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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I don't bash JB. I think he does agood job, usually.
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973. IKE
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Quoting portcharlotte:
Ditto on that one! I think the guy does a great job and has a lot more knowledge than many on this blog as far as weather is concerned.



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 hydrus:
Good Morning Gro..If the moisture from the Atlantic moves into the Caribbean Sea while the MJO is in an upward phase, we may have an active November.....


And a fine morning to you, hydrus. See your analysis is shared by some meteorologists as well. Could be a late active season.
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Quoting IKE:
...RICHARD RAPIDLY STRENGTHENS OFF THE NORTHEASTERN HONDURAS COAST...HURRICANE WARNING ISSUED...
11:00 AM EDT Sat Oct 23
Location: 15.9°N 83.5°W
Max sustained: 65 mph
Moving: W at 8 mph
Min pressure: 1000 mb


Speed slowly increasing as well.

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Quoting cchsweatherman:


All I have to say its about damn time. Definitely gonna be keeping a really close eye on Richard since its now in the region where Wilma took off in strength about 5 years ago.
Yeah, intensification was probably being halted by the presence of dry air and some marginal upper-level conditions. Since then, upper-level winds have decreased to about 9 knots and the mid-level humidity has moistened up some to around 65%. Considering that conditions will only continue to get more favorable, Richard will likely be able to become a hurricane. The overall intensity forecast is a bit tricky though since we don't know how much northward progress away from land will be made. The shortwave digging into Texas will have to erode away at the western flank of the high pressure system over the northeastern Gulf to allow any of that. If not, Richard will have a tough time contending with constant land interaction.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Richard's ACE is now up to a not-so-whopping 1.395, which vaults him into 12th place for the season behind Colin and ahead of Matthew, Hermine, Bonnie, Gaston, and Nicole. Woo-hoo... ;-)
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Quoting charlestonscnanny:

Please, enough of the JB bashing!!! Ppl on here need to take the "nice" pill!!! Do you feel all puffed up about bashing others. Not just you totally, but many others who have attacked Ike, Reed, etc. Go play outside for awhile, please. I like most of your post, but this was hateful.
Quoting portcharlotte:
Ditto on that one! I think the guy does a great job and has a lot more knowledge than many on this blog as far as weather is concerned.




Ummm... PDoug was defending JB the way I read it.
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...RICHARD RAPIDLY STRENGTHENS OFF THE NORTHEASTERN HONDURAS
COAST...


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Tricky Ricky has a few more tricks! Stay Tuned!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6732
Quoting Orcasystems:


I think they are done.. have to wait for the next one now.





What's the link to this??
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Good Morning!

This was my Hurricane Season prediction posted back in June 16 of this year.
17-20 Named Storms 9-12 Hurricanes 5-8 Major Hurricanes

So far so good.

I do expect for at least 1-2 tropical cyclones to form in the Atlantic during the month of November.
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CHANGES IN WATCHES AND WARNINGS WITH THIS ADVISORY...

THE GOVERNMENT OF HONDURAS HAS ISSUED A HURRICANE WARNING FOR THE
COAST OF HONDURAS FROM LIMON WESTWARD TO PUERTO CORTES AND THE BAY
ISLANDS...INCLUDING ROATAN...UTILA...AND GUANAJA.

THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR THE
EAST COAST OF YUCATAN MEXICO FROM PUNTA GRUESA TO CHETUMAL.

THE GOVERNMENT OF BELIZE HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR THE
COAST OF BELIZE.


SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* HONDURAS FROM LIMON WESTWARD TO PUERTO CORTES AND THE BAY
ISLANDS...INCLUDING ROATAN...UTILA...AND GUANAJA

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* HONDURAS FROM EAST OF LIMON TO THE NICARAGUA/HONDURAS BORDER
* EAST COAST OF YUCATAN MEXICO FROM PUNTA GRUESA TO CHETUMAL

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* BELIZE
* HONDURAS FROM WEST OF PUERTO CORTES TO THE HONDURAS/GUATEMALA
BORDER AND FROM EAST OF LIMON TO THE NICARAGUA/HONDURAS BORDER

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...RICHARD RAPIDLY STRENGTHENS OFF THE NORTHEASTERN HONDURAS COAST...HURRICANE WARNING ISSUED...

This will lighten up the blog!
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Guys I really Don't think that the real COC is where the NHC puts it or where the HH puts it I think it is further NNE near 16.3N 82.7W
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

Makes sense. Seemed a bit low.


I think they are done.. have to wait for the next one now.



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953. IKE
...RICHARD RAPIDLY STRENGTHENS OFF THE NORTHEASTERN HONDURAS COAST...HURRICANE WARNING ISSUED...
11:00 AM EDT Sat Oct 23
Location: 15.9°N 83.5°W
Max sustained: 65 mph
Moving: W at 8 mph
Min pressure: 1000 mb
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Advisory in, Richard up to 65.
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 1000 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 55 KT WITH GUSTS TO 65 KT.
50 KT....... 20NE 0SE 0SW 20NW.
34 KT....... 75NE 60SE 0SW 60NW.
12 FT SEAS.. 75NE 60SE 0SW 60NW.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
On satellite imagery, Richard looks as impressive as it has ever been. Considering the latest data from the Reconnaissance aircraft investigating the system, Richard is probably nearing hurricane strength.


All I have to say its about damn time. Definitely gonna be keeping a really close eye on Richard since its now in the region where Wilma took off in strength about 5 years ago.
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I think the NHC track will stay the same at 11am.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6732
Ditto on that one! I think the guy does a great job and has a lot more knowledge than many on this blog as far as weather is concerned.


Quoting charlestonscnanny:

Please, enough of the JB bashing!!! Ppl on here need to take the "nice" pill!!! Do you feel all puffed up about bashing others. Not just you totally, but many others who have attacked Ike, Reed, etc. Go play outside for awhile, please. I like most of your post, but this was hateful.
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Flight level winds on the last vortex were about 82 mph, supporting an intensity of 60-65 mph.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

About time. I'd say if recon is finding 60mph and 1000mb, he got that initial jolt.


They went back and did a quick third fix... 1002
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Post 937 this message has been brought to you by Faux and friends, our Motto is your either with us or against us. As the lady said I'll just go out a play in the sun now CIAO!!
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



I gotta ask...
What color is the sky of that world you're living in?


Blue. Bright, crisp, crystalline, azure, cerulean, mazarine, chalybeous, royal blue... ;-)
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942. IKE
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Our little buddy still struggling mightily I see. He's getting very close to skirting that northern Honduras coastline. Any further south of a track and we'll have to begin calling him "Matthew" soon.


He will be close to the coast or right at it, if he moves due west.
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On satellite imagery, Richard looks as impressive as it has ever been. Considering the latest data from the Reconnaissance aircraft investigating the system, Richard is probably nearing hurricane strength.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Richard just chugged a Red Bull!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6732
I see that Tropical Storm Richard is finally strengthening as had been expected to happen yesterday.

In looking at the big picture, water vapor imagery shows the building ridge over the Gulf of Mexico now in firm control and pushing the storm westward. But notice over Texas and Mexico; there is a shortwave cutting NE across the region and trying to erode the ridge some. Doesn't seem to be having success, but it may erode the ridge enough to impart a little northward component in Richard in the next 24 hours.

Based upon water vapor imagery and wind analysis, I really like the NHC forecast right now in terms of track, but with the strengthening shown by Hurricane Hunters, I expect it to be a hurricane making landfall in Belize late Sunday.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
JB last evening.
(ADMITTING his mistakes, Nea)
But no, he never does that...


FRIDAY 10 PM
RICHARD CONTINUES TO REFUSE TO GET UNDER THE CONVECTION CENTER.

Recon is still showing the stretched center on the southwest side of the bomb that is Richard, and this will continue to prevent any kind of rapid intensification. There is obviously a fight going on here as the data buoy north of the storm had the wind shift from northeast to southeast, then back to northeast, and that indicates the confused center situation.

While calling the development from over 10 days out, the performance on my part the last 2 days has been poor with this. Lets see if I can get scary Shary right from start to finish.

I am not a happy camper with situations like this, believe me.

Please, enough of the JB bashing!!! Ppl on here need to take the "nice" pill!!! Do you feel all puffed up about bashing others. Not just you totally, but many others who have attacked Ike, Reed, etc. Go play outside for awhile, please. I like most of your post, but this was hateful.
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Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 23rd day of the month at 14:14Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 303)
Storm Number & Year: 19L in 2010
Storm Name: Richard (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 7
Observation Number: 14
A. Time of Center Fix: 23rd day of the month at 13:43:50Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 15°49'N 83°21'W (15.8167N 83.35W) (View map)
B. Center Fix Location: 274 miles (440 km) to the SSW (208°) from George Town, Cayman Islands (GBR).
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: Not Available
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 53kts (~ 61.0mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 24 nautical miles (28 statute miles) to the ENE (73°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 107° at 54kts (From the ESE at ~ 62.1mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 24 nautical miles (28 statute miles) to the ENE (74°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1002mb (29.59 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 21°C (70°F) at a pressure alt. of 312m (1,024ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 24°C (75°F) at a pressure alt. of 312m (1,024ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp & Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Levels (sfc and flt lvl centers are within 5nm of each other): Surface and 1,500 feet
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 3 nautical miles
Remarks Section - Remarks That Were Decoded...
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: Below 1,500 feet
Remarks Section - Additional Remarks...
MAX OUTBOUND AND MAX FL WIND 72KT N QUAD AT 13:49:30

Flight level winds support borderline hurricane.
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Quoting Neapolitan:


Good on him. I'll now do what he does when the NHC changes something after he's written about it: claim that he clearly changed his mind after listening to me. ;-)



I gotta ask...
What color is the sky of that world you're living in?
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Richard's track is looking more like Matthew's, and could therefore be a significant flooding threat. Most of the Caribbean is still at a warm 29C+, quite unusual for late October as this swath also extends to the Cape Verde area, and in some areas still warmer than 2005.



Strangely, even as Megi makes landfall in Fujian, the GFS model wants to push it back into the South China Sea ahead of the advancing polar continental ridge over China.



A cold air intrusion is occurring in East Asia behind Megi and around the new continental ridge. As for the North American winter, this means likely more cold air intrusions into developing major low pressure areas, as a result of the La Nina and reduced ice cover in the Beaufort Sea.

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I might have believed J.B's sincerity if he hadn't followed it with scary Shary in the next sentence. Oh well nothing like good theater, oh I mean news and weather.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
JB last evening.
(ADMITTING his mistakes, Nea)
But no, he never does that


Good on him. I'll now do what he does when the NHC changes something after he's written about it: claim that he clearly changed his mind after listening to me. ;-)
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929. HCW
Dr Steve Lyons Just issued a Tornado Warning in Texas. He's the MIC at the NWS San Angelo TX
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Most of Richards moisture has come from the south as evident in the Mimic in motion. this is about to be cut off. So I think you may see a little track distortion to the north as it uses the available moisture.Being a weak to moderate T.S. it doesn't have a tight center. IMO ( Disclaimer)not a pro met or even close to a Met.
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Richard up to 60 mph.
AL, 19, 2010102312, , BEST, 0, 158N, 831W, 50, 1000, TS, 50, NEQ
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Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 23rd day of the month at 14:14Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 303)
Storm Number & Year: 19L in 2010
Storm Name: Richard (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 7
Observation Number: 14
A. Time of Center Fix: 23rd day of the month at 13:43:50Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 1549'N 8321'W (15.8167N 83.35W)
B. Center Fix Location: 274 miles (440 km) to the SSW (208) from George Town, Cayman Islands (GBR).
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: Not Available
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 53kts (~ 61.0mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 24 nautical miles (28 statute miles) to the ENE (73) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 107 at 54kts (From the ESE at ~ 62.1mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 24 nautical miles (28 statute miles) to the ENE (74) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1002mb (29.59 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 21C (70F) at a pressure alt. of 312m (1,024ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 24C (75F) at a pressure alt. of 312m (1,024ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp & Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Levels (sfc and flt lvl centers are within 5nm of each other): Surface and 1,500 feet
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 3 nautical miles
Remarks Section - Remarks That Were Decoded...
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: Below 1,500 feet
Remarks Section - Additional Remarks...
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Recon indicates Richard is a 60 mph TS with a pressure of 1000 mb.
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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.