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 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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175. IKE
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Fixing to get hit dead on here in about 4 hours. See you on the other side!
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170. 7544
ricard getting strongr at this hour
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Quoting 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,


That's old. Not only is the intensity 85 right now, note the coordinates. They are the same as the 2 pm advisory.
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Quoting AEKDB1990:


Not true. It happened in 1993, 1999, 2004 and it will happen again in 2021


Yup. October 2004, October 1999, and October 1993 all had 5 Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays.
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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,
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19L/H/R/C1
NEARING LANDFALL
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting shikori:
An example of the uneducated masses
"Chicken Little is at again. The talking heads on the Weather Channel can hardly wait for the next disaster. The oil spill in the Gulf didn't pan out, so now they'll take what they can get. By the way, what happened to the doom-and-gloom forcast put out earlier this year? I thought "global warming" was supposed to kill at least half of us by now. They were wrong AGAIN, but will NEVER admit it. Political agenda wins every time."

Wow! Definitely a quote from one of the uneducated. The "oil spill didn't pan out". What does that mean? It's an ongoing disaster that's decimated livelihoods, and its effects will be with us for decades. A) No reasonable person ever said that GW would kill "half of us by now", and B) the fact that it hasn't in no way diminshes the reality of it. And what happened to the "doom and gloom" forecast? Seems that, storm-wise, it's panned out. Dozens of lives lost, tens of thousands without homes, billions of dollars in property damages; is that not enough to qualify as "doom and gloom" to the affected?
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Quoting weatherguy03:


Link

Current shear. Not going away anytime soon.
I was looking at the ones who show the different color scale 72 hours in advance.
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158. 7544
he may stall
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156. 7544
rich on his way to cat 2 soon
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On the latest visible image, Richard is looking like the quintessential category 1 hurricane. The highest sustained winds, according to the official recording station on Roatan, were 46 mph, so hopefully the damage won't be too bad.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:


I wouldn't mind it if I had the logon info!


So would I.
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Quoting scott39:
Am I looking at the wind shear maps wrong for Tues and Wed in the GOM where Richard is heading??? It doesnt look unfavorable like the forecasters our saying.


Link

Current shear. Not going away anytime soon.
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47 scott39 "It seems like 10 day models always show DOOM!"

Well yeah, how else do you expect the scriptwriters to keep their audience?
From black&white movie serials to televion season's endings, it's always been cliffhangers.
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post 143?
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149. txjac
Poor Mexico, the people that I know in VeraCruz are still recovering from the last storm that hit them ...hope that it stays away from VeraCruz
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Quoting Fla55Native:
The hydromet.gov.bz is obviously a link to a Belize government site.

The pop-up has stopped.

The telephone number to the Belize Weather Bureau is 501-225-2054. I called and there was no answer!
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Looks like the COC got about 20miles from Roatan, prob pretty windy there. Last night thought Richard might go further North like maybe Chetumal Mexico.
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Quoting Fla55Native:
The hydromet.gov.bz is obviously a link to a Belize government site.


I wouldn't mind it if I had the logon info!
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The hydromet.gov.bz is obviously a link to a Belize government site.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Quoting stormpetrol:

Once again gotta take my hat to the NHC they performed excellent with Richard's track and intensity IMO. Kudos to them!!


Gotta respectfully disagree go back 96 hrs and see where Richard was forecast to be at this point in time.



I took my own advice and went took a look from the 1st advisory. Not as bad as I thought. So kindly ignore that one!
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Am I looking at the wind shear maps wrong for Tues and Wed in the GOM where Richard is heading??? It doesnt look unfavorable like the forecasters our saying.
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142. 7544
lloks like richie is going nw now the front coming down when he gets in the gulf will it turn him ne ?tia
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Hey Bord! It started happening right after you posted those sat pics. At least that is my best guess regarding the pop-up.

The Satellite pic is gone. It was a NASA picture.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Any one else getting a log on window to Hyromet.gov when they refresh the blog? It just started in the last 1 min or so.
yes its for the belize weather service i think
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Hey Bord! It started happening right after you posted those sat pics. At least that is my best guess regarding the pop-up.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Any one else getting a log on window to Hyromet.gov when they refresh the blog? It just started in the last 1 min or so.

Me too!!!
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HurricaneRichard's heading had turned northward to (3.3degrees west of) WestNorthWest from its previous heading of (10.7degrees west of) WestNorthWest
H.Richard's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions had increased to ~14mph(~22.5km/h) from its previous travel speed of ~11.3mph(~18.2km/h)
TropicalStormRichard
23Oct 06pmGMT - 16.0n83.8w - 65mph(~104.5km/h) - 1000mb - #11A
23Oct 09pmGMT - 16.1n84.2w - 65mph(~104.5km/h) - 1000mb - #12
24Oct 12amGMT - 16.2n84.4w - 65mph(~104.5km/h) - 1000mb - #12A
24Oct 03amGMT - 16.3n84.6w - 70mph(~112.6km/h) - - 995mb - NHC.Adv.#13
24Oct 06amGMT - 16.4n85.1w - 70mph(~112.6km/h) - - 995mb - #13A
24Oct 09amGMT - 16.5n85.5w - 70mph(~112.6km/h) - - 995mb - #14
24Oct 12pmGMT - 16.8n86.4w - 70mph(~112.6km/h) - - 990mb - #14A
HurricaneRichard
24Oct 03pmGMT - 16.9n86.9w - 85mph(~136.8km/h) - - 991mb - #15
24Oct 06pmGMT - 17.1n87.5w - 85mph(~136.8km/h) - - 988mb - #15A

Copy&paste 16.0n83.8w, 16.1n84.2w, 16.2n84.4w, 16.3n84.6w, 16.4n85.1w-16.5n85.5w, 16.5n85.5w-16.8n86.4w, 16.8n86.4w-16.9n86.9w, 16.9n86.9w-17.1n87.5w, pnd, 17.1n87.5w-17.36n88.28w 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:
~3&1/2 hours from now to NorthernLagoon near BelizeCity,Belize
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Quoting txjac:
Rotangardner was on here earlier. She has no electricity at this time but once restored she will log back in and update us.
thanks, she was on last night waiting for richarg, anyone know how close the center got to roatan?
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WEATHER ANALYSIS & FORECASTING
Philip Goldson International Airport Tel: 501-225-2054/ 2011
PO Box 717 Fax: 501-225-2101

Belize City, BELIZE Web //www.hydromet.gov.bz

Tropical storm Richard has strengthened to a Hurricane

Hydromet Bulletin #11

12:00pm Sunday 24th October 2010

The Government of Belize has issued a Hurricane Warning for the Coast of Belize. (PHASE III)

At 9:00am Hurricane Richard was centered near Lat. 17.1° N Lon. 86.9° W or about 9miles south-southeast of Half Moon Caye, 64miles south-southeast of San Pedro (Ambergris Caye), 49miles east by north of Dangriga and 54miles east-southeast of Belize City. Richard was moving to west-northwest at 13mph. On the forecast track Richard should reach the coast of Belize this evening with the center passing just south of Belize City. Maximum sustained winds were 85 mph, with higher gusts. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 15mls from the center and Tropical Storm force winds extend outward to 105 miles from the center. Some additional strengthening is expected before Richard moves inland.

Local Weather:

Weather conditions will continue to deteriorate today as Hurricane Richard approaches the country. Expect overcast skies, gusty surface winds and several periods of incessant rain showers and several thunderstorms increasing as Richard heads closer to the country. Operators of sea vessels should remain in safe harbor.

Hazards

Expect hurricane conditions later today. These conditions could cause damage to poorly constructed homes, uproot trees and shrubs, flood streets and highways. Storm surge could raise water levels to 3 to 5 ft above normal tide levels. The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves likely to produce coastal flooding and beach erosion.

Risk of Flooding

Torrential rainfall is expected over the country of Belize during the next few days with rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches, and possibly up to 12 inches over the higher elevations of southern and central areas. There is a very high risk of flooding and flash floods especially over the south and low lying coastal areas.

Gordon / Gentle
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134. IKE
***Pop-up box!***
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Quoting stormpetrol:

Once again gotta take my hat to the NHC they performed excellent with Richard's track and intensity IMO. Kudos to them!!


Gotta respectfully disagree go back 96 hrs and see where Richard was forecast to be at this point in time.
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131. IKE
Belize, BH (Airport)
Updated: 8 min 34 sec ago
Heavy Rain Showers
79 °F
Heavy Showers Rain
Humidity: 94%
Dew Point: 77 °F
Wind: 9 mph from the NNW
Pressure: 29.86 in (Rising)
Visibility: 0.6 miles
UV: 7 out of 16
Clouds:
Mostly Cloudy 500 ft
Mostly Cloudy 4000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 26000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 16 ft
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130. txjac
Yes, I'm getting the same pop up box
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Any one else getting a log on window to Hyromet.gov when they refresh the blog? It just started in the last 1 min or so.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Dat be allda religion I'm a gonna discuss on this blog tho...

I understand! If anyone has any questions WU mail me on that subject.
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Dat be allda religion I'm a gonna discuss on this blog tho...
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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.