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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Dat be allda religion I'm a gonna discuss on this blog tho...
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Removed satellite picture!!
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Quoting Bordonaro:

The answer is this, " He is God and he does not have to tell us why. He does everything for a reason, WAY past our understanding"!!



+ a zillion
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



I'm a christian I'll ask for you Nea. He doesn't always answer me tho.

The answer is this, " He is God and he does not have to tell us why. He does everything for a reason, WAY past our understanding"!!
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122. txjac
Rotangardner was on here earlier. She has no electricity at this time but once restored she will log back in and update us.
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as for the storm coming to belize i beleive he will take this evil vision from my sight very soon
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Quoting Bordonaro:

I will let you ask him that question!!!



I'm a christian I'll ask for you Nea. He doesn't always answer me tho.
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Any word heard from our friends on Roatan and other islands?
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Quoting Neapolitan:

While you two were chatting, did you ask him why he took aim at Belize yet again? ;-)
TO piss off all those fla wishcasters

hahahahahahahahahaha
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Quoting Neapolitan:

While you two were chatting, did you ask him why he took aim at Belize yet again? ;-)

I will let you ask him that question!!!
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that sinkhole pic was not in CA,the signs in the background are in asian!!!
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Quoting Bordonaro:

God has your back! I had a meeting with him and he wants you to stay strong. You will ALL be fine!

While you two were chatting, did you ask him why he took aim at Belize yet again? ;-)
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19L/H/R/C1
NEARING LANDFALL
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HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
STORM SURGE...A STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS
3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS NEAR AND TO THE NORTH OF WHERE
THE CENTER CROSSES THE COAST IN BELIZE. NEAR THE COAST...THE SURGE
WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE WAVES.

RAINFALL...RICHARD IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF
3 TO 6 INCHES OVER THE BAY ISLANDS...BELIZE...AND THE SOUTHERN
YUCATAN PENINSULA...WITH MAXIMUM STORM TOTAL AMOUNTS OF AROUND 10
INCHES. ADDITIONAL RAINS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER
NORTHERN HONDURAS. THESE RAINS COULD PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING
FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES...ESPECIALLY IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE BEGINNING TO SPREAD ALONG THE
COASTS OF BELIZE AND SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO...WITH HURRICANE CONDITIONS
EXPECTED ALONG THE COAST OF BELIZE LATER THIS AFTERNOON.
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Quoting Bordonaro:
000
WTNT34 KNHC 241740
TCPAT4
BULLETIN
HURRICANE RICHARD INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 15A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL192010
100 PM CDT SUN OCT 24 2010

...RICHARD HEADED FOR BELIZE...


SUMMARY OF 100 PM CDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.1N 87.5W
ABOUT 55 MI...85 KM ESE OF BELIZE CITY
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...85 MPH...140 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...988 MB...29.18 INCHES

Landfall in about 4 hours and 15 minutes
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Pressure down to 988.
...RICHARD HEADED FOR BELIZE...
1:00 PM CDT Sun Oct 24
Location: 17.1°N 87.5°W
Max sustained: 85 mph
Moving: WNW at 13 mph
Min pressure: 988 mb
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000
WTNT34 KNHC 241740
TCPAT4
BULLETIN
HURRICANE RICHARD INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 15A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL192010
100 PM CDT SUN OCT 24 2010

...RICHARD HEADED FOR BELIZE...


SUMMARY OF 100 PM CDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.1N 87.5W
ABOUT 55 MI...85 KM ESE OF BELIZE CITY
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...85 MPH...140 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...988 MB...29.18 INCHES
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It looks like conditions are going downhill rapidly in coastal Belize. http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/Callum/1/show.html
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Quoting belizeit:
I live between cayo and belmopan we are probably going to be in the soutern eye wall


About right here?



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Landfall will likely occur between the cities of Dangriga and Belize city after sunset.

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19L/H/R/C1
MARK
16.85N/87.53W
APPROACHING LANDFALL
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Quoting JSleeper:
That is a very tiny storm!

Another in the "shrimp series", such as Bonnie, Karl and Paula!!
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That is a very tiny storm!
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Approx where in belize are you... so I can add you to my map
I live between cayo and belmopan we are probably going to be in the soutern eye wall
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Quoting shikori:


If anything models wouldn't pick up on it unless it develops, they might be labeling it as outflow.



You can see it is separate from Richard.
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Quoting belizeit:
God be whith us

God has your back! I had a meeting with him and he wants you to stay strong. You will ALL be fine!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
he always is
+1000
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
cold artic outflow haven't said them words for 8 months wow winter must be coming


Your aware of the blog rules about swearing right!!!

Taz, report him
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Quoting belizeit:
God be with us
he always is
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Quoting belizeit:
God be whith us
Everyone in Belize, N. Honduras and Mexico is in my prayers.
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#76**Is Richard jogging NW ward now??? Take a look at the satellite animation closely and let me know if you see it!
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Quoting belizeit:
God be whith us


Approx where in belize are you... so I can add you to my map
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Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
whats that blob in central carribbean
I was wondering the same thing.
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God be whith us
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cold artic outflow haven't said them words for 8 months wow winter must be coming
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
big fish is smart he stays close to water by living on the island it snows but not as much as on the mainland side of BC


ROFL, your right... Victoria is in the rain shadow of the Olympic mountain range. Very little rain or snow compared to anywhere else in Canada.
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whats that blob in central carribbean
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15 Tazmanian "Do you ever look at the updates? It's a hurricane now, not a TS."

Fixed. Thank you for the correction.
Mostly I just copy&paste my last report, then erase&replace new info over old.
And when I do it before my wake-up cup of coffee, some otherwise absurdly obvious failures to erase&replace stomp past my notice.
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unless of coarse you get a cold artic outflow coming down from the ne over the mountains
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75. Bordonaro 5:17 PM GMT on October 24, 2010
78. KEEPEROFTHEGATE 5:19 PM GMT on October 24, 2010

You two are not listening....
No snow in Victoria... sorry
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Quoting Bordonaro:

Oh yes you are and plenty of it!!!!
big fish is smart he stays close to water by living on the island it snows but not as much as on the mainland side of BC
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Quoting Orcasystems:


We aren't doing snow this year.. clashes with my new golf shoes
gonna be a wet and windy season for ya this year big fish lots of snow inland as well may even get some very cold temps from time to time la nina not good for west coast so i hear
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NOAA has yet again increased the odds of something forming in the southern Caribbean. Not much in the way of model support yet, but the odds keep going up regardless:

Click for larger image:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image
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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.