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 SuperTyphoonLionrock:



That is Dead Kennedys and the footage from the Bohemian Grove


Dead Kennedy's. Sounds family oriented.
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Quoting geepy86:
lol


Have you studied any other languages?
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
1. I did not post that loop....2. We all make mistakes in spelling.


Ah, yours was a closeup or is that close-up? Sorry, Geoff. Guess I posted the wrong one. English is by far the most difficult language to spell. That is why I never correct anyone. It is done far to often on the blog.
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Quoting Grothar:


No, it is easy to teach, but difficult to learn.
lol
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Lionrock..Seems like you are a fan of the KKK.
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Quoting geepy86:
Is it hard to teach another language?


No, it is easy to teach, but difficult to learn.
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
GeoffreyWPB says "Who Dat Say De Gonnna Beat Dem Saints? Clevland thats who"

Es kommt mir vor, dass Saints ich Heimweh Cleveland habe!


Almost got it Kerry, but the sentence does not make too much sense. What are you trying to say? Maybe I can help.
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1. I did not post that loop....2. We all make mistakes in spelling.
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Is it hard to teach another language?
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
What image?


This one, and what do you mean about my spelling?? I can spell in 6 different languages and make the same mistakes in all of them.

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LOL...the great Grothar...Spelling is kind of bad tonight!
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Can't wait until Richard passes over the Yucatan, or is that ucitan? Maybe Geoff will stop posting that same image.
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What image?
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I wish I knew what ya'll where saying.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Are you going to post that image, ad nauseum?
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
I think that song has something to do with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.


Only you could think of something like that? LOL (Deeper meaning Geoff, just think Berlin.) I know you know, that is what's funny.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Es kommt mir vor, dass ich Heimweh habe!
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I think that song has something to do with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
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Quoting Patrap:


Whatever you want to say to Him,..Ill bring the Nocular cam for some pics too.

Ill be yelling at Him in English ,,or French,,depending on my beverage intake.


But I thought he was German, that is not a Scandinavian name. I can give you some good German ones, too! though he might come up into the stands. LOL
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Quoting Patrap:


Thanx..

Im in Saints/Cleveland Shock still..

But the twitching has stopped.

Some.


Hey, I'm from Cleveland...aren't we allowed to win once in a while (usually only a few times a season lol)
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Quoting beell:
00Z GFS with a sub-970mb surface low over the upper midwest and Canada on Tuesday evening.


Link


At least it won't be snow...at least here in Ohio.
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Quoting JFLORIDA:
geepy86 hangs out on the troll blogs BTW.

Night.
You are really messing up now. You don't know me at aLL. Don't put me in some group. PM me if you have a problem.
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Quoting Patrap:


Whatever you want to say to Him,..Ill bring the Nocular cam for some pics too.

Ill be yelling at Him in English ,,or French,,depending on my beverage intake.


Just tell me good or bad and I will WU mail you. Now remember, Norwegians are very polite people, we very rarely engage in arguments, unless we are talking to the Swedes. LOL
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Quoting mbjjm:


Soon, So far Richard has moved over the swampy , low lying area of Belize, similar to the Everglades . Richard is now moving into the Mayan Mountains and Mountains of Guatamala .


This may not be a large system, but it certainly has been an interesting one. Thanks for the map. Explains a lot.
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746. mbjjm
Quoting Grothar:


How long is that eye going to stay in tact. I never wish for a storm to maintain, but would get a kick out of seeing Geoff eat crow on this one.


Soon, So far Richard has moved over the swampy , low lying area of Belize, similar to the Everglades . Richard is now moving into the Mayan Mountains and Mountains of Guatamala .
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Quoting JLPR2:
That disturbance waaay south of the Cave Verde islands should be the precursor of the Caribbean storm, I think...




It's spinning free....

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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
National Public Radio...Juan Williams...I am stunned! And not too off-ten.


I'm not good a current events. Just ask me something prior to the Civil War and I will be right on top of it. Didn't watch the news much this week.
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Quoting Grothar:


What do you want to say, I will translate it for you.


Whatever you want to say to Him,..Ill bring the Nocular cam for some pics too.

Ill be yelling at Him in English ,,or French,,depending on my beverage intake.
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GoodNite...



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Quoting JFLORIDA:
geepy86 hangs out on the troll blogs BTW.

Night.
not
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Hurricane Richard WunderMap®
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Banana Banks reporting in with trees down and roof damage to structure's from Richard.

They in the backside of the Eyewall now..
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Quoting Patrap:
Can't even think about it. Don't usually get that emotional, but they really tried today. Lousy deal all the way around. Felt bad for them.

I'll yell something in Norwegian at Big Ben next Sunday Night for ya..

Just wu-mail it to me

I plan on being there..


What do you want to say, I will translate it for you.
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I heard on Belize radio that a baby was just born in Belize City after the mother was taken to the hospital during the hurricane. They're naming him Richard. :)
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Quoting mbjjm:
Belmopan now seen the eye of Richard









How long is that eye going to stay in tact. I never wish for a storm to maintain, but would get a kick out of seeing Geoff eat crow on this one.
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735. JLPR2
That disturbance waaay south of the Cave Verde islands should be the precursor of the Caribbean storm, I think...

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Can't even think about it. Don't usually get that emotional, but they really tried today. Lousy deal all the way around. Felt bad for them.

I'll yell something in Norwegian at Big Ben next Sunday Night for ya..

Just wu-mail it to me

I plan on being there..
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National Public Radio...Juan Williams...I am stunned! And not too off-ten.
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Quoting Patrap:


Both linesmen were from Pittsburgh,,both signaled TD.

Go fig-ya


Can't even think about it. Don't usually get that emotional, but they really tried today. Lousy deal all the way around. Felt bad for them.
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www.npr.org
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730. mbjjm
Belmopan now seen the eye of Richard







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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


I would not allow them on NPR.


OK, you know my English is not that good, but what is an NPR?
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Nite all not feeling well.......see you all tomorrow. At least i hope so......LOL NIte!


Take care, Tim. Double up on the meds, it always helps me. (It think)
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
time for bed lights out


No, Sundays we can stay up late and watch episodes of the Golden Girls. One can still hope!!!!
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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.

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