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 CybrTeddy:
Looks like the Eastern Caribbean 'might' have game, this is VERY far out.. November 1st-2nd. GFS


EMCWF


Interesting, the CMC develops 90L into a powerful hurricane..




GFS has been excellent at predicting long-term tropical cyclogenesis. I will not be surprised at all if this occurs, though I would like to see some consistency.
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Quoting Patrap:

Nice,,,,,Just downloaded that video for my collection... thanks
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9803
Looks like the Eastern Caribbean 'might' have game, this is VERY far out.. November 1st-2nd. GFS


EMCWF


Interesting, the CMC develops 90L into a powerful hurricane..


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Quoting oddspeed:
"Giri strengthened from a 60 mph tropical storm at 8am EDT yesterday to a 155 mph Category 4 storm by 8am this morning"

Sounds like Humberto times 5.

That is insanely fast strengthening, certainly a record right?


I think Felix holds that.
ZCZC MIATCPAT1 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM FELIX ADVISORY NUMBER 4
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062007
1100 AM AST SAT SEP 01 2007

...FELIX MOVING AWAY FROM THE WINDWARD ISLANDS AND STRENGTHENING...

REPEATING THE 1100 AM AST POSITION...12.3 N...63.6 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...WEST NEAR 18 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...65 MPH.
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1001 MB.


ZCZC MIATCPAT1 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
HURRICANE FELIX SPECIAL ADVISORY NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062007
800 PM EDT SUN SEP 02 2007

...FELIX NOW A CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE...

REPEATING THE 800 PM EDT POSITION...13.8 N...72.9 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 18 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...165
MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...934 MB.


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"Giri strengthened from a 60 mph tropical storm at 8am EDT yesterday to a 155 mph Category 4 storm by 8am this morning"

Sounds like Humberto times 5.

That is insanely fast strengthening, certainly a record right?
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15. Obviously, given the harsh conditions.

It wont survive being over the Gulf, but has potential to become a Category 2 before hitting the Yucatan.
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Quoting Sfloridacat5:
Today, they act like they never even mentioned it.
local 10 payed max 50k for his interaction into tropical activity again this year.looks like it was burned $
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TROPICAL STORM RICHARD DISCUSSION NUMBER 8
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL192010
500 PM EDT FRI OCT 22 2010

THE OVERALL CONVECTIVE APPEARANCE OF RICHARD HAS SOMEWHAT
DETERIORATED DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS. THE CLOUD PATTERN HAS
SHRUNK AND BECOME DISTORTED...WITH OUTFLOW BOUNDARIES PRESENT IN
THE WESTERN PART OF THE CIRCULATION. IN ADDITION...ASCAT DATA FROM
1536 UTC CONFIRMS THE ELONGATED CIRCULATION PRESENT ON THE LAST
HURRICANE HUNTER MISSION...WITH A TROUGH EXTENDING SOUTH-SOUTHEAST
FROM THE STORM. DESPITE THESE CONDITIONS...NOAA BUOY 42057 HAS
REPORTED PEAK ONE-MINUTE WINDS OF 35-37 KT DURING THE PAST FEW
HOURS. DVORAK VALUES ARE 45 KT FROM BOTH TAFB/SAB... AND 61 KT
FROM THE CIMSS ADT. GIVEN THE ABOVE DATA...THE MAXIMUM WINDS ARE
SET BETWEEN THE BUOY AND THE SATELLITE DATA TO 40 KT.

THE CENTER APPEARS TO HAVE REFORMED A LITTLE CLOSER TO THE DEEP
CONVECTION TO THE NORTHWEST OF THE PREVIOUS CENTER. THE BEST
ESTIMATE OF INITIAL MOTION IS A LITTLE FASTER TO THE WEST...AT
ABOUT 4 KT. MODEL GUIDANCE IS IN BETTER AGREEMENT ON AN
ACCELERATING MOTION TOWARD THE WEST AND WEST-NORTHWEST DUE TO
RIDGING OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO. PERHAPS BECAUSE OF THE STRONGER
RIDGE...THE MODELS ARE A LITTLE FASTER THAN EARLIER...AND THE NHC
FORECAST FOLLOWS THAT TREND. A TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST AND
NORTH-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED BY THE END OF THE PERIOD DUE TO A
TROUGH ERODING THE GULF OF MEXICO RIDGE.

AS FAR AS THE INTENSITY FORECAST IS CONCERNED...RICHARD HAS
STRUGGLED WITH DRY AIR AND SOME WESTERLY SHEAR MUCH LONGER THAN THE
MODELS...AND FORECASTERS...EXPECTED. VISIBLE SATELLITE ALSO
SUGGESTS SOME UNDERCUTTING OF THE CIRRUS LAYER...WHICH MATCHES UP
WITH RECENT G-IV DROPS ON THE WEST SIDE OF RICHARD OF WESTERLY
WINDS FROM 250-300 MB. THESE WESTERLY WINDS ARE FORECAST BY THE
GLOBAL MODELS TO REVERSE TO AN EASTERLY COMPONENT WITHIN 24 HOURS.
THIS CHANGE MAY HERALD AN INTENSIFICATION PHASE...WHICH COULD BE
RAPID IN NATURE GIVEN THE VERY LIGHT SHEAR FORECAST AND THE WARM
DEEP WATERS OF THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN. THE NHC FORECAST IS
INCREASED FROM THE PREVIOUS ONE...BUT IS NOT NEARLY AS BULLISH AS
THE GFDL MODEL...WHICH MAKES RICHARD A MAJOR HURRICANE BEFORE
LANDFALL. CONDITIONS OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO ARE LIKELY TO BE TOO
HOSTILE FOR MUCH REINTENSIFICATION OF RICHARD
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Today, they act like they never even mentioned it.
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lol @ JFV raging because Richard isn't hitting Florida.
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Yesterday - local mets were all hyped about Richard coming to Florida.

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Quoting KoritheMan:


But could become quite potent.

Great update, Doc.


Agreed.
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All the rain from Giri over the Arakan Yoma mountains is going to be a problem. Even if the population was informed about the storm it's unlikely any of them knew how strong this storm was to become. Any chance it was a cat. 5 just before landfall?
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Quoting Surfcropper:
Richard is weak


But could become quite potent.

Great update, Doc.
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TropicalStormRichard's heading had turned northward to (1degree north of) NorthWest
from its previous heading of dueWest
TS.Richard's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions increased to ~12.6mph(~20.4km/h) from its previous moving speed of 4.3mph(~7km/h)
TropicalStormRichard
21Oct 09pmGMT - 16.0n80.4w - 40mph (~64.4km/h) - 1005mb - NHC.Adv.#4
22Oct 12amGMT - 16.0n80.5w - 40mph (~64.4km/h) - 1005mb - NHC.Adv.#4A
22Oct 03amGMT - 15.9n80.5w - 40mph (~64.4km/h) - 1006mb - NHC.Adv.#5
22Oct 06amGMT - 15.8n80.4w - 40mph (~64.4km/h) - 1006mb - NHC.Adv.#5A
22Oct 09amGMT - 16.0n80.3w - 40mph (~64.4km/h) - 1005mb - NHC.Adv.#6
22Oct 12pmGMT - 15.9n80.7w - 40mph (~64.4km/h) - 1006mb - NHC.Adv.#6A
22Oct 03pmGMT - 15.8n81.1w - 40mph (~64.4km/h) - 1006mb - NHC.Adv.#7
22Oct 06pmGMT - 15.8n81.3w - 40mph (~64.4km/h) - 1006mb - NHC.Adv.#7A
22Oct 09pmGMT - 16.2n81.7w - 45mph (~72.4km/h) - 1005mb - NHC.Adv.#8

Copy&paste 16.0n80.4w, 16.0n80.5w, 15.9n80.5w, 15.8n80.4w, 16.0n80.3w-15.9n80.7w, 15.9n80.7w-15.8n81.1w, 15.8n81.1w-15.8n81.3w, 15.8n81.3w-16.2n81.7w, pnd, 16.2n81.7w-21.1n86.8w into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the headings and distances traveled over the last 12^hours.

.Using straightline projection upon the speed&heading averaged
over the 3hours spanning the last two reported positions:
~37hours from now to Instituto Technologica de Cancun,Mexico

^ The westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection

Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #15
VERY SEVERE CYCLONIC STORM GIRI (BOB04-2010)
23:30 PM IST October 22 2010
=============================================

At 18:00 PM UTC, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Giri over coastal areas of Myanmar further moved northwards and lays centered at 20.5N 93.5E, about 80 km northeast of Sittwe (Myanmar) and 120 km north-northwest of Kyaukpyu (Myanmar).

3 minute sustained winds near the center is 70 knots with gusts of 80 knots. The central pressure of the system is 970 hPa. The state of the sea is phenomenal.

Satellite imagery indicates broken to solid intense to very intense convection over area between 18.0N to 22.0N and from 91.5E to 95.0E. 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 northeastwards and weaken rapidly during next 24 hrs.
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Wonderful update!
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Thanks for update.
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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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