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 BahaHurican:
Hope it's not snowing between boston and Plymouth.... :o(


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Quoting AEKDB1990:
I was not clear enough in what I said. A track along the Honduran coast will keep intensification down.

yes. this is correct in theory; however weather has a way of doing her own thing.
thus the unpredictable reputation.
and even reputation she repudiates.
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Quoting AEKDB1990:
Well I was thinking Richard might be far south enough to keep his core partly over Honduras and interfere with intensification, SweetHomeBamaGOM. Half a degree of latitude will make a big difference.


oh i see. you meant a more southerly track west. my bad, sorry about the confusion.
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Quoting shikori:


How the hell am I suppose to know that. All I know is that the sofa was beige.

I'd suggest asking Ricardo Montalban, but since he's dead, I'll refer you to a Wiki page.
Soft Corinthian leather
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Wow, Megi really weakened, fortunately, before landfall.
Will be interesting to see what the big feeder band to the NE does once it's cut off from the center of circulation.
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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.


Keep it up, greyelf. Is someone feeding you info on my favorites. Could only be one person on here who would know that. (Looks around suspiciously)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26020


US Navy
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Hope it's not snowing between boston and Plymouth.... :o(
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21917
Ya dont see dat everyday..

Wednesday Night
Clear. Low: -81 °F . Wind WSW 15 mph . Windchill: -121 °F .
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
Quoting shikori:


How the hell am I suppose to know that. All I know is that the sofa was beige.


There was a sofa ?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
Current Conditions

Vostok, Antarctica



Overcast
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Humidity: 37%
Dew Point: -84 °F
Wind: 9 mph from the SSW
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
Quoting aspectre:
TropicalStormRichard's heading had turned westward to dueWest
from its previous heading (10.5degrees west of) SouthWest
TS.Richard's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions decreased to ~2.3mph(~3.8km/h) from its previous moving speed of ~16mph(~25.7km/h)

Due to the effect of rounding to the nearest tenth of a degree upon position changes of a tenth of a degree TS.Richard could have been nearly stationary to travelling slightly more than as fast. The heading is similarly affected, from nearly dueNorth to nearly dueSouth as long as there was also a westward component.

TropicalStormRichard
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
23Oct 12amGMT - 15.8n82.3w - 45mph(~72.4km/h) - 1007mb - NHC.Adv.#8A
23Oct 03amGMT - 15.8n82.4w - 45mph(~72.4km/h) - 1007mb - NHC.Adv.#9

Copy&paste 15.9n80.5w, 15.8n80.4w, 16.0n80.3w, 15.9n80.7w, 15.8n81.1w-15.8n81.3w, 15.8n81.3w-16.2n81.7w, 16.2n81.7w-15.8n82.3w, 15.8n82.3w-15.8n82.4w, pnd, 15.8n82.4w-15.793n84.29w into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the headings and distance travelled over the last 12^hours.

Using straightline projection upon the speed&heading averaged
over the 3hours spanning the last two reported positions:
~54hours from now to BarraPatuca,Honduras

^ The westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection



ty for the update. as i expected it is moving nowhere fast. i don't think it will move very fast until it feels a pull from the north in the form of a trough or weakness.

i would also imagine the reason we are seeing pressures slightly rise but the wind speed pick up is because the lower and mid level closed circulations are aligning. the pressure will drop somewhat rapidly if they align.
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Quoting jasoniscoolman2010xo:
its snowing here


Where?
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Typhoon Megi Swirls on the Chinese Coast with a huge feeder to the East

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
Quoting AEKDB1990:
Richard is looking better on satellite, but I am really wondering if it will go too far south and not become a hurricane. If Richard was at 17 N now I would be a lot more concerned. Just not sure.

'

i doubt it will go south. no steering winds pulling it that way, and nothing really there to make it go south. hurricanes want to go north polar in the northern hemisphere. it takes alot of force to counteract this pull. storms rarely head directly south towards the equator.
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
TropicalStormRichard's heading had turned westward to dueWest
from its previous heading (10.5degrees west of) SouthWest
TS.Richard's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions decreased to ~2.3mph(~3.8km/h) from its previous moving speed of ~16mph(~25.7km/h)

Due to the effect of rounding to the nearest tenth of a degree upon position changes of a tenth of a degree TS.Richard could have been nearly stationary to travelling slightly more than twice as fast.
The heading is similarly affected, could have been from nearly dueNorth to nearly dueSouth as long as there was also a westward component.

TropicalStormRichard
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
23Oct 12amGMT - 15.8n82.3w - 45mph(~72.4km/h) - 1007mb - NHC.Adv.#8A
23Oct 03amGMT - 15.8n82.4w - 45mph(~72.4km/h) - 1007mb - NHC.Adv.#9

Copy&paste 15.9n80.5w, 15.8n80.4w, 16.0n80.3w, 15.9n80.7w, 15.8n81.1w-15.8n81.3w, 15.8n81.3w-16.2n81.7w, 16.2n81.7w-15.8n82.3w, 15.8n82.3w-15.8n82.4w, pnd, 15.8n82.4w-15.793n84.29w into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the headings and distances travelled over the last 12^hours.

Using straightline projection upon the speed&heading averaged
over the 3hours spanning the last two reported positions:
~54hours from now to BarraPatuca,Honduras

^ The westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection
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Was that couch Corinthian leather? Can someone check the google cache.....
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Quoting Grothar:


Go ahead, rip my heart out. Here's one for you, where I lived.





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



Leon Redbone is da' man.
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Quoting Patrap:


Dats good stuff.

Coldest winter I ever spent was a Spring in Northern ,Norway.

Good Beer though.


Somehow that Ringnes a bell with me, Mack!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26020
Quoting belize48:
From Belize City - Here we go again. Watching and waiting
Sure hope this stays under hurricane strength. Since the track looks like it's heading straight for Belize City, there's genuine cause for concern in terms of storm surge and river flooding, IIRC...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21917
Quoting P451:
24Hrs, Richard, WV Imagery



Starting to kick those Tops around the horn.
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Quoting stillwaiting:
my best guess


the track could straighten right towards the water channel if it stays south as the weak low pressure moves into texas. i think that ultimately will determine if this cane stays over water or makes landfall in the yucatan. if it reacts sooner than later towards the weakness to the north it will go towards yucatan landfall. if the pull to the weakness is slower or not as pronounced it will tend to stay waterbound, hooking once the shortwave band sets up over florida later next week.

we shall see, it's going to interesting to watch what happens.
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Quoting stillwaiting:
my best guess
you forgot the big arrow head at the end of the line
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In all it's blazing glory, but I didn't know earth had so many moons.
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Quoting Greyelf:



First Pat, and now you. I get very sentimental when I hear these songs. This is from my time.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26020
Quoting Grothar:


Go ahead, rip my heart out. Here's one for you, where I lived.



Link


Dats good stuff.

Coldest winter I ever spent was a Spring in Northern ,Norway.

Good Beer though.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
638. txjac
reply to post633 ..then being a woman myself I would have passed right by that one anyway ...
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2494
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
I think Sebastian fl must be going on vacation for a week or two. My forecast for the night. Now that's entertainment.
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Quoting Patrap:



Harvest Moon?



Go ahead, rip my heart out. Here's one for you, where I lived.



Link
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26020
Quoting calusakat:
There is a lot we don't know about the winds during a hurricane.

I went through Wilma here in Naples. Winds were pretty steady for most of the morning with the pine trees bending over at 45 degrees many times. Briefly there would be a horrendous burst of wind that would practically have those same trees with their tops touching the ground.

We learned later that those events were due to downbursts that redirected the winds aloft toward the ground.

My brother-in-law was on-site at the Contemporary Hotel at Disney World during Charlie. The wind speeds at ground level were around 100 miles an hour and at the top of the hotel, the winds were approaching 140+ , not gusts mind you, steady winds. If my memory serves me, the top of the Contemporary is about 140 feet.

I am told that the winds are doubled at around 250 feet above ground.

A friend who lived through Andrew, when it hit Naples, noticed that the pine trees seemed to lift the winds aloft and keep the winds somewhere just above the tops of the trees. He surmised that because the damage seemed greatest where the leading southern edge of the storm hit and diminished the further into the trees you went. As a matter of fact, his house was under construction during Andrew and with only tar paper, the house was essentially undamaged. He attributed it to the protection afforded by the 60 foot tall pine trees that populated his 2.5 acre lot.

It would appear that it all depends on the topography of your area. Downbursts not included.


i completely agree. there are numerous variables that equate to property wind damage or a lack thereof. alleyways and constricted air passages around buildings and natural objects can also increase wind speeds dramatically. when pressurized and squeezed through a smaller channel the wind will (and it follows newton's laws) speed up.

microbursts are also major contributor to property damage in a landfalling event. a sustained 30 second microburst of 140 mph in a 100mph hurricane can basically tear off 50% to 100% of a shingles on a given slope of a roof.

barometric pressure also plays a role in property damage. the fluctuations in pressure as winds whip around can cause expansion and separation in building materials. it can literally pull things apart if the barometric pressure changes dramatically over a short duration of time.


vale labs videos on youtube are cool things to watch. check them out.
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Reed, call me a downcaster, but Richard is moving west into land and dry air.
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my best guess
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630. txjac
shikori ..all I saw posted @ 614 was img
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2494
Thats one for the ol photobucket..

er,..for the archives of course.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
CCR and a Full Moon just seems right.

Yup.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
Quoting Patrap:
What were ==,er..we blogging about again?

good question.
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626. txjac
Nice picture Reed
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Quoting BahaHurican:
AN AIR FORCE
RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT REPORTED THAT THE STORM HAS A
LARGE AREA OF LIGHT AND VARIABLE WINDS NEAR THE CENTER.

Does anybody else think we've seen an anamolously large number of discussions with similar comments to this in the formative stages of our WCar invests this season?

And boy... pple just stopped reading after I left the blog... still trying to figure out how 4 cat 1s = 1 cat 4....


The data from the NOAA plane was astounding. The 400mb level temp was -15c and the dew point was -62c. That would be like sitting in a 70 degree day with a 23 degree dewpoint. You would be lit up like a Christmas tree with static. All that getting pumped directly into the engine. Kinda scary when you look at Richard and think, where would he be right now without that. Older GFDL runs come to mind.
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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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