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 HurricaneRichard:
Absolutely surreal to realize how the conus will prob. be sparred from the direct blow of a major cane for the straight fifth year in the role. Hopefully this trend will FINALLY be broken' come 2011. None of my expectations were for this year, :(.
my expectations have been surpassed of how many usernames you were to surpass i was thinking maybe 25 but i believe your at 42
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Hey!! There ARE some pretty ladies on here, bub!

;)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9719
Sunlinepr can you or anyone explain how the same satellite image can look so different.Ref.511 post.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
Richard really seems to be reforming further NE of the NHC spot. If the mid level circulation gets to the surface which i think it will then this may not make it to the yucatan.
Man thats a BOLD statement!
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Quoting gordydunnot:
I have never been able to figure out where the center is on these weak systems at night as they tend to really fire up at night only to find the center of circulation is usually just west of the convection. The only satellite I trust is the Dvorak with the little bulls eye map on it.Don't know how to look that one up anybody have a clue.



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.
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Sorry Doc's full support is behind Portlight.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3112
Quoting EYEStoSEA:
HaboobsRsweet.....Isnt a Haboob a duststorm? Seems like I heard that somewhere. Cool handle !!

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.
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
you're not supposed to be hawking other websites here, even if the are for charity
Scrooge...
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
you're not supposed to be hawking other websites here, even if the are for charity
that site is actually sponser by wunder ground bud
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296


Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9719
I have never been able to figure out where the center is on these weak systems at night as they tend to really fire up at night only to find the center of circulation is usually just west of the convection. The only satellite I trust is the Dvorak with the little bulls eye map on it.Don't know how to look that one up anybody have a clue.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3112
Quoting Grothar:


If we knew any pretty ladies, do you think we would be on the blog on a Friday night?
Tnanks for pointing out how pathetic I am. LOL
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Quoting Grothar:


If we knew any pretty ladies, do you think we would be on the blog on a Friday night?


They're all at my house. lol
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting scott39:
Wheres all the pretty ladies tonight?


If we knew any pretty ladies, do you think we would be on the blog on a Friday night?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25421
HaboobsRsweet.....Isnt a Haboob a duststorm? Seems like I heard that somewhere. Cool handle !!
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Quoting scott39:
Ive been tricked by that before. LOL



yeah he wants to form, he is holding in there. he has had boatloads of sinking air to deal with in the nw quad. earlier this week both the nw and the sw quad were being hindered by sinking air so he may be showing he can be strong given how much dry sinking air he has dealt with.
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Before you do it! Do not quote trolls!
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501. txjac
493. stillwaiting 2:17 AM GMT on October 23, 2010
northcasters are going to love it come tomorrow night as the models.should shift northly after/over the yucatan time period,im guessing aftr richie goes over/near the yucatan,a pretty hard right(ene) shoukd take shape, that next troughs gonna be a duzy imo....




LOL. at the rate that its moving can it even make it that far by tomorrow night??
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Quoting SweetHomeBamaGOM:
last few images show that Richard may be gaining symmetry and strength--

dvorak loop--

Link

jsl loop--

Link


w.v. loop also shows we are about to enter a period of conducive environment. sinking air will be ending in the next few hours in the nw quad.

Link
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Evidently.. I didn't read what you wrote.

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.
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Quoting SweetHomeBamaGOM:
last few images show that Richard may be gaining symmetry and strength--

dvorak loop--

Link

jsl loop--

Link
Ive been tricked by that before. LOL
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Quoting Greyelf:

Yeah, he said, "Tell the French to quit trying to dig me up." LOL....sorry. For some reason I'm in a UHF frame of mind.


He also said "I wanna get my kicks.......," I should stop there lol
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
I suppose I brought that up myself but true Grothar. I just thought it was the perfect line for this blog, including me.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3112
last few images show that Richard may be gaining symmetry and strength--

dvorak loop--

Link

jsl loop--

Link
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
northcasters are going to love it come tomorrow night as the models.should shift northly after/over the yucatan time period,im guessing aftr richie goes over/near the yucatan,a pretty hard right(ene) shoukd take shape, that next troughs gonna be a duzy imo....
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Quoting Bobbyweather:

Okay...sorry...I think I just made a mistake, too.

No worries. I just get annoyed with people who get mad when you disagree with their opinion and try to get everyone to ignore you or call you names because you "downcast"
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Quoting Grothar:
Doesnt look like tricky Dicky is moving.
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Quoting caneswatch:


Do you want me to say the things he said? lol

Yeah, he said, "Tell the French to quit trying to dig me up." LOL....sorry. For some reason I'm in a UHF frame of mind.
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Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25421
..
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Wheres all the pretty ladies tonight?
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Something IMO wrong about Richard, I don't understand the data from the HHs not corresponding with the latest sat presentation, Richard IMO moving ENE/NE and intensifying, What happened to the average 11 hour missions, petrol I guess!!
Richard doesnt look like hes moving at all. A tricky one this will be!
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Logging out. Y'all play nice, okay?
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Quoting Grothar:


Family blog, Canes, family blog!


Do you want me to say the things he said? That'll show you family blog lol
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Nice blowup with Richard.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

That is pretty much what I said if you read what I wrote. I said no shingles lost or siding lost but had trees down and power outages. I said most of the tress fell because of the high water table. You can dig about 6 inches into the ground there and hit water. Add the 12 inches of rain, 20kts of wind woudl blow down a small tree. 60kts and larger ones fall. I had 6 30 foot trees fall in my backyard, roots and all because the ground was so soft. It was not the wind, it was the amount of rain and a lot of the damage on the coast was from the surge. Hampton roads has the worst drainage.


Evidently.. I didn't read what you wrote.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Yes I do appreciate the one who apoligized and mistakes happen. I make them all the time. i also did not insult that person, I only insulted the dude who called me a troll and told everyone to ignore me.

Okay...sorry...I think I just made a mistake, too.
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Quoting caneswatch:


Ever heard of Celebration of the Lizard?


Family blog, Canes, family blog!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25421
Something IMO wrong about Richard, I don't understand the data from the HHs not corresponding with the latest sat presentation, Richard IMO moving ENE/NE and intensifying, What happened to the average 11 hour missions, petrol I guess!!
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Yeah, bring the rain.....
Rainy day - Hendrix

Link
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Speaking of the Jimmy Durante show remember this. Everyone wants to get in on the act. Chased of the blog last night so I'll try again how is our 40mph+ T.S. doing tonight. I think it was supposed to be at least a Cat 1 by now.


You have to be really old to know that line. LOL
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As the Church Bells tolled Uptown,NOLA for Gustav's approach in 08'.

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Quoting Bobbyweather:

Stop insulting people with a minor misunderstanding. Some have already apologized and they now know that it means four Category 1 hurricanes.


He may not have seen them. After you post, unless you go back to where you left, you are likely to miss some posts.
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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.