Hurricane Richard bears down on Belize

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

Share this Blog
3
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 27 - 1

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 — Blog Index

This year October has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays.

This happens once every 823 years.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127512
Quoting sunlinepr:
Will this be Richards grave?


Yes Richard is going to be disassembled within 24 hours of landfall.

2010 ATL Hurricane Season is 17-10-5!!

Does any of the computer models point out another Caribbean storm over the next 7-10 days??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Will this be Richard's grave?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
An approximate landfall for this storm would be about 7-8PM AST, give or take 1-2 hours.
it will be much sooner than that maybe by 5 pm edt to landfall look at image i posted its already nearing landfall
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
x
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:

EWRC ???


No, just a ragged eyewall.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
An approximate landfall for this storm would be about 7-8PM AST, give or take 1-2 hours.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31409
Anyone knows what is that big storm over Peru, NW Brazil, N Chile area???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
EWRC ???
(EyeWall Replacement Cycle)

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
thanks for update doc rich may be the last hurricane for the season


Then again.. maybe not..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
thanks for update doc rich may be the last hurricane for the season
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
it was that link that says Rich text that did it, I WONT BE TOUCHING THAT BUTTON AGAIN.


Being as curious as I am, I was the first one to experience that, about a month and a half ago.

I hated it too...Just reset your browsers preferences,
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31409
Quoting aspectre:
TropicalStormRichard's heading had turned westward to (10..7degrees west of) WestNorthWest from its previous heading of (3.3degrees west of) WestNorthWest
TS.Richard's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions had creased to ~11.3mph(~18.2km/h) from its previous travel speed of ~21mph(~33.8km/h)
TropicalStormRichard
23Oct 03pmGMT - 15.9n83.5w - 65mph(~104.5km/h) - 1000mb - #11
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 - NHC.Adv.#12A
24Oct 03amGMT - 16.3n84.6w - 70mph(~112.6km/h) - - 995mb - #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
24Oct 03pmGMT - 16.9n86.9w - 95mph(~152.9km/h) - - 991mb - #15

Copy&paste 15.9n83.5w, 16.0n83.8w, 16.1n84.2w, 16.2n84.4w, 16.3n84.6w-16.4n85.1w, 16.4n85.1w-16.5n85.5w, 16.5n85.5w-16.8n86.4w, 16.8n86.4w-16.9n86.9w, pnd, 16.9n86.9w-17.18n88.3w 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:
~7&1/2 hours from now to near MullinsRiver,Belize

^ The westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection




do you evere look at the updatess its a hurrcane now now a TS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Doc. Richard's eye looks great on radar.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Beautiful morning here in Hopkins, Belize. Very light winds, intermittent showers, and, although overcast, still quite bright. Looks like the track has moved slightly north putting us on the better side of things.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Dr. Masters. I think there will be 2 more named storms and then the season is over and done with.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
it was that link that says Rich text that did it, I WONT BE TOUCHING THAT BUTTON AGAIN.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1002
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
CaicosRetiredSailor - thanks that worked!
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1002
HurricaneRichard's heading had turned westward to (10.7degrees west of) WestNorthWest from its previous heading of (3.3degrees west of) WestNorthWest
H.Richard's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions had creased to ~11.3mph(~18.2km/h) from its previous travel speed of ~21mph(~33.8km/h)
TropicalStormRichard
23Oct 03pmGMT - 15.9n83.5w - 65mph(~104.5km/h) - 1000mb - #11
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 - NHC.Adv.#12A
24Oct 03amGMT - 16.3n84.6w - 70mph(~112.6km/h) - - 995mb - #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

Copy&paste 15.9n83.5w, 16.0n83.8w, 16.1n84.2w, 16.2n84.4w, 16.3n84.6w-16.4n85.1w, 16.4n85.1w-16.5n85.5w, 16.5n85.5w-16.8n86.4w, 16.8n86.4w-16.9n86.9w, pnd, 16.9n86.9w-17.18n88.3w 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:
~7&1/2 hours from now to near MullinsRiver,Belize

^ The westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
From previous:

Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
i have another box below comment box, i cliked on the button on the far right, for some unknown reason and this is what happened.


At top of this page click on settings
then select page preferences
then reset page preferences to default
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thx Doc.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4927
Thanks for the update, Dr M!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks, doc.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ReliefWEB

OCHA Situation Report No. 1 - Myanmar - Cyclone Giri
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127512

Viewing: 27 - 1

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 — Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.