Hurricane Richard bears down on Belize

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:35 PM GMT on October 24, 2010

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Data from an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft confirms that Richard has intensified to hurricane strength, as it bears down on the coast of Belize. At 7:30am CST, the aircraft measured surface winds of 85 mph. Winds at their 5,000 foot flight level were 97 mph, qualifying Richard as the 10th hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. This year is now tied for sixth place for most hurricanes in an Atlantic hurricane season. This year's 17 named storms also ranks 6th most in history. Atlantic hurricane season records go back to 1851. Richard's center passed just north of the Honduras' Bay Islands this morning, bringing winds of 46 mph, gusting to 58 mph, to the Roatan Airport. Winds were clocked at 49 mph, gusting to 69 mph, at Calabash Bight on Roatan Island.

The latest 8am CST eye report from the Hurricane Hunters noted that Richard had formed a nearly complete eyewall, with a gap in the southwest side. Radar images from the Belize radar also showed this gap, but the gap closed at 9am CST, and Richard now has a complete eyewall, which will promote more rapid intensification. Recent satellite imagery shows a symmetrical, well-organized hurricane with respectable low level spiral banding, and upper level outflow improving in all quadrants. Richard has now walled itself off from the dry air to the storm's west, as seen on water vapor satellite loops.


Figure 1. The eye of Richard is very prominent in this radar image from the Belize radar taken at 9:15am CST 10/24/10. Image credit: Belize Meteorological Service.

Forecast for Richard
The latest set of 12am CST (6Z) model runs are in excellent agreement with Richard's track, taking the enter of the storm inland over Belize between 4pm - 9pm CST tonight. The latest radar animations from the Belize radar indicate that Belize City will experience a portion of the eyewall of Richard, and residents of Belize City can expect a 2 - 4 hour period of hurricane force winds to begin between 4pm - 6pm CST this evening. Tropical storm force winds of 39+ mph should arrive at the coast between 2pm - 4pm CST this afternoon. A good way to estimate these arrival times is using the wundermap with the "hurricane" layer turned on and the "wind radius" and "forecast" boxes checked. Richard is in a very favorable environment for intensification, with low wind shear between 5 - 10 knots, and warm water temperatures of 29 - 29.5°C. Given these conditions, and the fact that the eyewall is is now fully formed, Richard will probably undergo a period of rapid intensification that could take it to Category 2 strength with 100 mph winds at landfall this evening. Once inland, Richard's small size and relatively slow forward speed of 5 - 10 mph on Monday will lead to substantial weakening as it crosses the Yucatan Peninsula. The storm will probably be a tropical depression when it emerges over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday--if it survives the crossing. If Richard does survive the crossing, high wind shear over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and Wednesday should keep the storm from intensifying. Richard should dissipate by Wednesday, before affecting any other land areas.

Invest 90L
A tropical wave (Invest 90L) centered 600 miles northwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa is encountering a very high 40 - 60 knots of wind shear. The shear is predicted to drop to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, Monday through Wednesday. This may give 90L the opportunity to develop, and the NOGAPS model is calling for 90L to develop into a tropical depression by mid-week. NHC is giving 90L a 10% of developing into a tropical depression by Tuesday.

Next update
I'll have an update on Monday morning at the latest.

Our weather extremes expert Christopher C. Burt has a very interesting post today on the hottest temperatures ever measured on Earth.

Jeff Masters

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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
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325. 7544
Quoting weatherlover94:
GFS predicts new development in the eastern carribian in about 120 hours or so


you mean this where does it end up lolLink
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hey guys FYI that disturbed weather ESE of Richard, South of Cayman, East of Hon/Nic WSW of of Jamaica has that Upper level high that was on Richard is now moving toward that Disturbance and also it has some very weak vort at 850
and very little at 700 and good amount of divergence but although little Convergence but it need to be watch
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Quoting shikori:


richard landfall imminent as we speak
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GFS predicts new development in the eastern carribian in about 120 hours or so
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A regional SA storm.... :)

Quoting shikori:


???
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
???? Wilma did not hit that island. Wilma made landfall over Cozumel, in the NE Yucatan.



She didn't go near Belize.


i think if wilma would had stayed a cat 2 with winds of 100 mph was what it was when it came off the Yucatan and then hit Florida as a 100mph cat 2 the effects would not have been as bad with a 125 mph cat 3 when it made landfall it was almost a cat 4 5mph more and it would have been a cat 4
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Don't worry, someone gave me an answer.... Debe ser una tormenta chilenaperuanabrazilena en el ecuador...

Quoting Tazmanian:



i cant tell the earth looks funny can you may be under line what you are trying too show us plzs
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting KoritheMan:


I'd place the odds of that happening near zero. There's never been a tropical cyclone ignited by a detached rainband.
I wonder how far a rainband could actually travel from the center of a storm?
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting Seastep:


Unbelievable. It's a satellite (a machine) that does not care about politics nor where funding comes from.


Doesn't matter, the data which is gathered will always be manipulated by humans, in the way they want to see it.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Sorry to ask again, but does Anyone knows what is that big storm, or whatever it's called, over Peru, NW Brazil, N Chile area???



i cant tell the earth looks funny can you may be under line what you are trying too show us plzs
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hey guys sorry for being off topic but I was just watching NCIS LA and on the last bit of this show them two agents where is Grand Cayman and I was saying the same time boy I never new Grand Cayman have mountains and harbors that look like the ones that you would find in Miami
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What calls my attention, is the area it covers, and the amount of convection.....it's at least 3 times Richard.... so close to the equator....
Quoting CosmicEvents:
I see you've asked the question a few times. Apparantly nobody has the answer you're looking for.
.
I'm gonna' go with the obvious....it's an area of low pressure creating convection.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting sunlinepr:
Sorry to ask again, but does Anyone knows what is that big storm, or whatever it's called, over Peru, NW Brazil, N Chile area???
I see you've asked the question a few times. Apparantly nobody has the answer you're looking for.
.
I'm gonna' go with the obvious....it's an area of low pressure creating convection.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Sorry to ask again, but does Anyone knows what is that big storm, or whatever it's called, over Peru, NW Brazil, N Chile area???
heat low
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looks a little less intense now
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Sorry to ask again, but does Anyone knows what is that big storm, or whatever it's called, over Peru, NW Brazil, N Chile area???
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27211
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Richard.

Funny, 5 years ago almost to date that little island was under the eye of a hurricane. Wilma.
???? Wilma did not hit that island. Wilma made landfall over Cozumel, in the NE Yucatan.



She didn't go near Belize.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Don't understand those airport readings looks like a classic Cat2 on radar. Wind field must be very small. i think they got lucky as in the last few frames it finally decided where to put it's eye.
One thing I thought was kind of cute was on last night's 11 pm bulleton They said "Little richard getting better organized" That would've been funny if would've said tooty fruity or good Golly miss molly. That sounds like something Forecaster Franklin would've done!
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hey thanks abunch for that link jeff,if we ever get a tc here in srq,your more than welcome to feature my livestream!!!
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300. JLPR2
Quoting JeffMasters:
We have a personal weather station on one of the islands offshore of Belize that reported sustained winds of 44 mph this hour. The site also has a webcam that shows the conditions pretty dramatically.

Jeff Masters




Looks intense...
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
299. mbjjm
now making landfall
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thanks doc hopefully the cam don't blow away in the wind or flooded out in the rain
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Quoting weatherlover94:
i see we now have hurricane richard


You must have been napping, too!!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27211
Quoting emcf30:

Nothing much going on. The satelites are programmed to give wrong data. Someone in Florida has lost trees and seedlings dur to climate change, religion was the main topic this morning, and oh yea, we have a strong Cat 1 possible low end cat 2 hurricane about to make landfall in a couple of hours.


Thanks, glad I took my nap! If I want arguments, Mrs. Grothar does just fine.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27211
the area south ofcayman is a surface trough of lower pressures,doubt anything will form,but its nnot impossible,just a wait and watch,imo richies about a hr from landfal just south of belize city as a 90mph canif he didnt speed up.ovwr the last 12hrs ,we could uv had a mjor imo
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Belize City WunderMap®
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Quoting CybrTeddy:

Funny, 5 years ago almost to date that little island was under the eye of a hurricane. Wilma.


True. And just two days shy of four months ago, Alex made landfall in Belize at the almost identical spot; Alex was located at about 17.3N/88.0W, which is within a dozen or so miles of where Richard is currently located.
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i see we now have hurricane richard
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287. JeffMasters (Admin)
We have a personal weather station on one of the islands offshore of Belize that reported sustained winds of 44 mph this hour. The site also has a webcam that shows the conditions pretty dramatically.

Jeff Masters


I'll be back later! good luck people of belize!
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Lil' Richard RAAMB page

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hurricane hunters now leaving Richard
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
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Quoting Grothar:


Yeah, but knowing where you are when you wake up helps, too. Anything new, or are people still arguing?

Nothing much going on. The satelites are programmed to give wrong data. Someone in Florida has lost trees and seedlings dur to climate change, religion was the main topic this morning, and oh yea, we have a strong Cat 1 possible low end cat 2 hurricane about to make landfall in a couple of hours.
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Quoting IKE:
Belize, BH (Airport)
Updated: 17 min 57 sec ago
Light Rain Showers
75 °F
Light Showers Rain
Humidity: 94%
Dew Point: 73 °F
Wind: 18 mph from the North
Pressure: 29.73 in (Falling)
Visibility: 6.2 miles
UV: 3 out of 16
Clouds:
Mostly Cloudy 300 ft
Scattered Clouds 1600 ft
Mostly Cloudy 4000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 16 ft
those winds are wicked and that light rain must be something else
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Here's an almost meaningless stat, but it might be interesting to some of the other weather nerds out there:

In 2005, the 'R' storm--Rita--was also the tenth hurricane of the season. Prior to that, there'd been four hurricanes that topped out at Cat 1, one at Cat 2, one at Cat 3, two at Cat 4, and two at Cat 5. By comparison, 2010 has had three Cat 1 hurricanes (counting Richard), two at Cat 2, one at Cat 3, and four at Cat 4. That means, of course, that 2005, like 2010, had 7 tropical storms by the time 'R' was reached (though 2010 had one extra TC by then, with two TDs that didn't make it, contrasted with 2005's one by that point). [FWIW, 2005's fifth major didn't come until the 17th named storm; 2010 reached five majors with only the 11th.]


It is interesting, actually, but I bet Abbott & Costello could have used it one of their routines.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27211
Richard.

Funny, 5 years ago almost to date that little island was under the eye of a hurricane. Wilma.
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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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