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 Chicklit:


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


Hey,Chicklit. Good thing I know how to cook. LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26895
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yeah, it's been an odd night here. I've just stayed in my little corner reading the posts that are actually useful.


Read both of them, did ya?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26895
Banding features becoming more evident to the north. The high wind shear to the north is ventilating Richard.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HadesGodWyvern:


100 percent full tonight


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)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26895
Quoting Grothar:


If that is not the best line of the night.... So you're in the Kennel Club, too!


regular meals are good.
just ask my pets.

fat halloween moon rising earlier
that will be my ? birthday.
dunno.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SweetHomeBamaGOM:
ok right now upper level winds are not conducive for development over the GOM right now. however a conducive environment is surrounding the storm in the caribbean.--

Link

the wind shear tendency is hard to extrapolate because for quite a few hours today the picture did not include the caribbean area. however based on what i could see it appears that there are westerlies stretched across the GOM right now. if richard got up there he will be sheared apart with the environment that now exists. however, wind shear appears to be backing off in the far south GOM just a tad over the past 3 hours, so we will see what the trend will be as a storm approaches in texas from the west and moves into the GOM area--

Link

vorticity at 500mb shows that the mid level closed circulation is still shying off to the southeast quad. this may equate to a move nowhere, as it wants to move west but is organizing back further to the east.

Link


the 850 mb vorticity map shows that there is some disorganization of the lower and mid levels. notice how the vorticity is due south at 850 mb.

Link


this suggests to me that the storm still appears to be struggling with going vertical. this may not be a bad thing for formation because if this was to align and start moving nnw fast this storm would get north and be torn apart.

however if you look at the upper level winds it doesn't look like the winds are very strong aloft. but all of the high pressure would force air down into the nw quad of richard and would suppress development if he moved quickly towards the yucatan.

i would surmise that the longer richard can stay where he is and form the higher the chances for 1) a conus landfall, 2) a conus landfall at hurricane strength, and c) deep convection buildup. if he starts moving fast north he is going to die. if he stays where he is (which is what it appears he has now done for 4 days straight) and aligns vertically he can have the potential to become quite strong.

currently there really appear to be no steering winds around him either to the south, west or east. i would imagine we aren't going to see him move very much for the next 24 hrs unless things change quickly. any slight movement he shows with coordinates maybe just realignment of his mid and lower level winds. it looks like he is trying to go vertical but the sinking air to the northwest is forcing him to stay where he is and the sinking air is suppressing alignment of lower and mid closed circulation.
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Totally bogus Spicoli.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Quoting Grothar:


Guess it explains a lot of the behavior here tonight. Glad to see it didn't affect you 09.
Yeah, it's been an odd night here. I've just stayed in my little corner reading the posts that are actually useful.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Good one anyway. Probably Walter, he always seemed a little wooden to me anyway.


Link
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
ok right now upper level winds are not conducive for development over the GOM right now. however a conducive environment is surrounding the storm in the caribbean.--

Link

the wind shear tendency is hard to extrapolate because for quite a few hours today the picture did not include the caribbean area. however based on what i could see it appears that there are westerlies stretched across the GOM right now. if richard got up there he will be sheared apart with the environment that now exists. however, wind shear appears to be backing off in the far south GOM just a tad over the past 3 hours, so we will see what the trend will be as a storm approaches texas from the west and moves into the area--

Link

vorticity at 500mb shows that the mid level closed circulation is still shying off to the southeast quad. this may equate to a move nowhere, as it wants to move west but is organizing back further to the east.

Link


the 850 mb vorticity map shows that there is some disorganization of the lower and mid levels. notice how the vorticity is due south at 850 mb.

Link


this suggests to me that the storm still appears to be struggling with going vertical. this may not be a bad thing for formation because if this was to align and start moving nnw fast this storm would get north and be torn apart.

however if you look at the upper level winds it doesn't look like the winds are very strong aloft. but all of the high pressure would force air down into the nw quad of richard and would suppress development if he moved quickly towards the yucatan.

i would surmise that the longer richard can stay where he is and form the higher the chances for 1) a conus landfall, 2) a conus landfall at hurricane strength, and c) deep convection buildup. if he starts moving fast north he is going to die. if he stays where he is (which is what it appears he has now done for 4 days straight) and aligns vertically he can have the potential to become quite strong.

currently there really appear to be no steering winds around him either to the south, west or east. i would imagine we aren't going to see him move very much for the next 24 hrs unless things change quickly. any slight movement he shows with coordinates maybe just realignment of his mid and lower level winds. it looks like he is trying to go vertical but the sinking air to the northwest is forcing him to stay where he is and the sinking air is suppressing alignment of lower and mid closed circulation.
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yup, it's a full moon. 100% illuminated.


Guess it explains a lot of the behavior here tonight. Glad to see it didn't affect you 09.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26895
564. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Quoting Grothar:
Does anyone know if it is a full moon? Strange little blog tonight.


100 percent full tonight
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6065
Quoting Orcasystems:


I can't take credit for it. Its from Jeff Dunham and Walter


Good one anyway. Probably Walter, he always seemed a little wooden to me anyway.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26895
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
Howoooooooooooooooooooo!

( thank you Warren Zevon)

:)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
Quoting Grothar:
Does anyone know if it is a full moon? Strange little blog tonight.
Yup, it's a full moon. 100% illuminated.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I think NHC track and intensity looks good. Some were saying N than NE would get strongest system when/if it gets to CONUS, which were bogus comments. Does not matter when/if it goes north it will get blown apart. It's only got a small window to make a splash before it gets ripped no matter where it goes.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I'm married, so I am only allowed to run to the end of my chain and bark :(
the same here as well
but i tried to stick with the pretty lady theme
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting Grothar:


If that is not the best line of the night.... So you're in the Kennel Club, too!


I can't take credit for it. Its from Jeff Dunham and Walter
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Does anyone know if it is a full moon? Strange little blog tonight.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26895
554. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #16
SEVERE CYCLONIC STORM GIRI (BOB04-2010)
2:30 AM IST October 23 2010
=============================================

At 21:00PM UTC, The very severe cyclonic storm over coastal areas of Myanmar has weakened into a severe cyclonic storm. Severe Cyclonic Storm Giri remains practically stationary near 20.5N 93.5E, or about 80 kms northeast of Sittwe, Myanmar and 120 kms north northwest of Kyaukpyu, Mynamar

3 minute sustained winds near the center is 55 knots with gusts of 65 knots. The central pressure of the system is 985 hPa. The state of the sea is very high around the system.

Satellite imagery indicates broken to solid intense to very intense convection over area between 18.0N to 23.0N and 91.0E to 95.5E. The lowest cloud top temperature due to convection is around -70C.

The current environmental conditions and numerical weather prediction models suggest that the system would move northeastward and weaken rapidly during the next 24 hours.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Keeper see the blog can be a nice place, with lots of good help thanks all. last time I wished for a hurricane I was 10yrs. old never again. If you are anywhere in Fl. unless your out of touch with reality, you have to know another serious storm would probably break the camels back so to speak.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Quoting Orcasystems:


I'm married, so I am only allowed to run to the end of my chain and bark :(


If that is not the best line of the night.... So you're in the Kennel Club, too!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26895
551. CaicosRetiredSailor
2:43 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
TROPICAL STORM CENTER LOCATED NEAR 15.8N 82.4W AT 23/0300Z
POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 30 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE WEST OR 270 DEGREES AT 6 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 1007 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 40 KT WITH GUSTS TO 50 KT.

...Rangers lead 6-1 into the eighth. Six more outs...
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6065
550. sunlinepr
2:42 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Its the Weather Satellite Imagery for North America from GOES East. I think it's the same Sat.... ??

Quoting gordydunnot:
Thanks sunlinepr so there are two satellites involved didn't know that amazing what an angle can do. One view makes storm very symmetrical the other not so good.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
549. Grothar
2:42 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Quoting scott39:
Tnanks for pointing out how pathetic I am. LOL


Hey, I'm on here too! What does that tell you. Bigger LOL than yours.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26895
548. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:41 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
ha ha ha ha
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
547. Orcasystems
2:41 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i have a pretty lady so other pretty ladies are pretty well off limits


I'm married, so I am only allowed to run to the end of my chain and bark :(
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
546. HaboobsRsweet
2:40 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Quoting SweetHomeBamaGOM:



deep convection buildup at night can happen easier (and quicker) than during the day. the gradient of temperatures expand at night. what i mean is there is a greater difference between the air temp and the water temp at night, so with rising air this can cause more evaporation.

I have a question about this, just for clarification. Wouldnt the temp gradient actually get smaller at night because the air temp will drop down closer to the water temp which in turn at times allows the water temp to be warmer than the air temp allowing the water to evaporate at a faster rate and creating a more unstable air mass with warmer air and water under cooler air?
Member Since: May 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1640
545. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:39 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
543. SweetHomeBamaGOM
2:38 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Quoting SweetHomeBamaGOM:



yeah its harder to see if we don't have mb readings correlated across the map. you may want to watch the jsl loop at night, it isn't affected by lack of sunlight and it was made to watch the intensity of hurricanes.

jsl loop--

Link


in addition, i think that this storm is going nowhere fast. i will go look the wind shear maps and extrapolate the data to tell you what i see. brb in 3 min.
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
542. ackee
2:38 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
question what direction is Richard moving now thanks in advance
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1376
541. CybrTeddy
2:38 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
525. Not even going to bother with that one.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24485
540. gordydunnot
2:38 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Thanks sunlinepr so there are two satellites involved didn't know that amazing what an angle can do. One view makes storm very symmetrical the other not so good.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
538. lightningbolt73
2:37 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Quoting Patrap:
As to Cat Numbers..they aint the best for well..impact I always say.

The Saffir-Simpson Scale was designed for wind Loading on structures only..and dont really denote individual impact overall very well.

Its the Impact that counts every time,,and how long it occurs in a given Location.

Saw a Saffir-Simpson Scale Cat3-4 depending on the Landfall debates. with 28-30 ft Storm.

And a cat 2 like mentioned here a few back,IKE only 2 years ago in Texas that Pushed a 20 ft Surge and across a wide Coastal region and inland some miles.


Overall,,the SSS needs to be improved on.



Best advice..when told to get,

..do it.

And have a plan for the Season as well.




I agree with you! Even a Tropical Depression or storm can do a lot of damage. Take for example Ts allison in 2001.
Member Since: October 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 112
537. SweetHomeBamaGOM
2:37 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Quoting gordydunnot:
Thanks for answering sweet bama, I understand the convection part but i have played find the center game for years and have never been able to do it at night on these weak systems.



yeah its harder to see if we don't have mb readings correlated across the map. you may want to watch the jsl loop at night, it isn't affected by lack of sunlight and it was made to watch the intensity of hurricanes.

jsl loop--

Link
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
535. sunlinepr
2:36 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Take a look of the different views at this link.... click with the mouse on any spot that you want to expand....

Link
Quoting gordydunnot:
Sunlinepr can you or anyone explain how the same satellite image can look so different.Ref.511 post.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
534. scott39
2:35 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Quoting NRAamy:
Hey!! There ARE some pretty ladies on here, bub!

;)
About time ! Hey Amy
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6890
533. gordydunnot
2:34 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Thanks for answering sweet bama, I understand the convection part but i have played find the center game for years and have never been able to do it at night on these weak systems.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
532. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:34 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Quoting Grothar:


If we knew any pretty ladies, do you think we would be on the blog on a Friday night?
i have a pretty lady so other pretty ladies are pretty well off limits
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
531. caneswatch
2:33 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Quoting Jeff9641:


The mid level circulation is becoming dominate and this will not make it to the Yucatan imo.


As in it will miss the Yucatan and go away from it?
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
530. CybrTeddy
2:33 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

It is all good...I remember isabel well. It was bad but could have been worse. I think the worst part was garbage man didnt come for over 3 weeks haha. Decaying trees all over the street for pick up did not smell very good haha. I had to drive home from work and drove their three roads flooded. Had no brakes coasting the car into the garage haha.


Yea, remember that well. I recall having a sewer pipe break down the road, the breeze we had sent the stink right over my house. You bet that wasn't fun!
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24485
529. scott39
2:33 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Quoting Jeff9641:


How?
Going against every model and forecast. I didnt say you are going to be wrong-- just caught me off guard with that bold statement.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6890
528. EYEStoSEA
2:32 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

It is man...it is a duststorm created from an outflow from a high based thunderstorm. google some pics if you like. It is an amazing thing to see. you go from clear skies under hot sun to complete darkness.


Will Google for sure.......may have heard that on "Lonesome Dove" my favorite movie.
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1496
527. sunlinepr
2:32 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
Two different views, the lower one if from S looking N

Quoting gordydunnot:
Sunlinepr can you or anyone explain how the same satellite image can look so different.Ref.511 post.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874

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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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