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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Here's a nice one showing Richard spinning up and the nasty tornado-making cold front pushing through south-central Texas:

Click for large loop:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13526
I got beautiful beaches right where I live. That's why I like to hit the slopes when I can sneak away for a week. Stormchasers convention in Denver coming up February 18,19 and 20, 2011. Perfect excuse to indulge my two favorite pastimes. Wild weather and sliding down big frozen mountains! Downhill skiing is the most fun you can have with your clothes on!
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1022. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Disturbance Summary
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 19
21:00 PM JST October 23 2010
=================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression Near Minami Torisima

At 12:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression (1006 hPa) located at 22.7N 154.7E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving northeast at 6 knots
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 45283
Quoting Neapolitan:
If my guess is correct, the healthy, consolidated, and spinning blob just coming off the coast--that is, the one I mentioned this morning--will become 91L or 92L in a day or two:

Click for loop:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image


Looks like it's almost trying to develop!
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1020. kramus
Growing Dick could bring moisture to some in Central America today. No need to panic though, they've experienced others.
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RE: 1014


Seems well thought out and reasonable. But as always...it's weather!
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Which Breckenridge is that? It snowed over parts of S. Ontario Thursday evening and Friday morning.


Colorado
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Link



My favorite vacation spot.


Which Breckenridge is that? It snowed over parts of S. Ontario Thursday evening and Friday morning.
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Actually, what I mean and I may be wrong, is the system would need to intensify of course, gain more latitude (at least a true wnw) and not speed up. The diving shortwave in the central U.S. will be followed by another stronger one which will carve out a full latitude longwave trough. If Richard gets to the coast and goes well inland the game is over especially if he goes in at a heading of 280 degrees. The ridge will eventually change in configuation but not that quickly. Like I said this is my opinion. However, jogs to the north can occur especially in the Gulf of Honduras. I think there are some tricks awaiting us and hopefully some of the moisture makes it to Florida. It should be pointed out that you see some high level moisture creeping northward to S. Fla. Also, this storm has a bulg to the north...it does not have that squished look of a west moving storm shunted south by an enormous ridge. Just my opinion. You can rip me if you want..it's open season
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



cheaper than Vail and Aspen.

True...but then again, almost anywhere is cheaper than Vail or Aspen. ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13526
Link


Shoulda done it this way the 1st time.
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Nice place, but a little pricey; I had the, er, "pleasure" of living there for 14 months in the late 80s while doing construction. Great place to visit, but not so great for the working locals... ;-)


i lived there in 89..pretty place...but yeah...dvs....down valley scum...what they called the workin peeps...lol...
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



cheaper than Vail and Aspen.


I need the Caribbean and GOM to figure out what to do to end the season soon. I have to book a vacation.

Cancun. Cuba or Puerto Valarta.
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If my guess is correct, the healthy, consolidated, and spinning blob just coming off the coast--that is, the one I mentioned this morning--will become 91L or 92L in a day or two:

Click for loop:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13526
Link


Barrow Alaska Sea Ice webcam.
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Richard is really getting his act together. I think he could become a strong category 1 before hitting Belize/Yucatan.
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Complete Update



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Nice place, but a little pricey; I had the, er, "pleasure" of living there for 14 months in the late 80s while doing construction. Great place to visit, but not so great for the working locals... ;-)



cheaper than Vail and Aspen.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Link



My favorite vacation spot.

Nice place, but a little pricey; I had the, er, "pleasure" of living there for 14 months in the late 80s while doing construction. Great place to visit, but not so great for the working locals... ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13526
http://www.brecklivecam.com/


Check this one!
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Link



My favorite vacation spot.


Snow?? Every time I see someone get snow other than me I ache for it more and more.
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Hopefully he will not RI into a major hurricane and will dissipate over Central America.

Not trying to "doomcast" the CA folks, but at this point it looks like they are going to get rain no matter what happens.

BTW, at this point I do not see Richard being a CONUS/GOM threat.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10276
Link



My favorite vacation spot.
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Quoting portcharlotte:
I believe Richard will turn more to the north and affect northeast Yucatan especially if the system intensifys. The shortwave is diving down over the central U.S. which will eventually erode the ridge. Timing is important



I agree.
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Quoting portcharlotte:
I believe Richard will turn more to the north and affect northeast Yucatan especially if the system intensifys. The shortwave is diving down over the central U.S. which will eventually erode the ridge. Timing is important

You think it will move quick enough to erode the ridge in only 24-36 hours?
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Quoting stillwaiting:
...what if richie becomes much stronger??,he woukd go further north,no??


Probably. We saw that with Danielle and Earl, as well as Igor.
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Interesting from the 12Z SHIPS:

Prob of RI for 25 kt RI threshold= 45% is 3.6 times the sample mean(12.6%)
Prob of RI for 30 kt RI threshold= 30% is 3.7 times the sample mean( 8.1%)
Prob of RI for 35 kt RI threshold= 22% is 4.6 times the sample mean( 4.8%)
Prob of RI for 40 kt RI threshold= 21% is 6.0 times the sample mean( 3.4%)
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I believe Richard will turn more to the north and affect northeast Yucatan especially if the system intensifys. The shortwave is diving down over the central U.S. which will eventually erode the ridge. Timing is important

Quoting charlestonscnanny:

Thank you PortCharlotte. It's hard for a newbie to to expose these bashers. When do you think Richard will make landfall on her present movement to the west?
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Quoting centex:
I think you need to update your forecast. That is a two day old track and nothing supports that track anymore.
...what if richie becomes much stronger??,he woukd go further north,no??
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Re: 981


huh?
I didn't see that coming!


Agreed... That was written by someone who has a tad to much caffeine in his coffee.
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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
From what I've heard, the probabilities are based off of around 1000 different model runs. Apparently some are slower with Richard and leave it over water through 72 hours, which is why you would see a greater chance for a major.
Actually I think the 72 hour time frame has a greater chance due to possible re-intensification in the GOMEX.
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Re: 981


huh?
I didn't see that coming!
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SATELLITE AND AIRCRAFT DATA INDICATE THAT RICHARD IS STRENGTHENING
QUICKLY. THE MINIMUM PRESSURE HAS FALLEN TO ABOUT 1000 MB...WITH
FLIGHT LEVELS WINDS TO 72 KT AND SFMR VALUES TO 54 KT. THESE DATA
SUPPORT AN INITIAL INTENSITY OF 55 KT. VERTICAL WIND SHEAR HAS
APPARENTLY LIGHTENED FROM YESTERDAY WITH NO SIGN OF THE
UNDERCUTTING BENEATH THE CIRRUS OUTFLOW LAYER. GIVEN THE WARM
WATERS OF THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN... ADDITIONAL INTENSIFICATION
IS LIKELY AS LONG AS THE SYSTEM REMAINS FAR ENOUGH OFFSHORE OF
HONDURAS. THE LGEM/SHIPS MODELS NOW SHOW RICHARD BECOMING A
HURRICANE...THOUGH ODDLY THE HWRF/GFDL KEEP THE SYSTEM AS A
TROPICAL STORM. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS INCREASED FROM THE
PREVIOUS ONE...REMAINING BELOW THE LGEM/SHIPS MODELS BECAUSE OF
POSSIBLE LAND INTERACTION. RICHARD IS NOT LIKELY TO REINTENSIFY
OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO DUE TO STRONG SHEAR...THUS THE NEW FORECAST
WILL SHOW THE SYSTEM DISSIPATING BY DAY 5...IN GOOD AGREEMENT WITH
THE GLOBAL MODELS.

AIRCRAFT FIXES INDICATE THE SYSTEM IS MOVING A LITTLE NORTH OF DUE
WEST AT ABOUT 7 KT. A WEST OR WEST-NORTHWEST MOTION IS EXPECTED AS
A RIDGE OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO MOVES TO THE NORTH OF THE STORM.
THERE IS SOME SPREAD IN THE GUIDANCE...BUT THE GENERAL CONSENSUS IS
FOR A TRACK JUST OFFSHORE OF HONDURAS TOWARD THE BAY ISLANDS...THEN
INTO BELIZE IN 36-48 HOURS. MODELS ARE IN REASONABLE AGREEMENT
WHILE THE SYSTEM IS IN THE CARIBBEAN...AND THE OFFICIAL FORECAST
IS BASICALLY AN UPDATE OF THE PREVIOUS PACKAGE THROUGH 48 HOURS. AT
DAYS 3 AND 4...THE FORECAST IS SHIFTED TO THE LEFT CLOSER TO THE
MODEL CONSENSUS.

HURRICANE WARNINGS COULD BE REQUIRED FOR BELIZE LATER TODAY.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
000
WTNT44 KNHC 231458
TCDAT4
TROPICAL STORM RICHARD DISCUSSION NUMBER 11
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL192010
1100 AM EDT SAT OCT 23 2010

SATELLITE AND AIRCRAFT DATA INDICATE THAT RICHARD IS STRENGTHENING
QUICKLY. THE MINIMUM PRESSURE HAS FALLEN TO ABOUT 1000 MB...WITH
FLIGHT LEVELS WINDS TO 72 KT AND SFMR VALUES TO 54 KT. THESE DATA
SUPPORT AN INITIAL INTENSITY OF 55 KT. VERTICAL WIND SHEAR HAS
APPARENTLY LIGHTENED FROM YESTERDAY WITH NO SIGN OF THE
UNDERCUTTING BENEATH THE CIRRUS OUTFLOW LAYER. GIVEN THE WARM
WATERS OF THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN... ADDITIONAL INTENSIFICATION
IS LIKELY AS LONG AS THE SYSTEM REMAINS FAR ENOUGH OFFSHORE OF
HONDURAS. THE LGEM/SHIPS MODELS NOW SHOW RICHARD BECOMING A
HURRICANE...THOUGH ODDLY THE HWRF/GFDL KEEP THE SYSTEM AS A
TROPICAL STORM. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS INCREASED FROM THE
PREVIOUS ONE...REMAINING BELOW THE LGEM/SHIPS MODELS BECAUSE OF
POSSIBLE LAND INTERACTION. RICHARD IS NOT LIKELY TO REINTENSIFY
OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO DUE TO STRONG SHEAR...THUS THE NEW FORECAST
WILL SHOW THE SYSTEM DISSIPATING BY DAY 5...IN GOOD AGREEMENT WITH
THE GLOBAL MODELS.

AIRCRAFT FIXES INDICATE THE SYSTEM IS MOVING A LITTLE NORTH OF DUE
WEST AT ABOUT 7 KT. A WEST OR WEST-NORTHWEST MOTION IS EXPECTED AS
A RIDGE OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO MOVES TO THE NORTH OF THE STORM.
THERE IS SOME SPREAD IN THE GUIDANCE...BUT THE GENERAL CONSENSUS IS
FOR A TRACK JUST OFFSHORE OF HONDURAS TOWARD THE BAY ISLANDS...THEN
INTO BELIZE IN 36-48 HOURS. MODELS ARE IN REASONABLE AGREEMENT
WHILE THE SYSTEM IS IN THE CARIBBEAN...AND THE OFFICIAL FORECAST
IS BASICALLY AN UPDATE OF THE PREVIOUS PACKAGE THROUGH 48 HOURS. AT
DAYS 3 AND 4...THE FORECAST IS SHIFTED TO THE LEFT CLOSER TO THE
MODEL CONSENSUS.

HURRICANE WARNINGS COULD BE REQUIRED FOR BELIZE LATER TODAY.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 23/1500Z 15.9N 83.5W 55 KT
12HR VT 24/0000Z 16.1N 84.7W 60 KT
24HR VT 24/1200Z 16.4N 86.3W 65 KT
36HR VT 25/0000Z 16.8N 88.0W 70 KT
48HR VT 25/1200Z 17.2N 89.6W 40 KT...INLAND
72HR VT 26/1200Z 18.5N 92.5W 30 KT...INLAND
96HR VT 27/1200Z 20.0N 94.0W 25 KT...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
120HR VT 28/1200Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER BLAKE
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting cchsweatherman:


I find this very interesting. Shows the best chances for a major hurricane from Richard occurring on Tuesday despite making a forecast landfall in the Yucatan. Don't know what to make of it.
From what I've heard, the probabilities are based off of around 1000 different model runs. Apparently some are slower with Richard and leave it over water through 72 hours, which is why you would see a greater chance for a major.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

Miami...where are you interpreting or getting the humidity data from?
SHIPS text. I also tend to look at water vapor imagery for a little bit to make a more accurate assumption. Here's the mid-level RH (relative humidity) from the 12z SHIPS:

700-500 MB RH 64 67 70 67 64 67 61 57 54 53 49 45 48
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
978. IKE


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Richard will likely end up as one of the most destructive systems yet. Considering that he will be passing over an area that has already been drenched by Alex, 02L, Hermine, Karl, and Matthew.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193


I find this very interesting. Shows the best chances for a major hurricane from Richard occurring on Tuesday despite making a forecast landfall in the Yucatan. Don't know what to make of it.
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I don't bash JB. I think he does agood job, usually.
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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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