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 oleClegs:


grapefruit or softball yeah, basketball - no way




Posted 25 July 2010 - 07:11 PM

Hoosier, on 25 July 2010 - 06:50 PM, said:

I'd love to see that in a warning...


"...THE PUBLIC REPORTED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING CATASTROPHIC HAIL UP TO BASKETBALL SIZE..."
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54372
Tim...That link connects me back to the blog.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
The GFS Long range sure make a very strong storm coming into the Western Caribbean again.


Why do you always have to post these scary things, right when they are getting ready to put me to bed?
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650. sunlinepr 11:21 PM EDT on October 24, 2010

Source??
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
new image just came out on IR Sat and Eye still holding up on Richy! i cant believe this. this is one Extraordinary storm, but you have to admit most storms arent alike


Does this mean he is on longer a " Sissy" ?...LOL
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Quoting BahaHurican:
I was saying think Everglades more because of the available water than anything else.


yes, that is what they believe aided Andrew in maintaining such strength so far inland.
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Yap, I read that... But what i mean, is that they aren't as powerfull, frequent and constant as in the Conus...


Quoting JLPR2:


We had two tornado reports from hurricane Earl.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
The GFS Long range sure make a very strong storm coming into the Western Caribbean again.
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667. JLPR2
Quoting sunlinepr:
Though hurricanes thunderstorms usually create tornados, at least our experience here in the tropics is that they aren't as frequent as those experienced in Conus.... Here in PR, you do see waterspouts.... Don't know if that is the same in Belize/Yucatan....



Tornado climatology

The United States has the most tornadoes of any country, nearly four times more than estimated in all of Europe, excluding waterspouts.[1] This is mostly due to the unique geography of the continent. North America is a large continent that extends from the tropics north into arctic areas, and has no major east-west mountain range to block air flow between these two areas. In the middle latitudes, where most tornadoes of the world occur, the Rocky Mountains block moisture and buckle the atmospheric flow, forcing drier air at mid-levels of the troposphere due to downsloped winds, and causing cyclogenesis downstream to the east of the mountains


We had two tornado reports from hurricane Earl.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Though hurricanes thunderstorms usually create tornados, at least our experience here in the tropics is that they aren't as frequent as those experienced in Conus....


Tornadoes spawned by hurricanes are usually rather weak and short-lived (even in America), as opposed to those which occur during severe weather outbreaks.
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I was saying think Everglades more because of the available water than anything else.
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Quoting AEKDB1990:
I don't see how updrafts could be strong enough long enough to make a basketball sized hailstone. Maybe if a bunch stuck and froze together you could get one. But I suspect that a hailstorm averaging basketball sized hailstones is impossible.


grapefruit or softball yeah, basketball - no way
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Quoting scooster67:
Luftballons! Bottles of Beer! Same Difference.
I'll take the bottles of beer if it's all the same to you.
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Quoting JFLORIDA:
It look to be a bad night for storms in many places in America. (north America)
here is the North America full view

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54372
Though hurricanes thunderstorms usually create tornados, at least our experience here in the tropics is that they aren't as frequent as those experienced in Conus.... Here in PR, you do see waterspouts.... Don't think it is the same in Belize/Yucatan.... due to topography



Tornado climatology

The United States has the most tornadoes of any country, nearly four times more than estimated in all of Europe, excluding waterspouts.[1] This is mostly due to the unique geography of the continent. North America is a large continent that extends from the tropics north into arctic areas, and has no major east-west mountain range to block air flow between these two areas. In the middle latitudes, where most tornadoes of the world occur, the Rocky Mountains block moisture and buckle the atmospheric flow, forcing drier air at mid-levels of the troposphere due to downsloped winds, and causing cyclogenesis downstream to the east of the mountains
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
OK, step away from the Thesaurus. Americans (without the qualifying adjective of North, Central, or South)are citizens of the United States of America. North Americans are Americans and Canadians. When the rest of the world references Americans without the qualifying adjectives, do you think they are including Costa Ricans and Paraguayans? I rest my case.
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Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


Never heard of hail that big. Several reports of baseball size today though.

Link


Myself... anyway went back to the report later and it has been changed or I was mistaken, ...Late.

0045 275 LINDEN MARENGO AL 3231 8780 MEDIA REPORTS A MIX BETWEEN BASEBALL AND GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL IN LINDEN. (BMX)
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654. JLPR2
Quoting Seastep:


Again, I say there is a method to the madness.

I have a total of eleven on my ignore list and most of those are stormtop variations.

Other than that, sorry Jason, but just couldn't take it anymore and that one that shouldn't be dignified with any responses.


XD I understand that part, had him on ignore for awhile but I started to get used to him with his last handles so I just went with the flow. LOL!
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
It is pouring down here in my little part of the world!

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54372
Be carefull, when you do Yahoo weather searchs in the internet... Check out the source....
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Quoting BahaHurican:
Belize's coast is pretty swampy in the area where Richard came ashore... can u say Everglades?


Hey, Baha, the Everglades isn't a swamp, it's a river. The only thing like it in the entire world. (Where you been?, haven't seen you around)
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Quoting 7544:
richard gets stronger over land go figure
90l is gone died out ?
no, actually the GFS predicts a sub tropical storm out of it
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Richard is toast once he enters the BOC. Copy, Paste and Crow me if I am wrong.
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Quoting JLPR2:


No sorry you got the wrong pumpking since I was on my net book for nearly a week which meant I wasn't going to waste time on petty arguments like this one. (keyboard was too small)

And that's probably the reason, the USA just doesn't have any other alternative.
And even if they don't call themselves that they are for living in the Continent called America and as keeper pointed out, it divides into three.
I called my self Puertorican, but I'm also an American(actually for being a US citizen and living in this continent) so yeah, rather complex theme... XD


Again, I say there is a method to the madness.

I have a total of eleven on my ignore list and most of those are stormtop variations.

Other than that, sorry Jason, but just couldn't take it anymore and that one that shouldn't be dignified with any responses.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
No HurricaneDean07 in fact on the MIMIC imagery the eyewall has gotten better organized since it made landfall

Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12151
Not sure Richard will weaken as much over land as they think he will. Another Surprise might come in the BOC.
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641. 7544
new system

Link
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Quoting scooster67:
Luftballons! Bottles of Beer! Same Difference.


Excellent post!
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Belize's coast is pretty swampy in the area where Richard came ashore... can u say Everglades?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


PDS.
a lot of severe weather tonight!
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


I had 100. How off-ten do I have to remind you? You fell into that too easily!


Then someone must have busted two of your balloons! It happens quite offen on the blog.
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It is pouring down here in my little part of the world!
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PDS.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54372
Luftballons! Bottles of Beer! Same Difference.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
19L/H/R/C1
overland

WEAKENING FLAG OFF
you can turn it on now, the eye is beginning to collapse, gradually, slowly.
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Quoting Grothar:


Wouldn't that be 98, then?


I had 100. How off-ten do I have to remind you? You fell into that too easily!
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630. 7544
richard gets stronger over land go figure
90l is gone died out ?
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Evening all. the login thing is from the Belize radar website.... iirc.

Amazing Richard carrying that clear eye almost as far W as Belmopan..... This part of Belize is flat coastal plain, and the higher mountains are further south anyway, IIRC....

Sure hope our Belizean friends are all right. Anybody heard from Belizit recently?
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Grothar...You stole one of my luftballoons...I now have only 99.


Wouldn't that be 98, then?
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19L/H/R/C1
overland

WEAKENING FLAG OFF
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54372

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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.