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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1115. scott39
Quoting 954FtLCane:

Hurricane Mitch


Although I don't dislike Ike I do see mostly all of the posts always show a model that will miss the CONUS. Yesterday the GFDL & HWRF both had a FL strike and post after post from him was always centered on a non CONUS hit. Not 50/50 but always onesided posting.
I do understand that there are many on here that post the other way but he almost does it on purpose to antagonize people.
No this is not a TROLL posting.
If you DONT LIKE IKE, put him on IGNORE. Its that simple. Nobody is going to change the way he posts.
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1114. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
portcharlotte its going to be a dry 4 months for the se so get use to it and maybe you can put la nina on ignore that may help
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Hurricane Mitch


Although I don't dislike Ike I do see mostly all of the posts always show a model that will miss the CONUS. Yesterday the GFDL & HWRF both had a FL strike and post after post from him was always centered on a non CONUS hit. Not 50/50 but always onesided posting.
I do understand that there are many on here that post the other way but he almost does it on purpose to antagonize people.
No this is not a TROLL posting.
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1110. scott39
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I think he said 42 miles.
post 1107
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Quoting scott39:
The guy from crown weather said Richard move NE for 72miles last night. That is odd.
I think he said 42 miles.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8279
1107. scott39
Quoting scott39:
The guy from crown weather said Richard move NE for 72miles last night. That is odd.
Correction--ENE for 42miles at 7mph. I need my coffee!
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1106. IKE
Quoting Chicklit:
posting hurricane tracks that are on topic is not trolling.
complaining about it is.


That's what I was doing...agreeing with you.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1105. scott39
The guy from crown weather said Richard move NE for 72miles last night. That is odd.
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What we should start doing is save these steering charts, so if the steering was ever the same or close to it we could compare it to previous storms, lol.
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posting hurricane tracks that are on topic is not trolling.
complaining about it is.
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1100. IKE
Quoting shikori:
Why don't you just give a 50/50 input Ike, that way no one complains because you give two sides of the argument.


There is no other side...this system is headed for the Yucatan. Beyond that it's a guess.

Even Bastardi said it was headed there. Not my fault. Best thing to do if you want to experience a hurricane is head for Belize and the Yucatan.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting portcharlotte:
Ike..to be fair...why don't you show the track of Mitch...I can not believe I get up this mornin g and you are here again with the same propaganda. It may go away yes but you never give up...we need the rain here and a tropical storm is not going to rip your roof off. It may break some branches..You really don;t enjoy the weather and it's changes. You just enjoy irritating weather enthusiasts and you know it...You ruin my day but always debatin g everything..Please stay away for a day or too and let me enjoy.


Put the troll on ignore so he won't get to you. He is accomplishing exactly what trolls want to do and he is very good at it.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
This is the direction of the steering notice the western flank of the high over Texas starting to erode as all this progresses eastward that same gap out west will be responsible for picking Richard up and turning it more to the North NE, and because Richard is stationary that makes the timing of the trough that much more quicker.

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8dlm1.GIF

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HH's are right on the outer edge of the coldest cloud tops...

Product: Air Force Tropical RECCO Message (URNT11 KNHC)
Transmitted: 22nd day of the month at 11:21Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 309)
Storm Number: 19
Storm Name: Richard (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 5
Observation Number: 08

Mandatory Data...

Observation Time: Friday, 11:19Z
Radar Capability: Yes
Aircraft Altitude: Below 10,000 meters
Coordinates: 16.5N 81.8W
Location: 196 miles (315 km) to the S (188°) from George Town, Cayman Islands (GBR).
Turbulence: None
Conditions Along Flight Route: In the clear
Pressure Altitude: 450 meters
Flight Level Wind: From 40° at 24 knots (From the NE at ~ 27.6 mph)
- The above is a spot wind.
- Winds were obtained using doppler radar or inertial systems.
Flight Level Temperature: 23°C
Flight Level Dew Point: 2°C
Weather (within 30 nautical miles): Thunderstorm(s)
Mean Sea Level Pressure (MSLP): 1010 mb (extrapolated)

Optional Data...

Estimated Surface Wind: From 40° at 25 knots (From the NE at ~ 28.7 mph)

Remarks Section...

Surface Wind Speed (likely by SFMR): 25 knots (~ 28.8mph)
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This is the direction of the steering notice the western flank of the high over Texas starting to erode as all this progresses eastward that same gap out west will be responsible for picking Richard up and turning it more to the North NE, and because Richard is stationary that makes the timing of the trough that much more quicker.

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1094. IKE
Quoting portcharlotte:
I like you Ike but your drum beat gets boring and tiring.. Change your name to Spike or something else refreshing...sorry to sound rude but i enjoy wx changes and storms are what makes experiencing weather interesting.





Like I have any control over the weather? You sound like your about 14 years-old.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
I like you Ike but your drum beat gets boring and tiring.. Change your name to Spike or something else refreshing...sorry to sound rude but i enjoy wx changes and storms are what makes experiencing weather interesting.



Quoting IKE:


Like anyone on here has any control over the weather.

You put Mitch's path on here if you want to. I was verifying what chicklit posted about similarities in tracks for 2010.

I can't help it if it doesn't rain at your house or mine and I've got more important things in life to worry about anyway.

I'll post on here whenever I want to. Just stick me on ignore and your through with me.
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Morning, Ike. Much appreciated.
have a great day everyone.
see you at happy hour :) tgif!
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Quoting shikori:
New sat looks even more intense than the last.



If the visible shows the center underneath, It's a new ball game from last night.
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Quoting scott39:
Chicken need Xanax?


Reading my mind! Mix it with their feed?
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1088. scott39
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Poultry anxiety?

Anyone watching F and F?
Chicken need Xanax?
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1087. IKE
Quoting portcharlotte:
Ike..to be fair...why don't you show the track of Mitch...I can not believe I get up this mornin g and you are here again with the same propaganda. It may go away yes but you never give up...we need the rain here and a tropical storm is not going to rip your roof off. It may break some branches..You really don;t enjoy the weather and it's changes. You just enjoy irritating weather enthusiasts and you know it...You ruin my day but always debatin g everything..Please stay away for a day or too and let me enjoy.


Like anyone on here has any control over the weather.

You put Mitch's path on here if you want to. I was verifying what chicklit posted about similarities in tracks for 2010.

I can't help it if it doesn't rain at your house or mine and I've got more important things in life to worry about anyway.

I'll post on here whenever I want to. Just stick me on ignore and your through with me.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Poultry anxiety?

Anyone watching F and F?
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Ike..to be fair...why don't you show the track of Mitch...I can not believe I get up this mornin g and you are here again with the same propaganda. It may go away yes but you never give up...we need the rain here and a tropical storm is not going to rip your roof off. It may break some branches..You really don;t enjoy the weather and it's changes. You just enjoy irritating weather enthusiasts and you know it...You ruin my day but always debatin g everything..Please stay away for a day or too and let me enjoy.
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1084. scott39
Ike has powers that are hard to understand. Just go with it!
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Quoting portcharlotte:
As has been mentioned by Levi32 and others...look at the path of the Pacific storm which is recurving. The message here is that the ridge will erode the same way once the system gets close to Yucatan. I think this will correlate well with Richard. SW flow will be set up over the Gulf when Richard reaches Yucatan. It's not heading for Tampico and not dying over yucatan and the shear will not be 65 knots over the Gulf. Eventually the old pattern gets broken. This ridge is progressive in nature and will be shoved eastward opening the Gulf. Let's face it Hurricanes will enter the Gulf again




Did you see the latest intensity model runs, none of them bring it up past category 2 strength! I find that hard to believe especially since Paula almost made it to category 3 strength with the same hostile conditions to her Northwest. What I'm saying is the models are underdoing the intensity and a stronger storm has the tendency to track to the right of the cone as it feels the influence of a weakening ridge and an approaching trough. So the million dollar question is who wins out? Strong Trough or Strong High? I say a strong trough especially what we've seen with the last three storms Otto, Paula, and Nicole, on top of we're getting into that time of the year where climatology says that storms re-curve and troughs dig deeper into the gulf and almost into the NW Caribbean sometimes even clearing the whole state of FL.
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1082. scott39
Quoting PensacolaDoug:




You know what they say....
True, Nevermind!
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Quoting scott39:
Well, Shake it harder!!




You know what they say....
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1080. IKE
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
...so no rain for Florida. sad.



Dry as a bone.


GFS showing less rain next week here. I bet we don't get much.

Found this....

PRELIMINARY EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
508 AM EDT FRI OCT 22 2010

VALID 12Z TUE OCT 26 2010 - 12Z FRI OCT 29 2010


USED THE 00Z ECMWF FOR THE PRELIMINARY FRONTS AND PRESSURES FOR
DAYS 3 THROUGH 7. CONFIDENCE IN THE MEDIUM RANGE IS ESPECIALLY
LOW THIS FORECAST...WITH THE DETERMINISTIC ECMWF DEPARTING FROM
ITS LAST SEVERAL SOLUTIONS WITH THE WAY THE COLD AIR FINAL MAKES
IT INTO THE EASTERN UNITED STATES. IT APPEARS THE SOUTHEAST RIDGE
MAY NEVER GIVE WAY...WITH A CONVOLUTED...ROLLOVER OF A TROUGH
PROGRESSING ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES DURING THE SECOND HALF OF THE
PERIOD.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Re: 1074


See 1075
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...so no rain for Florida. sad.



Dry as a bone.
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Thinking is, the more southerly route and proximity to land will keep it a weaker system.
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1076. scott39
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



My crystal ball is on the fritz.
Well, Shake it harder!!
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Quoting scott39:
Will Richard die in the GOM and not hit land On the US Gulf Coast?



My crystal ball is on the fritz.
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1074. scott39
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Oz won't be on the road today. Maybe by Sunday.
And possibly go where?
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1073. scott39
Will Richard die in the GOM and not hit land On the US Gulf Coast?
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Oz won't be on the road today. Maybe by Sunday.
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1070. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
T.C.F.W.
19L/TS/R/CX
MARK
16.75N/80.68W
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1069. IKE
Alex....




Karl....




Matthew....


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
JB's take on it this morning.

FRIDAY 7 AM
THIS IS GOING TO BE VERY INTERESTING ( THE RECON)

If Richard is where its supposed to be, it is in the center of an area of increasingly focuses and intense convection. Hard to believe that yesterday when it was named it was a 1006 mb storm, given the sheared look, and now its only down one millibar. I suspect the snowball is starting to roll down the hill and this is a hurricane by tomorrow and a major hurricane on Sunday. For our purposes, when it reaches 960 mb, I will consider that correct, since there is subjective adjustment of wind that goes on and with the forecast lagging behind mind, we should see the reported wind increase lag behind the pressure/recon reality.

That being said, it is missing trough number one, so will have to cross the Yucatan and then its up to trough number two, the latter part of next week to get it. The potential for a stronger tropical system and the stronger trough is still very much alive here, though the Florida fast hit ( recall the GFDL and HWRF on shore by Tuesday) is not. Interestingly enough they have backed off on intensity and I see NO MODEL as strong as I am with this, so it will be a coup if I am right.

thanks for reading, ciao for now ****

The man from CaribWx also saying he expects it to be stronger than what NHC is predicting.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8279
As has been mentioned by Levi32 and others...look at the path of the Pacific storm which is recurving. The message here is that the ridge will erode the same way once the system gets close to Yucatan. I think this will correlate well with Richard. SW flow will be set up over the Gulf when Richard reaches Yucatan. It's not heading for Tampico and not dying over yucatan and the shear will not be 65 knots over the Gulf. Eventually the old pattern gets broken. This ridge is progressive in nature and will be shoved eastward opening the Gulf. Let's face it Hurricanes will enter the Gulf again


Quoting shikori:


Agreed. Especially if it has become significantly stronger, which, by the looks of it yes, so WE in Cayman will need to watch it.
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1066. scott39
What a difference 24 hours make. The next 24 should be interesting.
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...so no rain for Florida. sad.
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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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