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 Grothar:


I would never pronounce the t. In guarded speech, that would be incorrect. They word is pronounced offen, although they do allow the t to be pronounced because it is part of vernacular speech. Just as the word soften, the t is silent. :P


If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting CybrTeddy:
La Nina event likely for the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season..


Yep. We're in for a lot of those for quite awhile.

Will be interesting to observe.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Cmon Richard don't pull a Fay..
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Poll time...Do you pronounce the word "often" with the "t" silent?


I would never pronounce the t. In guarded speech, that would be incorrect. They word is pronounced offen, although they do allow the t to be pronounced because it is part of vernacular speech. Just as the word soften, the t is silent. :P
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25291
La Nina event likely for the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season..
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Not if you know how to speak.
If the T is silent... your killing someone :)
thats just a minor detail
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9690
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Poll time...Do you pronounce the word "often" with the "t" silent?


Nope, unless I've had a few beers.
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
Quoting pilotguy1:


What? I was asking a serious question not asking to be jerked around.


Richard aka "dick" wants to be jerked, I am simply stating what I know! Not trying to cause a ruckus!
Sorry, Sheesh!
!
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Poll time...Do you pronounce the word "often" with the "t" silent?


Not if you know how to speak.
If the T is silent... your killing someone :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Poll time...Do you pronounce the word "often" with the "t" silent?
I say often with a "T"...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20486
Quoting Grothar:


It's not changed that often (crunch, crunch) LOL
Better have a tube of diaper rash stuff..:)..Hope you are well Gro..We are about to get whacked here tonight. And it will last until Wednesday if the forecasts hold..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20486
Quoting SuperTyphoonLionrock:


I use Firefox as well and like the spell check feature, but it irks me that it shows the word crawfish as being misspelled, but if you type "crayfish" it does not.


I use it also... in Canadian/British English.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Grothar:


It's not changed that often (crunch, crunch) LOL


Poll time...Do you pronounce the word "often" with the "t" silent?
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10967
Quoting AEKDB1990:


I see that when you can't find any flaw in my argument you just attack. I'm sorry that you have such a hard time when the facts don't support your preconceptions.


Wait a second - making a comment about your choice of using a statement from a liberal website to support a scientific argument is an ATTACK?

I think I know who you are, now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
looks like richard is maintaining its strength so far.
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9690
Quoting pilotguy1:


So that means there is nothing to worry about.


Well that depends also. Are you where you think you are, and has Ma been sniffing gas! lol
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442. sunlinepr

Unfortunately, my understanding is that GOES is on hold indefinitely. No 16 nor 17.

I hope that changes.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


No, the spelling is

Recognize


You better recognize Orca! uh huh! lol!
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451. atmoaggie
1:16 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting doorman79:


Well technically speaking, I guess the temp at any time at any giving place is perfect for Ma Earth. Hope that clears things up!

Evening Everyone!
lol

Howdy.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
449. doorman79
1:15 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting pilotguy1:
Let's see now and who among this learned group can tell me what the perfect temperature is for our Mother Earth? I mean this in all sincerity since we may be going towards it instead of away from it.


Well technically speaking, I guess the temp at any time at any giving place is perfect for Ma Earth. Hope that clears things up!

Evening Everyone!
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448. Grothar
1:15 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Isn’t it time to change your diaper? Calling nurse Mildred Ratched.


It's not changed that often (crunch, crunch) LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25291
447. Orcasystems
1:14 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting SuperTyphoonLionrock:


Recognise is the British variant of the spelling, like "colour" and "centre" etc.


No, the spelling is

Recognize
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
446. oleClegs
1:14 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting SuperTyphoonLionrock:


Recognise is the British variant of the spelling, like "colour" and "centre" etc.


LOL, oh...It has so much more street credit with the z emphasized.
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445. Grothar
1:12 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting SuperTyphoonLionrock:


That's the British variant of the spelling, like "colour" and "centre" etc.


If that were true, then harbor should have been spelled harbour, in keeping with the British orthography.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25291
444. atmoaggie
1:12 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting SuperTyphoonLionrock:


That's the British variant of the spelling, like "colour" and "centre" etc.
Though I'm in the US, my firefox used to have the British rules for the embedded spell check by default for some reason. Could be that my PC clock was set to UTC time...and figured my location to be there.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
443. Cat5Hurricane250
1:12 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
000
WTNT64 KNHC 250104
TCUAT4
HURRICANE RICHARD TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL192010
805 PM CDT SUN OCT 24 2010

...RICHARD MAKES LANDFALL IN BELIZE...

RADAR DATA FROM BELIZE INDICATE THAT THE EYE OF HURRICANE RICHARD
MADE LANDFALL AROUND 745 PM CDT...0045 UTC...ALONG THE COAST OF
BELIZE ABOUT 20 MILES...35 KM...SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF BELIZE CITY.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS AT LANDFALL WERE ESTIMATED TO BE 90
MPH...150 KM/HR.
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442. sunlinepr
1:11 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
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441. Seastep
1:09 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting Orcasystems:


If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean


LOL.
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439. GeoffreyWPB
1:08 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting Grothar:


Episode 28 is funny. I don't watch it often, but they are funny.


Isn’t it time to change your diaper? Calling nurse Mildred Ratched.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10967
437. Grothar
1:07 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting atmoaggie:
You guys trade login names again?


I want you to know I still enjoy driving, that is when I can find my keyes.
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436. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1:05 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
435. oleClegs
1:04 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting lhwhelk:
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
I never new Grand Cayman have mountains and harbors that look like the ones that you would find in Miami

In wunderkid's defense, if you have ever taught writing in college (I have) you would recognise that his "in Miami" was probably intended to refer only to the "harbors," not to the mountains.


Excuse me I was just sitting in on the class professor but do you mean "recognize"?
Member Since: September 2, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 27
433. Grothar
1:04 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
45 more Judge Judy's to go.


Episode 28 is funny. I don't watch it often, but they are funny.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25291
432. sunlinepr
1:03 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9690
431. Orcasystems
1:03 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting atmoaggie:
You guys trade login names again?


If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
430. atmoaggie
1:01 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting Grothar:


Hey!!!!!!!!
You guys trade login names again?
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
429. Seastep
1:01 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Sorry, mis-spoke a bit. It's actually +0.004C, rounded.

Month / V5.2 / V5.3 / Current
-------
Jan 2009 / 0.304 / 0.213 / 0.25
Feb 2009 / 0.347 / 0.220 / 0.26
Mar 2009 / 0.206 / 0.174 / 0.19
Apr 2009 / 0.090 / 0.135 / 0.16
May 2009 / 0.045 / 0.102 / 0.15
Jun 2009 / 0.003 / 0.022 / 0.05
Jul 2009 / 0.411 / 0.414 / 0.44
Aug 2009 / 0.229 / 0.245 / 0.24
Sep 2009 / 0.422 / 0.502 / 0.5
Oct 2009 / 0.286 / 0.353 / 0.36
Nov 2009 / 0.497 / 0.504 / 0.5
Dec 2009 / 0.288 / 0.262 / 0.29
Jan 2010 / 0.721 / 0.630 / 0.64
Feb 2010 / 0.740 / 0.613 / 0.61

Monthly Mean / 0.328 / 0.314 / 0.331
Diff from v5.2 / 0.000 / -0.014 / 0.004
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428. tropicaltank
1:00 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Can it make it through to the other side and redevelop?
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427. Grothar
12:59 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
Quoting Orcasystems:


I've sure gotten old. I've had by-pass surgeries, hip replacements, even new knees. I'm half-blind and can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine. I take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. I can't remember if I'm 85 or 92, and have poor circulation; I hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. But thank God, I still have my Florida driver's license!


Hey!!!!!!!!
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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.