Little change to Richard; Giri strongest cyclone ever to hit Myanmar; Megi nears China

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:07 PM GMT on October 22, 2010

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Tropical Storm Richard continues to struggle with dry air and wind shear, despite the fact that both of these influences have waned significantly today. However, the storm is poised to begin a period of steady intensification that should take it to hurricane strength by Sunday. There have not been any hurricane hunter aircraft in Richard since late this morning, and we have to wait until 8pm tonight for the next mission to arrive. The closest buoy to Richard is NOAA buoy 42057, which is about 80 miles north of the center. Winds at the buoy were 38 mph, gusting to 47 mph, at 3:43am EDT. Recent satellite imagery shows that Richard has not changed much in organization today. Water vapor satellite loops show considerable dry air to the west of Richard, and this dry air may cause some trouble for the storm over the next few days. The waters beneath Richard are very warm, 29°C.


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, Saturday through Monday. As the storm moves westwards on Saturday, it may draw close enough to coast of Honduras to hamper intensification. Assuming Richard avoids making landfall in Honduras, the light shear and warm waters that extend to great depth should allow Richard to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane by Sunday. The 5pm NHC wind probability forecast is giving Richard a 7% chance of becoming a major Category 3+ hurricane. I believe the odds are higher, near 20%. 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 be unable to intensify once it passes north of the latitude of the Florida Keys.

Track forecast for Richard
The latest set of 8am EDT (12Z) model runs are similar to the previous set of runs. On Saturday, Richard will move west at an increasing rate of speed in response to a ridge of high pressure that is expected to build in over the Caribbean. This path will bring the center of Richard close to the northern coast of Honduras on Saturday and Sunday, resulting in very heavy rains of 3 - 7 inches along the coast. None of the models predict a more northwesterly path towards Cancun/Cozumel or the western tip of Cuba, and Florida is not at risk of Richard coming its way over the next five days. The 5pm EDT NHC wind probability forecast is giving the highest odds for tropical storm-force winds at Guanaja in Honduras, at 70%. Belize City is next highest, at 65%, and the odds are 31% for Cozumel. If Richard never reaches hurricane strength, it may dissipate over the Yucatan Peninsula, as predicted by the NOGAPS and ECMWF models. If Richard does intensify into a hurricane, as predicted by the GFDL model, the storm may survive crossing the Yucatan, and emerge into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday. Very high wind shear associated with the jet stream is expected to be over the Gulf of Mexico next week, so if Richard begins moving north or northeast towards the U.S. Gulf Coast, dissipation before landfall is to be expected.

Invest 90L
A tropical wave (Invest 90L) centered about 100 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa has a modest amount of spin and heavy thunderstorm activity. Wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots, and the waters are warm enough to support tropical storm formation. NHC is giving the system a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. By Sunday, 90L's northwest movement will take the storm into a region of 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.

Cyclone Giri hits Myanmar
Powerful Cyclone Giri made landfall this morning on the coast of Myanmar (Burma) as an upper-end Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds. Giri strengthened from a 60 mph tropical storm at 8am EDT yesterday to a 155 mph Category 4 storm by 8am this morning, becoming the strongest cyclone ever to hit Myanmar. Giri's winds at landfall were 20 mph stronger than those of Cyclone Nargis of 2008, which killed over 138,000 people. However, Giri hit a portion of the Myanmar coast that is not as heavily populated or as low-lying, so this will not be another Nargis catastrophe. Nevertheless, Giri's record strength and remarkably rapid intensification rate undoubtedly surprised an unprepared population, and the potential exists for a significant death toll due to Giri's surge and winds. Also of major concern is flooding from heavy rains. Giri is expected to dump 4 - 8 inches of rain along its path inland over Myanmar over the next 24 hours.


Figure 2. Visible MODIS satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Giri taken at 2:55am EDT October 22, 2010. At the time, Giri was a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Typhoon Megi unleashes torrential rains on Taiwan and China
Torrential rains from Typhoon Megi have triggered flooding and landslides in Taiwan that have left 7 people dead and 23 missing. The typhoon is also being blamed for the deaths of 36 people and $176 million in damage earlier this week in the Philippines. Megi continues its slow march towards China at 5 mph, and is expected to make landfall Saturday afternoon on the Chinese coast opposite from Taiwan. Megi is a large and powerful Category 1 typhoon with 90 mph winds, but rising wind shear has significantly weakened the storm today. Megi will continue to weaken until landfall, but will still be capable of causing considerable wind and storm surge damage even at Category 1 strength. Heavy rain will likely cause serious flooding since Megi 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 will continue to affect Taiwan and the coast of China near Taiwan through Saturday, as seen on China's radar composite and Taiwan radar.


Figure 3. Radar image of Typhoon Megi at 4:30pm EDT (4:30am Taiwan time) on October 22, 2010. Image credit: Taiwan Central Weather Bureau.

Next update
I'll have an update Saturday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting BahaHurican:
AN AIR FORCE
RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT REPORTED THAT THE STORM HAS A
LARGE AREA OF LIGHT AND VARIABLE WINDS NEAR THE CENTER.

Does anybody else think we've seen an anamolously large number of discussions with similar comments to this in the formative stages of our WCar invests this season?

And boy... pple just stopped reading after I left the blog... still trying to figure out how 4 cat 1s = 1 cat 4....


The data from the NOAA plane was astounding. The 400mb level temp was -15c and the dew point was -62c. That would be like sitting in a 70 degree day with a 23 degree dewpoint. You would be lit up like a Christmas tree with static. All that getting pumped directly into the engine. Kinda scary when you look at Richard and think, where would he be right now without that. Older GFDL runs come to mind.
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Quoting Grothar:


Guess it explains a lot of the behavior here tonight. Glad to see it didn't affect you 09.

Member Since: June 5, 2007 Posts: 18 Comments: 838
Moisture shield in full force, dry air is not a problem.

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What were ==,er..we blogging about again?
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Yes Grothar it's similar to cricket don't you know.


Ah, that was a sticky wicket. Must have spent too much time in Europe. Now I get it, A Twenty20.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26958
614 don't think that's going to last is that a solar eclipse.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Quoting Grothar:


Is that a particularly important American sports event?
\

Who are they playing against if they win? Will Richard aka Dick be a GOM threat?
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Oh, and thank God it's not the official moon over Miami.
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Quoting Grothar:


Is that a particularly important American sports event?


It's big to me when the Yankees aren't in it lol
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<>img
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There is a lot we don't know about the winds during a hurricane.

I went through Wilma here in Naples. Winds were pretty steady for most of the morning with the pine trees bending over at 45 degrees many times. Briefly there would be a horrendous burst of wind that would practically have those same trees with their tops touching the ground.

We learned later that those events were due to downbursts that redirected the winds aloft toward the ground.

My brother-in-law was on-site at the Contemporary Hotel at Disney World during Charlie. The wind speeds at ground level were around 100 miles an hour and at the top of the hotel, the winds were approaching 140+ , not gusts mind you, steady winds. If my memory serves me, the top of the Contemporary is about 140 feet.

I am told that the winds are doubled at around 250 feet above ground.

A friend who lived through Andrew, when it hit Naples, noticed that the pine trees seemed to lift the winds aloft and keep the winds somewhere just above the tops of the trees. He surmised that because the damage seemed greatest where the leading southern edge of the storm hit and diminished the further into the trees you went. As a matter of fact, his house was under construction during Andrew and with only tar paper, the house was essentially undamaged. He attributed it to the protection afforded by the 60 foot tall pine trees that populated his 2.5 acre lot.

It would appear that it all depends on the topography of your area. Downbursts not included.
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since we are showing music videos and bands


the song for this room should be--


rush--"force 10"


lol
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Probably a very pale moon Patrap.
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From Belize City - Here we go again. Watching and waiting
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Quoting Chicklit:
Civility is the better part of discourse.


Which blog would that be?
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Quoting Grothar:


Nice picture, Pat. I'd like to show you my moon, but don't know how to photograph it. It certainly is a beut though.



Harvest Moon?

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Good night everyone.
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Yes Grothar it's similar to cricket don't you know.
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Just as an adjunct to the cat 1 damage discussion, the first hurricane I remember experiencing was David which was a cat 1 as it passed between New Providence and Andros [more or less] back in 1979. We had roof damage [i.e. roofs blown off] here in Nassau and also in Andros. Aside from downed trees that was the most common damage.

While roof damage is less likely during a cat one than in a cat four, it's certainly not impossible. Since each cat one landfall is different, it's hard to make a 100% statement about damage. I'm with Pat on the damage.

OTOH, if a hurricane HAS to come my way, bring on the cat 1; the likelihood of damage DOES indeed increase with the SSS wind categories...
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Quoting Patrap:
Outside tonight..

Beautiful.
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602. JLPR2
Nice...
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Darn Keeper should have know, Grand paw was slow but he was old. I guess if the shoe fits you've got to wear it. Storm is really trying tonight.
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Quoting caneswatch:


Haha. BTW, the Rangers are two outs away from their first World Series appearance.


Is that a particularly important American sports event?
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599. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #17
CYCLONIC STORM GIRI (BOB04-2010)
5:30 AM IST October 23 2010
=============================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, The very severe cyclonic storm northeastwards weakened into a cyclonic storm. Cyclonic Storm Giri lays centered near 21.0N 94.0E, or about 150 km northeast of Sittwe, Myanmar and 170 km north of Kyaukpyu, Myanmar.

3 minute sustained winds of 45 knots with gusts of 50 knots.

The current environmental conditions and numerical weather prediction models suggest that the system would move northeastwards and weaken rapidly during next 24 hrs.

---
weakening rapidly.
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Hi Baha
Robert is taking the usual track this season.
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Quoting Patrap:
Outside tonight..



Nice picture, Pat. I'd like to show you my moon, but don't know how to photograph it. It certainly is a beut though.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26958
Quoting reedzone:


Could put on the real show tonight Grothar!

Latest image is even more interesting, much bigger and rounder, expanding in size.



Common image, I know, but really is getting rounder and larger

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26958
Quoting reedzone:


Could put on the real show tonight Grothar!

Latest image is even more interesting, much bigger and rounder, expanding in size.




the predicted conducive environment that was thought to begin this afternoon may have been delayed by a few hours by slow movement of the weak trough heading from the west into texas. the current expansion and symmetry may be announcing a drop in high pressure over the GOM. if the sinking air stops to the northwest he is going to vertically align and strengthen quickly.
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
AN AIR FORCE
RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT REPORTED THAT THE STORM HAS A
LARGE AREA OF LIGHT AND VARIABLE WINDS NEAR THE CENTER.

Does anybody else think we've seen an anamolously large number of discussions with similar comments to this in the formative stages of our WCar invests this season?

And boy... pple just stopped reading after I left the blog... still trying to figure out how 4 cat 1s = 1 cat 4....
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Link
In honor of the full moon.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Civility is the better part of discourse.
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Outside tonight..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
19L/TS/R/CX
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:




Wrong show, but really got a kick out of that video. Sums up the evening quite well.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26958
Quoting Grothar:


Getting rounder, reed! Know what that means!


Could put on the real show tonight Grothar!

Latest image is even more interesting, much bigger and rounder, expanding in size.

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Quoting Grothar:


And that written by a friend. Boy, Canes, that really hurt me to the core. Just think of the word I am thinking of. LOL


Haha. BTW, the Rangers are two outs away from their first World Series appearance.
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Caicos Sailor's Two Moons
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New HH enroute



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Quoting caneswatch:


Not one of them were written by you, right? lol


And that written by a friend. Boy, Canes, that really hurt me to the core. Just think of the word I am thinking of. LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26958
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Evening All.

Love these upper air flights when they're possible. They really bring sense to a lot of confusion on why Richard is still a weak tropical storm.

WHILE RICHARD HAS FAIR TO GOOD CIRRUS OUTFLOW IN ALL DIRECTIONS...
THE G-IV DATA SHOW A BAND OF WESTERLY WINDS AT 300 MB BLOWING
UNDER THE CIRRUS INTO THE STORM. THESE WINDS ARE CREATING ABOUT 15
KT OF WESTERLY SHEAR AND ADVECTING VERY DRY UPPER-LEVEL AIR INTO
THE CORE.



You won't find the above on any shear map.
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Quoting Grothar:


There you go. Just went out and looked. Bright one, too. Now we know why the fangs came out tonight.

As only one person on here would know this line, "Beware the leap year's full moon" (And yes, I know it is not a leap year)


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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


2 FULL moons:


http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/viewsingleimage.html?mode=singleimage&handle=sanilac&nu mber=93& album_id=3&thumbstart=0&gallery=#slideanchor


Shouldn't do that to an old man. LOL Thanks, though. Beautiful shot.
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Quoting Grothar:


Read both of them, did ya?


Not one of them were written by you, right? lol
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Evening All.

Love these upper air flights when they're possible. They really bring sense to a lot of confusion on why Richard is still a weak tropical storm.

WHILE RICHARD HAS FAIR TO GOOD CIRRUS OUTFLOW IN ALL DIRECTIONS...
THE G-IV DATA SHOW A BAND OF WESTERLY WINDS AT 300 MB BLOWING
UNDER THE CIRRUS INTO THE STORM. THESE WINDS ARE CREATING ABOUT 15
KT OF WESTERLY SHEAR AND ADVECTING VERY DRY UPPER-LEVEL AIR INTO
THE CORE.
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Quoting reedzone:
Banding features becoming more evident to the north. The high wind shear to the north is ventilating Richard.



Getting rounder, reed! Know what that means!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26958
Quoting lightningbolt73:
I agree with you! Even a Tropical Depression or storm can do a lot of damage. Take for example Ts allison in 2001.


Allison was a strange storm though. It moved inshore, then offshore, then inshore. It sat over Houston and drowned them. It was the first billion dollar storm in the history of the NFIP.
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Quoting Grothar:
Does anyone know if it is a full moon? Strange little blog tonight.


2 FULL moons:


http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/viewsingleimage.html?mode=singleimage&handle=sanilac&number=93& album_id=3&thumbstart=0&gallery=#slideanchor
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Quoting Chicklit:


regular meals are good, too.
just ask my pets.


Hey,Chicklit. Good thing I know how to cook. LOL
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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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