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 stormwatcherCI:
Looks like it might just skim the coast and not really go on land. Looks like he may be following Paula's path over Honduras.
It also looks to be going N of the next current tropical point.
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Richard does look better this morning than he ever has, and his central pressure's dropping...but the poor guy has been sharing his incubator with an atmospheric Sahara since before he was born, and the WV loop shows that moving west isn't gonna help him much:

Click for larger image:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image


Meanwhile in the far eastern ATL, although its winds are up to a healthy 30 knots, 90L is moving into a bad neighborhood and likely won't be with us much longer. However...there's a new somewhat robust blob rolling off of Africa today to 90L's southeast. This blob already exhibits a little anticyclonic spin, so who knows? It's not even being tracked as a pouch, but stranger things have happened this year:

Click for larger image:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image


Finally--and to me interestingly--NOAA is giving a very small chance of development to the area in the far southern Caribbean where Panama meets Colombia. 850mb vorticity is somehwat increasing (and SSTs are certainly high enough). It's a bit far south and there is a lot of land, but something to check in on every now and then:

Click for larger image:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image
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873. IKE
Quoting weatherguy03:
Tropical Update Oct. 23rd. 2010


"No threat to the United States at all with this system"....quote, end-quote.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting scott39:
Current Sat loop gives the perception, that Richard has a slight N component to its movement.
Looks like it might just skim the coast and not really go on land. Looks like he may be following Paula's path over Honduras.
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We had our first frost this morning here in Richmond VA. Temps went down to 37. Areas to the west like Staunton and Harrisonburg had temps drop to at or even below freezing!
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Quoting stillwaiting:
stillwaitings forecast track for richie:






I hope this doesn't become a disappointer like Matthew was a few weeks ago.
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Current Sat loop gives the perception, that Richard has a slight N component to its movement.
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Flight level winds are ~ 55 mph, translating to roughly a 50 mph TS.

SFMR and reduction factor both shows 50-55 mph.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24548
I wonder if there are any lurkers in Burma or Taiwan or China in the path of those storms?
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Quoting weatherman12345:
what really confuses me is storms and hurricanes in late october don't just run into central America. they have to recure one way or another becasue of the troughs.. any thoughts???


Normally yes, but this is a strong LaNina year. Things are not as normal.
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Quoting stillwaiting:
...imo if he can start a northerly component should be able to stregthen today,looks poopy right now lop-sided and asymmetrical ..


I agree it looks very poor in presentation, but as we speak tho conditions are improving for some strengthening. It will probably improve in presentation as the day goes on. YOur track is pretty agressive to the North. I don't see that happening. Looks much more West coming to me IMO!
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Tropical Update Oct. 23rd. 2010
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stillwaitings forecast track for richie:




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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Looks like he is moving wnw now instead of direct west.
It looks that way on the visible.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Without seeming like i am picking on you, but this looks unimpressive to me at 45mph. Not really sure what you see as impressive. I have seen TD's that look better than this honestly. Conditions should improve today late and possibly Richard might improve to look better than its current look of a Tropical Depression.
...imo if he can start a northerly component should be able to stregthen today,looks poopy right now lop-sided and asymmetrical ..
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Richards intensifying finally.
SFMR
47 knots
(~ 54.0 mph)

Reduction from Flight level
45.7 knots (~ 52.5 mph)
Tropical Storm
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24548
I see the wnw also....maybe there's hope for some rain in Florida


Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Looks like he is moving wnw now instead of direct west.
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 703
HH found 50mph winds already and the pressure has really dropped since yesterday so i think we should now see a steady increase in the wind speed
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Good Morning. Richard looks healthier today.
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Looks like he is moving wnw now instead of direct west.
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Quoting pottery:

I was looking for something more Optimistic and Positive.....
I thought it could have been a Sign, or a Portent.
Not an Omen.
...that would be more like a curse!!,lol
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Details of technique
Dvorak T-Number and Corresponding Intensity T-Number Winds (knots) Minimum Pressure (millibars)
Atlantic NW Pacific
1.0 - 1.5 25
2.0 30 1009 1000
2.5 35 1005 997
3.0 45 1000 991
3.5 55 994 984
4.0 65 987 976
4.5 77 979 966
5.0 90 970 954
5.5 102 960 941
6.0 115 948 927
6.5 127 935 914
7.0 140 921 898
7.5 155 906 879
8.0 170
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.
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DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL902010) 20101023 1200 UTC
Disturbance 90L
Latitude 17.4N Longitude 27.6W
Moving 330 degrees at 14kt
Current winds 30kt
Radius of 30 knots 120nmi.
Central pressure 1009mb.
Outer pressure 1013mb
Outer radius 250nmi.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Without seeming like i am picking on you, but this looks unimpressive to me at 45mph. Not really sure what you see as impressive. I have seen TD's that look better than this honestly. Conditions should improve today late and possibly Richard might improve to look better than its current look of a Tropical Depression.


Well, the Satellite estimates think Richard's a 50-60 mph TS..
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24548
Quoting IKE:
...AIR FORCE PLANE FINDS THAT RICHARD HAS REFORMED TO THE EAST...
8:00 AM EDT Sat Oct 23
Location: 15.8°N 83.0°W
Max sustained: 45 mph
Moving: W at 4 mph
Min pressure: 1004 mb
....if this is the case,one could argue taht a turn to the north would take place before or over eastern yucatan area,as it should take longer to approach it,i thougjt by now we'd have a cane and have a good idea ofsteering,crow please!!!!(grilled/bbq sauce)....
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Quoting GoofOff:

Is there anything that could possibly make Fantasy Fest any crazier than it already is? The weather doesn't have a chance against it. ;-)
Quoting mudkey:
morning all, new to this blog and have no education in weather other than plain interest. question? no chance of Richard screwing up fantasy fest in Key West is there?


If its this weekend just hit and miss thunderstorms and possibly often.
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23/1145 UTC 15.8N 82.9W T3.0/3.0 RICHARD

T3.0 corresponds to a 45-kt tropical storm, a little stronger than now.
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CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.5 / 996.5mb/ 55.0kt


According to ADT, it looks like a strong tropical storm. And the Raw ADT is a little lower, CI#3.3.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Actually, the GFS has had Richard pegged since the 00Z run on the 20th. Go HERE, go back to 00z on the 20th and drop down to 850vort and go to town.


Actually the GFS and NOGAPS both have done a spot on job with Richard. JMO
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Quoting reedzone:
This is a very impressive look for only a 45 mph. storm.




Without seeming like i am picking on you, but this looks unimpressive to me at 45mph. Not really sure what you see as impressive. I have seen TD's that look better than this honestly. Conditions should improve today late and possibly Richard might improve to look better than its current look of a Tropical Depression.
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Quoting pottery:
Last night late, I was out Howling at the Full Moon.
Just in time to see a perfect Halo around it, and then a plane passed through, leaving a perfect vapour-trail through the Halo.

It was a Definite Sign. A Portent, even.
I just cant figure out the meaning as yet....

Any ideas?
We are all DOOM.
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Quoting capeflorida:

Yeah, put down the bottle of rum! lol

OK.
Done!

Can I pick it up later this evening?

I'm out.
There is a long list, from a Higher Authority....
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Quoting IKE:


That actually looks pretty healthy.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24548
Quoting pottery:

I was looking for something more Optimistic and Positive.....
I thought it could have been a Sign, or a Portent.
Not an Omen.


:P
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24548
Quoting pottery:

Nice One.
How you doing this morning?


I'm doing good, gotta go though, car show. bbl
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7432
This very slow movement which was expected still worries me some with Richard. I never like to see a storm just sit around. Get off your lazy butt and start moving. Exercise some so you won't get fat.
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Quoting mudkey:
morning all, new to this blog and have no education in weather other than plain interest. question? no chance of Richard screwing up fantasy fest in Key West is there?

Is there anything that could possibly make Fantasy Fest any crazier than it already is? The weather doesn't have a chance against it. ;-)
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Sarah Palin 2012?

I was looking for something more Optimistic and Positive.....
I thought it could have been a Sign, or a Portent.
Not an Omen.
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Quoting reedzone:


Ya know? I'm not perfect, all you do is question me and put me on the spot. Pshh, so what, I'm wrong, big woopin deal. You are now on my ignore list, I had had just enough now of your games. Join the scottsvb crew! I gave you chances but you simply just don't want to be nice to me. See ya!

Nice One.
How you doing this morning?
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832. IKE
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting pottery:
Last night late, I was out Howling at the Full Moon.
Just in time to see a perfect Halo around it, and then a plane passed through, leaving a perfect vapour-trail through the Halo.

It was a Definite Sign. A Portent, even.
I just cant figure out the meaning as yet....

Any ideas?


Sarah Palin 2012?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24548
Quoting Autistic2:


We need more rain forrest!?

Nah!
Forests get in the way of Development and Progress.
They block the energy created by super-highways, (which have to go around them).
Forests also harbour all manner of spooky things, like butterflies and bees, which are known to eat our flowers.
Bees also Fertilize blossoms. Which is borderline disgusting, if you ask me.
Fertilization has all kinds of Nasty Connotations.
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Good Morning everyone. Richard looks rather ill still this morning. Shear and the Very DRy Air is hendering development big time.
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Quoting pottery:
Last night late, I was out Howling at the Full Moon.
Just in time to see a perfect Halo around it, and then a plane passed through, leaving a perfect vapour-trail through the Halo.

It was a Definite Sign. A Portent, even.
I just cant figure out the meaning as yet....

Any ideas?

Yeah, put down the bottle of rum! lol
Member Since: October 21, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 145
morning all, new to this blog and have no education in weather other than plain interest. question? no chance of Richard screwing up fantasy fest in Key West is there?
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Quoting barotropic:


Reedzone, I guess it never made it to a TD as fast as you had thought and According to the TPC the dry air has hindered development significantly all along. Although you had mentioned several times the dry air would not be an issue for richard. Likewise the fun never really began, still kinda waiting for it to get "interesting" (for a second time now) and who knows maybe richard can reach that 50 - 60 mph...point forecasted a couple of days ago which you reminded us of yesterday that you had predicted it 2 hours before the 11pm discussion on Thursday night. You think it may happen sometime today??


Ya know? I'm not perfect, all you do is question me and put me on the spot. Pshh, so what, I'm wrong, big woopin deal. You are now on my ignore list, I had had just enough now of your games. Join the scottsvb crew! I gave you chances but you simply just don't want to be nice to me. See ya!
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7432
Quoting reedzone:
This is a very impressive look for only a 45 mph. storm.




Reedzone, I guess it never made it to a TD as fast as you had thought and According to the TPC the dry air has hindered development significantly all along. Although you had mentioned several times the dry air would not be an issue for richard. Likewise the fun never really began, still kinda waiting for it to get "interesting" (for a second time now) and who knows maybe richard can reach that 50 - 60 mph...point forecasted a couple of days ago which you reminded us of yesterday that you had predicted it 2 hours before the 11pm discussion on Thursday night. You think it may happen sometime today??
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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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