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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T.C.F.W.
19L/TS/R/CX
MARK
16.75N/80.68W
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Got to go anyway. Its been fun. Wait to see what tomorrow brings. Stay dry, pot. Goodnight everyone.

I am out as well.
Keep well, all.
Today is another day.

(Eh??)
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it is true you know
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Quoting pottery:

Yah! Thats the one.
Now you can go back to Nirvana, unplugged from the O canister.


Got to go anyway. Its been fun. Wait to see what tomorrow brings. Stay dry, pot. Goodnight everyone.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26821
Too bad, what we could have called the COC of this wave, was located this afternoon around 15N, now it is around 12.... Bad if it develops.....

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
who cares
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Quoting Grothar:


You mean this? Had to do this before I drop back to #2.


Yah! Thats the one.
Now you can go back to Nirvana, unplugged from the O canister.
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i suspect its jfv behind this
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imposter on the loose
22. btwntx09 12:37 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Informative video and explanation, Levi. Thank you.
Action: Quote | Ignore User
Member Since: October 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments
posted in levis blog notice the account was made today
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Richie should be a cane sometime friday imo
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Quoting pottery:
The AOI in the Atl is looking better all the time.
Still pushing SW, fast!


You mean this? Had to do this before I drop back to #2.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26821
who the heck steal my old handle name and it used 09 instead of 08 anyways i gave up on that handle.
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Convection seems to be firing up again, guess you were right, reed!

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26821
Doug you have great taste in music!
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The AOI in the Atl is looking better all the time.
Still pushing SW, fast!
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omg another imposter and its my old account i gave up on look
Link
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Quoting Grothar:


Pushed it up to #7 when the nurse left the room. Only works for a little while, though. You twit! LOL

:)
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Member Since: October 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 314
Quoting reedzone:


Again, he is lying, I never said anything of the sort and current bloggers on here back me up on that.


I back you up. I have never seen you say inflammatory things here at all.

For example, just last night you were saying that Richard might wind up as a remnant low moving into the Central Gulf Coast late next week.

That is not exactly the same thing as claiming that Florida is doomed without question to get hit by a Cat 3 to a Cat 5 storm.
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Quoting pottery:

Good post.
You on oxygen again?

heheheheh


Pushed it up to #7 when the nurse left the room. Only works for a little while, though. You twit! LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26821
Quoting Grothar:


Doesn't peform well with troughs. Many people get confused with the models going in different directions. Each model peforms a different function. Consensus models extrapolate information from two or more models and they run the information. It does not mean the system will move in that direction. Until a certain number of models come into agreement you will normally see them all over the place. Wish more understood that. It is not confusion on the part of the models, but rather conjecture of a particular scenario.

Good post.
You on oxygen again?

heheheheh
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Quoting GTcooliebai:


So if I'm understanding this correctly that BIG Circular shape thing with a hole in the middle over Texas is suppose to move east and when it gets north of Richard he should begin to move west and strengthen so its this thing that is responsible for steering Richard South, West, and eventually North?


Basically, yes.
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a href="" target="_blank">Link


Here another great one.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:

Oh very technical, but couldn't have been explained better, thanks for pulling that one up for me. Guess we'll know out in time whether it has made improvements on reading those troughs :P


Doesn't peform well with troughs. Many people get confused with the models going in different directions. Each model peforms a different function. Consensus models extrapolate information from two or more models and they run the information. It does not mean the system will move in that direction. Until a certain number of models come into agreement you will normally see them all over the place. Wish more understood that. It is not confusion on the part of the models, but rather conjecture of a particular scenario.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26821
Quoting traumaboyy:


Profound job security last few days (very buzy)....How are things down your way??

Sorry to hear you are busy...
Everything is good down this way.
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Quoting txjac:
Cholera update ...just looked at the news and it nows says 138 dead from cholera ...sad


Based on how cholera operates, the size of population and standard of living in Haiti, many more should die. Especially considering there health sector might bot be up to scratch. WHat might really put the cherry on the cake is if a late season storm brings rain to the island, boosting the ability of cholera (waterbourne) to spread quickly.
Member Since: October 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 314
Quoting txjac:
Cholera update ...just looked at the news and it nows says 138 dead from cholera ...sad

Terrible. But not really unexpected, given the situation.
I am amazed at how inefective the zillions of dollars in aid poured in there have been.
Haiti is being Screwed. Again.
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Morning Night shift....Coffee is ready!!
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937. txjac
In Haiti KerryinNOLA
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Quoting Grothar:


Here is the explanation from NOAA

The simplicity of barotropic models means they can be run quickly on inexpensive computers. In the LBAR prediction model, the shallow water equations are solved on a series of nested grid meshes on a Mercator projection. The inner meshes move to remain centered on the storm, while the outer mesh is fixed geographically. Time-dependent boundary conditions from the NCEP Global Forecast System model run are applied outward from a transition zone between 1500 and 2500 km. LBAR runs on a 6-hr forecast cycle and produces forecasts out to 120 hr.

Strengths: LBAR runs quickly (the hurricane specialists can view the output of the 1200 UTC LBAR run before they have to complete their 1500 UTC package). LBAR performs best early in the hurricane season (before fronts penetrate into the subtropics) and on storms that move primarily westward and only move slowly northward. LBAR outperforms all the statistical track guidance models, and its skill in the 12-36 hr time frame is comparable to that of the more complex baroclinic models.

Weaknesses: LBAR does not perform well whenever there is significant vertical wind shear, or when there are multiple, interacting storms.

Oh very technical, but couldn't have been explained better, thanks for pulling that one up for me. Guess we'll know out in time whether it has made improvements on reading those troughs :P
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Quoting pottery:


Ricardo, I can live with!

Mornin', Mr. Traum.
All is well?


Profound job security last few days (very buzy)....How are things down your way??
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Sounds like you took a class on this subject, lol
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933. xcool
oh hi
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Quoting txjac:
Cholera update ...just looked at the news and it nows says 138 dead from cholera ...sad
Where?
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Quoting jiminceiba:


ricardo?..it is forming in central america...think?
Quoting traumaboyy:


LOL....Mornin Sir!!


Ricardo, I can live with!

Mornin', Mr. Traum.
All is well?
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Quoting Neapolitan:
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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929. txjac
Cholera update ...just looked at the news and it nows says 138 dead from cholera ...sad
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Quoting shikori:


Sorry i don't know where that came from lol. I meant to say disease.

O)K!
You had me worried for a moment.
No problem.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:


Hey Grothar, why is that every time the LBAR outraces the other models?


Here is the explanation from NOAA

The simplicity of barotropic models means they can be run quickly on inexpensive computers. In the LBAR prediction model, the shallow water equations are solved on a series of nested grid meshes on a Mercator projection. The inner meshes move to remain centered on the storm, while the outer mesh is fixed geographically. Time-dependent boundary conditions from the NCEP Global Forecast System model run are applied outward from a transition zone between 1500 and 2500 km. LBAR runs on a 6-hr forecast cycle and produces forecasts out to 120 hr.

Strengths: LBAR runs quickly (the hurricane specialists can view the output of the 1200 UTC LBAR run before they have to complete their 1500 UTC package). LBAR performs best early in the hurricane season (before fronts penetrate into the subtropics) and on storms that move primarily westward and only move slowly northward. LBAR outperforms all the statistical track guidance models, and its skill in the 12-36 hr time frame is comparable to that of the more complex baroclinic models.

Weaknesses: LBAR does not perform well whenever there is significant vertical wind shear, or when there are multiple, interacting storms.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26821
Quoting pottery:

I have no probs with the names Roxanne or Rita.
But RICHARD??
Cannot take any system with that name seriously.
It just dont fit....


ricardo?..it is forming in central america...think?
Member Since: September 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 66
Quoting pottery:

Volcanoes????


LOL....Mornin Sir!!
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Quoting pottery:

Volcanoes????


Sorry i don't know where that came from lol. I meant to say disease.
Member Since: October 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 314
923. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #9
SEVERE CYCLONIC STORM GIRI (BOB04-2010)
5:30 AM IST October 22 2010
==================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, Severe Cyclonic Storm Giri over east central and adjoining northeast Bay of Bengal remained practically stationary and lays centered over the same area near 18.5N 92.5E, or about 200 kms south southwest of Sittwe, 280 kms south southeast of Teknaf, and 620 kms southeast of Digha.

3 minute sustained winds near the center is 55 knots with gusts of 65 knots. The central pressure of the system is 986 hPa. The state of the sea is very high around the system's center.

Satellite imagery indicates banding pattern with further organization. The Dvorak intensity is T3.5. Associated broken intense to very intense convection is seen over east central and adjoining northeast Bay of Bengal between 15.5N to 20.0N and east of 90.0E. The lowest cloud top temperature due to convection is around -70C to -80C.

Storm surge at the time of landfall is expected to be 2-3 meters.

The current environmental conditions and numerical weather prediction models suggest that the system would intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm. It would move move northeast and cross north Myanmar and adjoining Bangladesh coasts between Teknaf, Bangladesh and Kyaukpyu, Myanmar between 1200 and 1800 PM UTC, today.

Forecast and Intensity
========================
6 hours: 19.0N 93.0E - 60 knots (Severe Cyclonic Storm)
12 HRS: 19.5N 93.5E - 60 knots (Severe Cyclonic Storm)
36 HRS: 22.5N 96.0E - 30 knots (Deep Depression)
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Updated steering a few min. ago



So if I'm understanding this correctly that BIG Circular shape thing with a hole in the middle over Texas is suppose to move east and when it gets north of Richard he should begin to move west and strengthen so its this thing that is responsible for steering Richard South, West, and eventually North?
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Quoting shikori:


hmmm..
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Quoting shikori:


Everything seems to happen to Haiti. Hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes,, you name it

Volcanoes????
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Member Since: October 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 314
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Nothing to do with weather, but I love this:



Great song, who are they?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26821
Quoting stillwaiting:
...i seriously. doubt richies going to make landfalk in fl as anything formidable,cozumel area might get a cane landall,but chances of. even a ts making landfall in fl is less than 10% imo


Again, he is lying, I never said anything of the sort and current bloggers on here back me up on that.
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Quoting PcolaDan:
Dozens dead in Haiti from suspected cholera outbreak


Everything seems to happen to Haiti. Hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes,, you name it
Member Since: October 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 314
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
We've only gotten to the R letter twice before. Roxanne and Rita.

I have no probs with the names Roxanne or Rita.
But RICHARD??
Cannot take any system with that name seriously.
It just dont fit....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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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