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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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
reedzone its weakening and will weaken even more in the next couple of hrs after landfall which will be in about 90 mins


Yep, it's weakening alright, much more well defined eye, symmetrical convection, feder bands, yeah, it'll be a TS by the next advisory :P

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reedzone its weakening and will weaken even more in the next couple of hrs after landfall which will be in about 90 mins
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53838
Quoting Seastep:


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

Sorry, it is just laughable.

The only thing laughable is that graph in post 174. People familiar with science understand that when looking at trends, one can't cherry pick a particular anomalous measurement--in this instance 1998--and make the case that a trend in either direction is happening. Here's another chart--from those master manipulators at the NOAA--that goes back to 1880. Quick: show the "cooling trend" from 1998 to now...

Click for larger image:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image
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Quoting reedzone:


That is bull by looking at the satellite, the storm is strengthening.



How can a much more well defined eye cause winds to go down, not to mention the structure and convection have improved over the past hour or so. Richard is gearing towards Category 2, but can he make it? We'll see.


I bet if he's not a Category 2 right now (95 mph), he's very close (90 mph).
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Quoting Neapolitan:


Looks to me like they missed the CoC to the east. Let's see how well they do this time; I can't imagine winds have dropped 10-15 mph from just a few hours ago. Could be, though...


That is bull by looking at the satellite, the storm is strengthening.



How can a much more well defined eye cause winds to go down, not to mention the structure and convection have improved over the past hour or so. Richard is gearing towards Category 2, but can he make it? We'll see.
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I doubt Richard has weakened...If anything, he has strengthened.

I'd imagine he's running about 90 mph right now.

I believe recon missed the strongest winds.
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Quoting AEKDB1990:
Wrong again, Lionrock. From the GISS--not from a denier funded by Exxon-Mobil.



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

Sorry, it is just laughable.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Pressure down to 982mb. The eyewall is also closed. As for the 67kt winds, Recon has yet to investigate the entire system, so those may not be entirely accurate, but it is possible that the winds have decreased.

000
URNT12 KNHC 242015
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL192010
A. 24/19:55:00Z
B. 17 deg 04 min N
087 deg 35 min W
C. 850 mb 1270 m
D. 67 kt
E. 046 deg 9 nm
F. 139 deg 82 kt
G. 046 deg 10 nm
H. 982 mb
I. 17 C / 1524 m
J. 21 C / 1521 m
K. 10 C / NA
L. CLOSED WALL
M. C20
N. 12345 / 8
O. 0.02 / 2 nm
P. AF306 1019A RICHARD OB 05
MAX FL WIND 82 KT NE QUAD 19:51:50Z
;


Looks to me like they missed the CoC to the east. Let's see how well they do this time; I can't imagine winds have dropped 10-15 mph from just a few hours ago. Could be, though...
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Pressure down to 982mb. The eyewall is also closed. As for the 67kt winds, Recon has yet to investigate the entire system, so those may not be entirely accurate, but it is possible that the winds have decreased.

000
URNT12 KNHC 242015
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL192010
A. 24/19:55:00Z
B. 17 deg 04 min N
087 deg 35 min W
C. 850 mb 1270 m
D. 67 kt
E. 046 deg 9 nm
F. 139 deg 82 kt
G. 046 deg 10 nm
H. 982 mb
I. 17 C / 1524 m
J. 21 C / 1521 m
K. 10 C / NA
L. CLOSED WALL
M. C20
N. 12345 / 8
O. 0.02 / 2 nm
P. AF306 1019A RICHARD OB 05
MAX FL WIND 82 KT NE QUAD 19:51:50Z
;
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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.
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x
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53838
Data from Recon reveals that the strongest winds are located in the northern eyewall.
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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: 9814
Quoting shikori:


There is a myth that storms with female names are normally very powerful.
We will see if that myth comes true with what the models are showing.
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982 mb extrapolated with 82 knot flight level winds.
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201. IKE
Belize, BH (Airport)
Updated: 1 min 46 sec ago
Rain Showers
75 °F
Showers Rain
Humidity: 94%
Dew Point: 73 °F
Wind: 13 mph from the NNW
Pressure: 29.77 in (Rising)
Visibility: 6.2 miles
UV: 5 out of 16
Clouds:
Mostly Cloudy 500 ft
Scattered Clouds 1600 ft
Mostly Cloudy 4000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 16 ft
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Quoting AEKDB1990:
Spencer is a board member of the George C. Marshall institute, which is funded by Exxon-Mobil.
How tired.

And many energy companies fund wind energy studies. those must all be bogus, by your insinuation.

And Dr. Jeff Masters was once funded by Ford Motor Company. While you must presume that air pollution study conducted by the good doc was skewed in the direction of ford-is-wonderful, I expect that actual scientific study was carried out.
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197. IKE
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Looks like possible Shary could be very scary!
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Quoting LTLROX:
Why would anyone post a chart showing that there has been a continuous above average period the last ten years and claim the earth is in a cooling period? Oh I see now. Belief is more important to the deniers than fact. For them manipulating facts or just plain lying about them is a political agenda, not science.


Proof that evolution CAN go in reverse.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Yup. October 2004, October 1999, and October 1993 all had 5 Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays.


But the statistic is for 5 FRIDAYs, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. The every 823 years is a myth. It actually happened last Jan. 2010 and will occur again in July 2011 and March 2013.
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We are finally getting some soaking rain here in lower AL.
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Any word from Roatangardner? Im guessing minor damage at most...
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Why would anyone post a chart showing that there has been a continuous above average period the last ten years and claim the earth is in a cooling period? Oh I see now. Belief is more important to the deniers than fact. For them manipulating facts or just plain lying about them is a political agenda, not science.
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189. wial
Quoting AEKDB1990:
Spencer is a board member of the George C. Marshall institute, which is funded by Exxon-Mobil.


Well, I guess he feeds his family that way, at the cost of discouraging response to the greatest emergency the human world has ever known. I'm always amazed at how meteorologists can question the findings of climate scientists. Do they think human influence on weather is like a baby playing in a bathtub that never spills? I wish I could sacrifice my sense of truth to feeling safe despite all evidence to the contrary like that!

I wonder how many future lives will be lost per paid denier? Ten million? One hundred million? It's also measurable in species extinctions. But at least they feed their families behind white picket fences.
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Quoting CosmicEvents:

Bob.....As always a great update on your blog and another forecast nailed. Another season.
You all should keep Weatherguy03 in mind for next season. He's the best we have on WU. Has been doing this for 6 years now. God willing and if Bob wants and has the time, he'll do it again next year. I hope.
...i second that!!
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The 12z ECMWF has jumped aboard with the development of an intense tropical cyclone over the eastern Caribbean in a few days. What is depicted is that the ITCZ lifts northward due to upward motion of the MJO being present in the Atlantic. In the process of it lifting north, a disturbance detaches from it and develops in the Caribbean. This is not at all unlikely since pressures in the Caribbean are likely to be low and environmental conditions marginal.

Development begins in about 4 days; the system becomes a hurricane in the Caribbean in about 8/9 days.
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165 Neapolitan "ATCF has Richard up to 75 knots (85mph)/988mb:
AL, 19, 2010102418, , BEST, 0, 171N, 875W, 75, 988, HU, 64, NEQ, 15, 10, 10, 15, 1011, 130, 15, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, RICHARD, D
"

169 CybrTeddy "That's old. Not only is the intensity 85 right now, note the coordinates. They are the same as the 2 pm advisory."

The ATCF and the NHC.Advisory teams are often running different sets of coordinates.
eg For Mathew, they strongly diverged at the northern Honduran coast:
ATCF took the storm more westward nearing the Gulf of Tehuantepec in the Pacific.
NHC.Adv. took the storm more northwestward, toward the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico.

And in the central CampecheState highlands, the NHC.Adv decided it had been following the wrong spoor, and shot a line westsouthwestward ~60degrees off their previous heading to a point that nearly intersected the next*ATCF heading. Then followed the ATCF lead from there.

Interestingly enough, shortly thereafter, Nicole popped up about where NHC.Adv probably lost Matthew and punted a coordinate offa their concensus model. I suspect that the something that NHC.Adv was following was Matthew's center of circulation (which transgendered into Nicole), while ATCF was following Matthew's center of convection.

* ATCF does the 00GMT, 06GMT, 12GMT, and 18GMT.
NHC.Adv does the 03GMT, 09GMT, 15GMT, and 21GMT when they're not running the 3hour updates.
So an NHC.Adv intercept can occur between two successive ATCF positions.
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12z ECMWF is on board with a Caribbean development.



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Quoting weatherguy03:


Link

Current shear. Not going away anytime soon.

Bob.....As always a great update on your blog and another forecast nailed. Another season.
You all should keep Weatherguy03 in mind for next season. He's the best we have on WU. Has been doing this for 6 years now. God willing and if Bob wants and has the time, he'll do it again next year. I hope.
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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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