the north lifts out, shear will reduce, and then Richard might just take off.
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has anyone noticed latest satt. photos, has moved some to the west. and looks like strength is on the increase....
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Richard is still very poorly organized and not really improving too much yet. Looks like the Dry air is really hendering development along with Shear from the West yet. He is still hemmed in really well between 2 Highs.



True, but it is likely that Richard will overcome these conditions.
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Large blog update, enjoy!
Richard forms, 90L a threat to develop 10/21/10
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


That article talks about the 1780 deadly hurricane, which reached the Lesser Antilles around mid-October, and became extratropical around Canada on the 20th of October. So, its possible that the pre-1780 hurricane tropical wave came off of Africa, say early October.

To put 90L in perspective, it has come off the coast of Africa quiet later than when the 1780 hurricane came off of Africa. If the 1780 hurricane and 90L were in the same season, the 1780 hurricane would TODAY be becoming extratropical while 90L is just getting started off of Africa. Thus to me, 90L is more out of climo than the 1780 hurricane.

+1 Interesting..
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Richard is still very poorly organized and not really improving too much yet. Looks like the Dry air is really hendering development along with Shear from the West yet. He is still hemmed in really well between 2 Highs.

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It also looks like Richard is moving more W
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6730
Latest pass of Richard:

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AT 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM RICHARD WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.0 NORTH...LONGITUDE 80.4 WEST. RICHARD IS
DRIFTING TOWARD THE SOUTH-SOUTHEAST NEAR 3 MPH...6 KM/HR. A GRADUAL
TRACK TOWARD THE SOUTH...SOUTHWEST...AND WEST IS EXPECTED OVER THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AT A SLOW FORWARD SPEED.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 40 MPH...65 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AND
RICHARD COULD BECOME A HURRICANE OVER THE WEEKEND.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 105 MILES...
165 KM...MAINLY EAST OF THE CENTER.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1005 MB...29.68 INCHES.

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Quoting 1900hurricane:
October Cape Verde Hurricanes are indeed quite rare, but not unprecedented. In fact, the Deadliest North Atlantic Hurricane was an October Cape Verde.


That article talks about the 1780 deadly hurricane, which reached the Lesser Antilles around mid-October, and became extratropical around Canada on the 20th of October. So, its possible that the pre-1780 hurricane tropical wave came off of Africa, say early October.

To put 90L in perspective, it has come off the coast of Africa quiet later than when the 1780 hurricane came off of Africa. If the 1780 hurricane and 90L were in the same season, the 1780 hurricane would TODAY be becoming extratropical while 90L is just getting started off of Africa. Thus to me, 90L is more out of climo than the 1780 hurricane.
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-
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224. unf97
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


It also shows how litte we understand African tropical wave dynamics and Cape Verde dynamics. There is some general theory out there about how African waves develop, but I don't think no one saw this wave coming! I wish we knew how Africa threw this curveball.


Ain't that the truth. LOL. Definitely, no one saw this curve ball from Mother Nature in the form of 90L coming.

It is a fascinating invest that far out in the Atlantic this late in the season.
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Quoting weatherlover94:


my goodness at the model spread


Looks a lot better than the 360 degree spread we were looking at earlier!
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Quoting kmanislander:


I think the models have gone to the "farther S and W " initial motion because the ridge over the NW GOM has been digging to the SE today. You can see that if you toggle the steering map back and forth between the 3 hour intervals. Farther S means the high should initially force the storm to the SW before it can start a motion off to the west and NW.

Earlier today I was postulating that a more North Westerly exit from the Caribbean might happen but that depends on two things.

The first is how far to the SE the high digs and secondly how quickly the following trough erodes the Western flank of that high. Until we know the answer to those questions the current forecast that I just outlined seems to be the more reasonable solution IMO.


Kman gets 3 stars for using the word "postulating" in a sentence. Last time I heard someone use it ,was 55 years ago when I attended Jesuit prep school. Congrats KM, You bring much needed class to this place.
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The new burst of convection over the center of Richard is impressive. I think its gaining strength as we watch it.
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Quoting JLPR2:
Convection just to the east of the center, why doesn't this have at least a yellow circle?


Looks like its getting the bejeezees sheared out of it. Shortwave upper trough passing by to its north is hurting it, but its fightin the shear really hard. Once the shortwave passes by, it may then start to get organized.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Weirdest.Season.Ever.


IMO, this is the 2nd weirdest. This hasn't weirded me out enough yet to pass the super weird 2005 season, LOL!
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Quoting unf97:


For me, 90L is just a mind boggling invest. I am completely amazed at how well this invest appears on satellite. I think 90L will hold up and get named within the next 24 hours. A very rare and amazing late October Cape Verde tropical cyclone. Absolutely amazing! It just shows how Mother Nature throws us curve balls every now and then.


It also shows how litte we understand African tropical wave dynamics and Cape Verde dynamics. There is some general theory out there about how African waves develop, but I don't think no one saw this wave coming! I wish we knew how Africa threw this curveball.

Quoting cat5hurricane:

Tell that to Shary!

More like Super Freaky Shary! Super freak, she's a super freak, super freaky, yawwwww!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Wow...

I see we have TS Richard, although its been that way since 8-9 AM AST this morning.

I also see a well-defined 90L, which will likely have enough time to become either the 20th TD, 18th TS, or both, or none, in the few days. It surprises me that there is a good possibility of an October Cape-Verde storm, but it just shows how weird this season really is.

Weirdest.Season.Ever.
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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.