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 KoritheMan:
...RICHARD APPROACHING THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF HONDURAS...


NS
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
This is a HUGE improvement. Last post was SFMR


Peak (10 sec. Avg.)
Flight Level Wind
44 knots
(~ 50.6 mph)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
WTNT34 KNHC 230549
TCPAT4
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM RICHARD INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 9A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL192010
200 AM EDT SAT OCT 23 2010

...RICHARD APPROACHING THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF HONDURAS...


SUMMARY OF 200 AM EDT...0600 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.8N 82.6W
ABOUT 70 MI...110 KM NE OF CABO GRACIAS A DIOS ON NIC/HON BORDER
ABOUT 270 MI...430 KM E OF ISLA ROATAN HONDURAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...45 MPH...75 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 7 MPH...11 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1007 MB...29.74 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

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

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* HONDURAS FROM THE NICARAGUA/HONDURAS BORDER WESTWARD TO THE
HONDURAS/GUATEMALA BORDER...AND THE BAY ISLANDS

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* BELIZE

A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE
WITHIN THE WATCH AREA. A WATCH IS TYPICALLY ISSUED 48 HOURS
BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE
WINDS...CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR
DANGEROUS.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE YUCATAN PENINSULA OF MEXICO SHOULD
MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF RICHARD.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 200 AM EDT...0600 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM RICHARD WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 15.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE 82.6 WEST. RICHARD IS
MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 7 MPH...11 KM/HR. A WESTWARD TO WEST-
NORTHWESTWARD MOTION WITH SOME INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED
OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF
RICHARD IS EXPECTED TO PASS NEAR OR OVER THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF
HONDURAS TODAY...NEAR OR OVER THE BAY ISLANDS OF HONDURAS SATURDAY
NIGHT OR SUNDAY...AND COULD APPROACH THE COASTS OF BELIZE AND
SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO LATE SUNDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 45 MPH...75 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. STRENGTHENING IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AND
RICHARD IS FORECAST TO BECOME A HURRICANE BY SUNDAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 85 MILES...140 KM
MAINLY TO THE NORTH OF THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1007 MB...29.74 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
STORM SURGE...A STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 1
TO 3 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS ALONG THE NORTHERN COAST OF
HONDURAS AND IN THE BAY ISLANDS. NEAR THE COAST...THE SURGE WILL
BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE WAVES.

RAINFALL...RICHARD IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF
3 TO 5 INCHES OVER NORTHERN HONDURAS AND THE BAY ISLANDS WITH
MAXIMUM STORM TOTAL AMOUNTS AROUND 7 INCHES. THESE RAINS COULD
PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES...ESPECIALLY
IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO MOVE OVER
NORTHEASTERN HONDURAS WITHIN THE WARNING AREA TODAY...WITH
HURRICANE CONDITIONS POSSIBLE IN THAT AREA ON SATURDAY NIGHT.
HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE ALONG THE COASTS OF BELIZE AND
SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO BY LATE SUNDAY.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 AM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER CANGIALOSI/BROWN
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05:43:00Z 16.050N 81.083W

44 knots
(~ 50.6 mph)

Winds out of the S, no pressure reading though.
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Quoting Greyelf:


Since you're ancient, I'd have thought you'd prefer this Harvest Moon version. :)



Leon Redbone is da' man.


Now THAT'S a good version...
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Easy big fella remember you are a killer whale.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Ummm you saying Canadian... and Montreal...
Is the same as me saying American... and France..


LOL. I hope so.
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Look at the short wave flash loop at nhc in last two frames really coming together.
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Quoting Seastep:


It's not centre, it' center. Sheesh. Canadians. And you're not even close to Montreal. ;)


Ummm you saying Canadian... and Montreal...
Is the same as me saying American... and France..
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Center is just ENE of this location.

05:28:30Z 16.150N 82.183W 643.1 mb
(~ 18.99 inHg) 3,842 meters
(~ 12,605 feet) 1007.0 mb
(~ 29.74 inHg)
From 243° at 7 knots
(From the WSW at ~ 8.0 mph)


This was the wind shift mark.
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16.1n 82.2w
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Center is just ENE of this location.

05:28:30Z 16.150N 82.183W 643.1 mb
(~ 18.99 inHg) 3,842 meters
(~ 12,605 feet) 1007.0 mb
(~ 29.74 inHg)
From 243° at 7 knots
(From the WSW at ~ 8.0 mph)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
this is the reading off the white marker just to the north of the old Vortex reports

Time: 05:28:00Z
Coordinates: 16.15N 82.2167W
Acft. Static Air Press: 643.1 mb (~ 18.99 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 3,844 meters (~ 12,612 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1006.3 mb (~ 29.72 inHg)

Its NOT the lowest reading
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Dam I feel like Micheal Corleone just when you think your out of here they pull you back in.
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Good point Orca this system is not much more developed than a depression still a broad center. Dang I didn't think this was going to get interesting.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm how do you figure... we don't know where the centre is?


It's not centre, it' center. Sheesh. Canadians. And you're not even close to Montreal. ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm how do you figure... we don't know where the centre is?


True, lol. Where it last was spotted anyway.
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latest shortwave image shows a burst of energy across the coc.

Link
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Quoting SweetHomeBamaGOM:



maybe he is still aligning vertically? could the dry air that he has had to deal with also be keeping pressure high in the center while he strengthens off of his southeast quad?


This is an NOAA P3

They don't go to the surface, only the Air Force flights.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


That's rather far from the center.


Umm how do you figure... we don't know where the centre is?
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
well thought I'd put my foot in it one more time tonight see ya.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Time: 05:14:00Z
Coordinates: 16.2167N 83.25W
Acft. Static Air Press: 642.6 mb (~ 18.98 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 3,860 meters (~ 12,664 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1006.7 mb (~ 29.73 inHg)

Not sure why he is staying so High



maybe he is still aligning vertically? could the dry air that he has had to deal with also be keeping pressure high in the center while he strengthens off of his southeast quad?

or did u mean the pilot?
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
05:21:30Z 16.167N 82.700W 643.1 mb
(~ 18.99 inHg) 3,843 meters
(~ 12,608 feet) 1003.8 mb
(~ 29.64 inHg)


That's rather far from the center.
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Nice flsky enjoyed the view. Well it should be interesting tomorrow, don't see any big surprises tonight have a nice one what's left of it. See ya tomorrow.
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Time: 05:21:30Z
Coordinates: 16.1667N 82.7W
Acft. Static Air Press: 643.1 mb (~ 18.99 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 3,843 meters (~ 12,608 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1003.8 mb (~ 29.64 inHg)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
05:21:30Z 16.167N 82.700W 643.1 mb
(~ 18.99 inHg) 3,843 meters
(~ 12,608 feet) 1003.8 mb
(~ 29.64 inHg)
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Richard is starting to light up like a Christmas Tree.

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Quoting Orcasystems:
Time: 05:14:00Z
Coordinates: 16.2167N 83.25W
Acft. Static Air Press: 642.6 mb (~ 18.98 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 3,860 meters (~ 12,664 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1006.7 mb (~ 29.73 inHg)

Not sure why he is staying so High


It's an NOAA P3 research flight.
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Quoting flsky:
Off topic, but if you want a pretty sight, go outside and take a look at the full moon - gorgeous! It's straight up from ECF


George Harrison - "Here Comes The Moon" Link
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Time: 05:14:00Z
Coordinates: 16.2167N 83.25W
Acft. Static Air Press: 642.6 mb (~ 18.98 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 3,860 meters (~ 12,664 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1006.7 mb (~ 29.73 inHg)

Not sure why he is staying so High
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
741. flsky
Off topic, but if you want a pretty sight, go outside and take a look at the full moon - gorgeous! It's straight up from ECF
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Quoting gordydunnot:
JSl image doesn't look as good as it did a couple frames ago. Plus closet buoy not dropping in pressure at all.


agreed. i think he may be fluctuating but over the long term run strengthening. the wind shear to the northwest is breaking and he has been struggling with going vertical by lining up low and mid level circulation. i would expect more ebb and flow but a general move towards strengthening now that the shear and dry air is dissipating.

also jsl may show some minor change but shortwave shows continued strengthening across the coc in the last frames. i believe he is just starting to strengthen.

Link
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05:03:30Z 16.433N 84.017W

1008.2 mb
(~ 29.77 inHg)
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Quoting Orcasystems:


1009 on the last one


I am talking all the way down. I started following around 23N.
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JSl image doesn't look as good as it did a couple frames ago. Plus closet buoy not dropping in pressure at all.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


1007 to 1009 all the way down. Peppered with 1024/1027 here and there.


1009 on the last one
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Inbound run right now...





1007 to 1009 all the way down. Peppered with 1024/1027 here and there.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


There is a P3 almost there. I don't see SFMR but surface pressures are being displayed.


Inbound run right now...



Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Computer model verification at WU....

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Quoting Grothar:



based on what i am seeing i would tend to agree with levi more at this point. i know the models ran say a westward movement but big weakness is starting to set up in the GOM. i tend to believe he is going to start forming now that rising air is taking hold, and he is going to move very slowly nnw almost due north right at the channel. it's where the weakness in the shear and dry air is setting up. it's caving in the middle.

Link
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Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25458
Quoting cchsweatherman:


There is no recon going out now. Was just stating next time Hurricane Hunters do go in.


There is a P3 almost there. I don't see SFMR but surface pressures are being displayed.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Seems like models are moving Richard more to the West...



that may change. if low pressure invades the gulf he is going to be pulled north to the weakness.
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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.